Have you ever wanted to have a superpower? Well, it might not be from the pages of a comic book, but you can be a superhero with First Aid skills! September 12 is World First Aid Day. It’s a perfect time to brush up on the basics or refresh your first-aid know-how.
Memorize Your Local Emergency Numbers
First Aid is always meant as a way to start helping someone who is injured before professional help arrives at the scene. Calling for help is always the first step before you start administering aid, so make sure you know your local numbers! Many countries have a simple phone code you can dial for general emergencies, and many municipalities have a poison control number.
Common Fatal Injuries: How to Help
According to the Canadian Red Cross, unintentional injuries are the leading cause of death in Canadians ages 1-44. You can help prevent this loss by knowing what to do when someone is gravely hurt. Here are ways to care for common injuries.
Heavy Bleeding: Do not remove any objects that may be protruding from the wound. Wrap them and apply firm pressure to the wound with a clean cloth, switching to a new one if it becomes soaked.
Trauma to Neck or Spine: Do not move a person if you think they have an injury to their neck or spine. Stabilize them in place with rolled towels or cloths around their neck, head, and other body parts to help them stay still until help arrives. If they are on their back and start vomiting, get the help of another person to roll them gently onto their side while stabilizing their head and neck.
Blow to the Head: Keep the person alert by asking them questions and monitor their speech and control of their body. If they lose consciousness, stay aware of their breathing and heart rate in case you need to administer CPR.
Know the Signs of Strokes and Heart Attacks
Too many people die unexpectedly from the results of strokes and heart attacks. These frightening events can happen at any time, so it’s important to recognize the signs in order to help at a moment’s notice. At the first sign of either condition, contact emergency personnel.
Signs of a Stroke: Someone experiencing a stroke can start slurring their speech, lose motor function, lose bowel control, and lose consciousness.
Signs of a Heart Attack: Signs of a heart attack can be subtle, such as intense heartburn and numbness in the left arm. They can also be debilitating, with people experiencing crushing pain in their chest, inability to breathe, and a loss of consciousness.
CPR means “Stayin’ Alive”
CPR, short for Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation, is a lifesaving method of compressing a person’s chest after their heart has stopped to maintain blood flow in the body. In recent years, the guidance from the American Red Cross has changed so CPR is solely performed with chest compressions, though older guidelines recommended assisted breathing. The method that is currently recommended is to place your hands on top of the other in the middle of a person’s chest and maintain a quick, regular rhythm of compressions down. Some CPR classes even share that you can sing the tune “Stayin’ Alive” to get the right rhythm for the compressions. When performed immediately, CPR can improve the chances of survival up to three times!
Get First Aid Certified
Want to become a real-life superhero? Get First Aid certified! Local Red Cross organizations and other first-response associations often offer training courses to help you save the lives of your friends, family, and maybe even a complete stranger one day!