Be Emergency-Ready: 3 First Aid Skills Everyone Should Have

Everyone knows about mummy first aid skills—the kind where a Band-Aid and a kiss are all that’s required to make everything better. You probably know how to ice a twisted ankle, bandage a cut finger, or staunch a bloody nose, since these are the skills you learn just by watching mum and dad or others as you grow up.

Then there is this stepping up during an emergency. When you are next to a family, friend, or random stranger who chokes or faints, you need to know that every second counts. Often there is not enough time to call for an ambulance. In some cases, what you do during the first few minutes can mean the difference between life and death.

Here are some first aid skills you should have:

CPR

Performing a cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) method is a life saving technique that helps keep the person alive until the emergency care providers arrive at the scene.

The CPR methods have changed a bit over the years, but here are the three basic CPR actions: start chest compressions if the victim is not breathing normally, tilt the victim’s head back, and give two one-second breaths through the mouth. The pattern is 30 chest compressions and 2 breaths. Repeat when necessary.

Heimlich Manoeuvre

Not to be confused with CPR, the aim of the Heimlich manoeuvre is to help someone choking from a foreign object. The Heimlich Institute and RAM Training Services recommend this technique: wrap your hands around the victim from behind and form a fist below their ribcage (above the belly button). Use the other hand to support your fist, and press into the victim’s upper abdomen with a quick thrust. Repeat until the victim expels the object.

Using an Automatic External Defibrillator (AED)

AED, the pair of electric paddles doctors use to restart hearts after a cardiac arrest, are popping up in business establishments, malls, and even schools these days. Knowing how to use the technology can dramatically improve a victim’s chances for survival.

Using AED can be difficult to teach, but many CPR training companies offer classes in using the technology.
There are many dangers lurking everywhere. Common sense, calmness, and basic knowledge can help you beat most emergency situations.