It takes courage to offer first aid to a victim in need. Unfortunately, some bystanders are reluctant to help the victims during life-threatening emergencies. Fear is the major deterring factor when giving first aid and CPR.
Why Do People Lack the Confidence to Save Lives?
Fear of doing it wrong
When emergencies occur, people want to help in every way possible. However, in some cases, there is no skilled person to give the appropriate care to the victims. As a result, those around may feel inadequate and thus prefer to await the emergency services or the emergency medical response teams.
Fear of catching infections
In certain situations, offering first aid and CPR can result in cross-infection. These are cases where blood and body fluids are involved. Infected persons can also infect others when providing mouth to mouth ventilation. Infections can be transferred from the victim to the rescuer and vice versa.
Fear of legal suits
Even with the good intentions of saving someone's life, the victim or family might press lawsuits against rescuers. Such occurs when they feel the victim was intentionally harmed during the rescue operations. Bystanders might want to be of help but fear that the victim might not want to be helped, or they might be held liable if life is lost as they attempt to help.
Fear of hurting the victim
In other cases, especially for persons new to first aid, there is fear that touching the victim might inflict pain or even worsen the victim's condition. For this reason, offering first aid requires confidence and courage.
Fear of inappropriate touching
It is common for persons of the opposite gender to shy away from performing first aid procedures on each other. In cases of cardiac arrest, studies show that women are less likely to receive CPR than men.
Tips To Overcome These First Aid Fears
All the fears of offering help to save lives in emergencies are justifiable. You can build up your confidence in saving lives in various ways.
1. Enroll in a First Aid Certification
The main objective of taking first aid training classes is to learn how to attend to various emergencies. First Aid training offers information on the signs and symptoms of various emergency situations. It, therefore, allows early recognition of the type of emergency and early response. The earlier the victim is attended to in some emergencies, the higher the chances of recovery. Early delivery of first aid lessens the extent of damage and makes the patient more comfortable.
First aid certification offers an in-depth understanding of different emergencies. As a result, first aid skilled persons are more confident when taking care of victims. They are well aware of the victim's state and the appropriate help.
2. CPR Certification and Recertification
CPR-certified persons are more likely to recognize early signs of cardiac arrest and deliver high-quality chest compressions. CPR certification provides skills and knowledge on when and how to perform CPR. In addition, it offers simulated learning whereby learners attain experience on how to perform CPR and produce the best outcome.
Another important concept taught in CPR certification classes is the relevance of CPR itself. By understanding the aim of CPR, rescuers can judge if they are offering the recommended compressions.
CPR-certified persons can also distinguish cases where CPR is required and offer the necessary assistance within the shortest time possible. Conversely, unskilled persons are likely to misdiagnose cardiac arrest cases and offer different first aid procedures leading to loss of life.
Recertification of CPR is critical in creating confidence in rescuers. Skills acquired in CPR classes depreciate within six months when not regularly used. For this reason, CPR certifications have a life span of two years. After the expiry, the owner should take a refresher course and a recertification exam. In addition, changes in CPR procedures, like any other field in medicine, change due to ongoing research. Recertification programs allow CPR holders to stay abreast with these changes and better their knowledge and skills.
Importantly, you need to recognize cardiac arrest in a victim as soon as possible and begin CPR. The hands-only procedure that entails 100 chest compressions per minute is also helpful for unskilled rescuers. The rescuer should keep performing CPR until specialized help arrives and takes over, the victim regains consciousness, or in case their lives are in danger.
3. AED certification
The AED is important in saving the lives of cardiac arrest victims. Skills on how to use the device require training. However, the device is easy to use, even for non-professionals. Without training, rescuers should only offer hands-only CPR to cardiac arrest victims.
The AED analyzes the victim's heart and provides information on whether a shock is necessary. When a shock is required, it prompts the user on how to deliver a shock.
Certain critical precautions apply in the use of the AED. No one should touch the victim when the AED is in use. The victim's chest should be wiped dry before placing pads, and the device should not be used when the victim is lying in the water.
Different pads for adults and infants are designed to deliver the appropriate amount of shock. Therefore, unless pediatric pads are unavailable, you should always avoid using adult pads on infants.
If no AED is available or the rescuer is not skilled in its use, always use hands-only CPR.
4. Read Widely About Life-Saving Skills
Reading about different lifesaving skills will give you more confidence to rescue lives. In addition, you should research information on health and the causes of different health emergencies.
You can seek an understanding of how the human body operates and the relevance of different first aid procedures in saving lives. Even for trained persons, there is a need to keep researching to refresh your skills and knowledge in the field.
Knowledgeable rescuers have wider skills, information, and alternatives for handling different health emergencies. Research also enables the rescuer to identify the condition of the victim. Only through proper diagnosis can the rescuer administer the appropriate lifesaving procedure.
Some first aid procedures are easy to follow. You can easily save someone's life through information acquired from a book or online sources. However, you should consider the credibility of the source of information. Health institutions and scholarly articles provide more credible information.
You keep building your interest in saving lives as you research health emergencies and how to save lives in different conditions.
5. Take the initiative to Help
If CPR trained, you should practice your skills and knowledge as much as possible. Only by gaining experience can you perfect your skills and gain more confidence. Fear is common for first-timers.
If you are certified in first aid and CPR/AED, you can spend your free time volunteering in health organizations and emergency response teams. Working with more experienced teams improves your skills and provides more knowledge on dealing with advanced health emergencies.
Without help, victims with certain emergency health conditions could die. Therefore, it is important to identify the type of emergency and offer the necessary help. However, this is only possible for skilled people. It is always better to make an effort to save a life than let the victim die while watching helplessly. If you wish to help society, you should enroll in first aid classes and take CPR training. It feels good knowing that you saved a life or you could save someone's life.
6. Be Prepared for Health Emergencies
If you are not prepared for health emergencies, you are more likely to panic. There are various ways you can prepare for health emergencies.
You should always have a fully stocked first aid kit at home and place of work. Keep checking and updating your first aid kits by replacing any missing and expired items. In the face of a medical emergency, it is very easy to use medications without paying attention to their expiry dates.
It is also helpful to assess the emergency needs of your home or place of work and prepare appropriately. Then, with emergency needs in mind, you can have the necessary prevention measures and equipment in place.
Certain emergency items should also be within reach. For example, if you are traveling, you should pack emergency medications and other items depending on the type of activity and place.
Saving lives takes courage and skill. Most bystanders don't make a move as they don't know what to do and are afraid of doing the wrong thing. It is worse when the victim is also a loved one, and you have no idea how you can help save their lives.
First aid and CPR/AED certification prepare an individual for health-related emergencies. Most people panic when health emergencies occur. In this state, making critical decisions and offering the necessary support is difficult. The course equips one with skills to keep calm and calm those around you during rescue operations.
If you don't have time to attend physical classes, online CPR certification provides flexibility. With online CPR certification, you can schedule classes according to your convenience from the location choice. Since first aid and CPR training don't have restrictions, anyone is eligible to enroll and earn the certification.