First aid is the earliest and immediate care provided to victims suffering from minor injuries or major health issues. First aid procedures make use of locally available items to save life, control pain and suffering, and prevent further details damage. There are different types of first aid for addressing different types of injuries. Everyone should acquire skills in different types of first aid as you never know when you might need to use them.
There are different types of health emergencies that’s require first aid and they include:
- Cardiac arrest and heart attack
- Burns and scalds
- Bleeding, cuts, wounds and splints
- Fractures and sprains
- Health related emergencies (hypothermia and hyperthermia)
- Animal and insect bites
Importance of First Aid in Daily Life
It saves lives: One of the major objectives for providing first aid is to preserve life. Some health emergencies can be life-threatening and require immediate administration of first aid. We cannot always count on the emergency medical rescue teams to arrive in time to save a life.
Prevent further damage and suffering: First aid aims at ensuring that the victim is comfortable by reducing pain and any other challenges they might be experiencing such as breathing and positioning. It becomes, critical for the responder to be skilled on different types of health emergencies as a wrong diagnosis and first aid can lead to further injuries to the victim, and even death.
Fasten healing: Proper first aid at the right time hastens the healing process. Some injuries and conditions don’t require further medical care after the initial first aid. However, without proper first aid some injuries, even the minor ones can develop complications becoming life-threatening and difficult to treat.
Why You Need First Aid Training?
First aid training is critical in daily lives as life-threatening emergencies can occur when least expected. Every professional should be skilled on how to handle such emergencies. The best way to acquire these skills is through first aid training. You might be the only person available when a health emergency occurs. It’s best to have an idea on how to act to save the lives of those involved.
With the right skills and knowledge, you get to know how to prepare for emergencies. There are different ways you can prepare for emergencies at home and place of work. The first step in preparing for emergencies is through attending a first aid class. The right skills and knowledge, place you in a better position to prevent and take care accidents and health conditions.
Basic first aid: When providing first aid, it’s important to make precautionary measures for ones safety. It is most likely that the cause of the injuries is still active. If possible, move the victim to safety before you begin first aid.
Whenever life-threatening emergencies occur, people tend to rush around in panic. For a rescuer, it is important to stay as calm as possible and try to keep others calm. Panic distorts the minds ability to make critical decisions and act. It is also likely to cause more chaos which comes in the way for providing first aid care.
There are some first aid procedures that every professional should be aware of:
Treatment for burns: Burns can be minor or major. In most cases first aid will take care of a minor burn without need for further medical care. The first aid for burns depends of the extent of the injury. There are four categories of burns: first, second, third and fourth degree burns. First and second degree are minor and mild burns. Minor burns don’t go deep beneath the skin.
The signs of burns include:
- First degree: In cases of first degree burns only the outer layer of the skin is burnt. They resemble sunburns with red swollen skin.
- Second degree: They are more extensive with some of the inner skin burnt. They usually very painful with blisters and swelling.
- Third degree: For third degree burns, all the inner skin is burn and the burnt area has a white or black appearance. In some cases the burn is so extensive that the nerve endings are damaged and the victim is not experiencing pain.
- Fourth degree: These are extensive burns that go beyond the skin to the bones and tendons.
Treatment for Minor Burns:
- Minor burns don’t require much medical care. First to make the organ away from the heat source and cool the burn with water. Avoid too cold or freezing water and don’t break blisters if any.
- Apply a good moisturizer on the burn and give painkillers.
- Avoid exposure to the sun.
- First aid care for major burns: For major burns, immediately call for emergency medical services. Cover the wound with a loose material to prevent exposure to infections and loss of water.
- First aid for cuts and bleeding: Blood loss should be prevented to the maximum. To control bleeding, use a clean piece of cloth or bandage to apply pressure on the injury for 20 minutes. If bleeding persists, apply another bandage on top of the other and continue applying pressure until bleeding stops. Treat heavy bleeding as a healthy emergency.
- For minor wounds without bleeding, clean the cut or injury with clean water, apply antibiotic and cover the wound with a clean bandage. For major injuries, apply pressure to stop bleeding. Do not, however, apply any ointment. You can place a bandage on top and tie in place to create pressure to stop bleeding. Seek immediate professional medical care.
Sprains: Sprains are less alarming as they commonly heal on their own. First aid for sprains helps in reducing the swelling on the injured part. Swelling is a normal body reaction to injuries as the flow of blood to the injured organ increases. Here are some tips for reducing swelling:
- Apply ice to the injury to reduce blood flow to the injury. Avoid applying ice directly on to the skin. You can wrap the ice in a clean cloth or plastic bag.
- Elevate the injured organ.
- Place a bandage tightly around the injury to prevent swelling. Avoid making it too tight that it cuts off blood supply.
- You can apply ice on top of the bandage. Do not ice continuously – you can take 20 minute intervals between the icing.
- You should take rest and avoid applying pressure on the injured part to hasten healing.
Fractures: Any case of suspected broken bones are health emergencies. Sometimes it is hard to tell if the injury is indeed a fracture. If you suspect broken bones, do not move or straighten the injured part. If possible, you can use a splint to stabilize the broken organ to prevent further injury and reduce pain. Wrap ice with a piece of cloth or plastic bag and apply on the injured. Keep the injured organ elevated and use anti-inflammatory drugs to slow down swelling. If bleeding, try to control bleeding. Do not push back any protruding bones.
Allergic reactions: Allergies result whenever the body reacts to a foreign substance or allergen. While some allergic reactions are minor others can be life-threatening. Anaphylaxis for instance, is a severe body reaction to an allergenic substance. The reaction differs from one person to another. Some of the allergens include drugs, insect stings and foods.
Epinephrine or adrenaline is a medication injected to treat allergic reactions. It is usually done by the use of an EpiPen or epinephrine auto injector. When administering first aid for a person with an allergic reaction make sure they remain calm. Help the victim lay on their back and elevate their feet. Loosen any tight clothing to allow ease in breathing. Do not give them food, drinks or medicine. After injecting the epinephrine, allow up to 15 minutes. If the reaction has not subdued inject a second dose.
The first aid kit: The first aid kit is a critical component for first aid. Every home and business should always have one readily available in case of an emergency. You can put together your own kit or purchase from the store. A customized first aid kit is more useful as it is more suited to your needs.
As you prepare your first aid kit, make sure you are familiar with the items and their use. First aid training is available online. Processionals can easily acquire first aid certification at their convenience. Anyone can acquire first aid certification as it doesn’t have barriers of age and education.
A first aid kit should be easily accessible whenever needed. All the likely users of a first aid kit should be able to access it whenever necessary. It is also important to keep regular check on your first aid kit. Apart from being readily available, the kit should be useable. Items should be replaced as soon as they run out. Medicines contained in the kit should be replaced as soon as they expire. Using expired medication can lead to complications and even death.
Where Can You Acquire First Aid Training?
First aid certification classes are available everywhere including on online platforms, and this has made it easier for persons with busy lives to train. Businesses can easily put their employees through first aid training to prepare them for health emergencies. CPR certification, which is also a critical first aid procedure for cardiac arrest is also available online alongside AED certification. There are no limitations to taking up any first aid classes as they are cheap and online classes are quite flexible.
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