First aid is an important life skill that everyone who can learn it should. Having these skills in your back pocket could be the difference between life or death for you, a loved one, or even a stranger, but it can be understandable that some are nervous about giving first aid to others, due to the worry that they might get it wrong or make matters worse.
Follow Do’s and Don’ts for First Aid
This piece is going to take a look at some first aid do’s and don’ts, so you can feel prepared if you ever come across a situation where someone might need your help.
Let’s get into it.
DO – Call Emergency Services First
Before you do anything, make sure to call emergency services so you know they are on their way. This is the most important priority. If you are going to tend to the person in need, you can ask someone else available to call, but make sure it is done first thing. The sooner they are notified, the sooner they can come out.
DO – Administer Aid Immediately
It can take a while for the emergency services to get to the location – on average 7-14 minutes. It is not hard to imagine what could happen in such a short amount of time, especially if the person who requires medical treatment is not breathing or has sustained life-threatening injuries.
If someone is bleeding heavily, you will need to stop the bleeding as fast as you can in the safest way possible. This does not have to be perfect; it just has to be functional while you wait for professional assistance.
Administering CPR might also be required. You must always ask permission to perform CPR, but if someone cannot reply, the consent is implied and you can act under the medical practice “necessity” law, even if you are not a health care professional. You will also be protected under the “Good Samaritan” law in other countries.
DON’T – Replace Bandages or Gauze When Blood Soaked
If you are using bandages for someone who has suffered an injury that causes bleeding, never remove them when they are full. This can disturb any clots that may have begun to form underneath, and could encourage bleeding again. Instead, make sure to place another gauze or bandage over the top to help with soaking up the blood.
To ensure you are prepared for emergencies such as these, make sure to have first aid kit supplies in your car, home, or work so you can respond as quickly as possible.
DON’T – Move Someone Unless It Is Necessary
It is important to prevent people from choking, and if you suspect they cannot breathe, then turning them onto their side is the right thing to do. If someone has been in an accident, a head, spine, or neck injury could be present. As long as they are breathing, and are in a safe place (not in the middle of a road) do not move them and wait for emergency services to show up.