FIRST AID FOR YOU
We’ve posted before about the benefits of First Aid, describing how osteopath Jerome used his new found skills barely a week after taking the course.
However, many people in the UK do not have even basic First Aid knowledge. The minutes after an incident are the most important and having someone on hand to tackle the basics before medical help arrives can be a lifesaver. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be giving you some practical tips that you can use in a variety of emergencies.
First and foremost, you must not panic. If you panic, you are unable to think clearly, remember what you know and make the right decisions. Think of the patient – they’ve had an accident, they are in pain and very scared, the last thing they need is their First Aider panicking!
Take a deep breath and then focus on the patient. Talk quietly and calmly, reassuring the patient. This applies even if they’re unconscious – making this effort will keep you can too.
The most important thing to know, is CPR. Here is some information to refresh your memory if you’ve taken a course before and for those of you who have no idea how to do it. While these tips are helpful, we do highly recommend that you take a practical First Aid course in your spare time.
We’re all familiar with CPR, thanks to the soaps and medical dramas on our TVs. If someone isn’t breathing, you have only one thing to focus on – keeping blood pumping around their system until the ambulance arrives. Never feel this is a waste of time; footballer Fabrice Muamba was given CPR for 78 minutes, which kept him alive and, though he no longer plays professional football, he has since made a full recovery.
Quite simply, CPR can save someone’s life.
If someone has stopped breathing, you need to call an ambulance immediately. This is your first priority – ideally, get someone else to do it while you tackle the CPR.
- Start with 30 chest compressions. Press the breastbone in the centre of the chest with the heel of your hand. Push down approximately 5cm and release. You need to be firm – broken ribs are secondary to keeping the blood pumping.
- Aim for 100-120 compressions per minute. Focus on this count – it will keep you calm.
- Give two rescue breaths by tilting the head back, lift the chin to open the airway, pinch the nose, make a seal around their mouth with yours and blow. Take your mouth away, let their chest fall and then repeat.
- Alternate 2 rescue breaths with 30 compressions.
If you have never been shown how to give rescue breaths or aren’t confident giving them, do the chest compressions only.