First Aid Tips and Tricks

Though it is not always possible to predict when an emergency or medical situation will happen, it is still vital to know how to respond to them safely as it can be critical in saving someone’s life. You can increase a person’s chances of survival during a life-threatening emergency by familiarizing yourself with how to use an AED, administer first aid, perform the Heimlich maneuver, and give life-saving medications like naloxone. In the case of a medical emergency, it's easy to assume that someone else will rise to the plate and help the person in distress, however, this is not always going to happen. So, here are some skills worth familiarizing yourself with so you will be equipped to act when an emergency medical situation occurs.

First and though it is as simple as it is, knowing how and when to call for emergency medical assistance is incredibly important. Additionally, calling EMS typically does far more than just send paramedics to the scene of the event. These days many dispatchers are trained to give people instructions over the phone on how to administer CPR, give people life-saving drugs, and handle other emergencies. If you are unable to make the call yourself, you should immediately yell out to ensure someone else does.

Secondly using an AED can potentially help a person’s heart before emergency services have the chance to arrive. An automated external defibrillator (AED) is a machine that applies an electric shock to the heart to bring it back to a normal rhythm. AEDs consists of two wired pads that get placed directly on a person’s bare chest and a portable box that detects the heart’s rhythm. Also, you always want to make sure that the person is unresponsive by checking for a lack of pulse before attempting to use an AED on them. The nice things about AEDs are that they are immediately ready to use and are equipped with voice instructions that tell you what to do. Although you do not need certification to use an AED, the AHA (American Heart Association) recommends that you seek training to help you feel more confident when using them.

Thirdly familiarizing yourself with basic first aid can prevent the spread the potentially deadly infections. A first aid kit is most useful if you know how to use it. Giving proper first aid to cuts, scrapes and other wounds can help prevent infection and potentially fatal complications like sepsis. In compliance with the CDC guidelines, always wash your hands with soap and water before attempting to treat your own or someone else’s wounds. You should also clean all wounds thoroughly of debris with clean water and antibiotic cream. In addition, individuals should seek immediate medical attention for any infections, including wounds that cause them redness, swelling, shortness of breath, confusion, disorientation, or other unusual symptoms.

Finally, you can save a life by knowing how to help open someone’s airway when their breathing has been compromised. During many life-threatening medical emergencies, people aren’t breathing properly, which means they aren’t getting an adequate amount of oxygen into their lungs. If this situation arises, you may be able to help by performing a few specific maneuvers that help increase the flow of oxygen in that person’s body. One way to go about this is to turn someone on their side. Furthermore, specific maneuvers like the head tilt-chin lift can be useful. You can do this by pushing back on the person’s forehead while gently pulling their chin upwards. This can help prevent their tongue and other soft tissues from blocking their airway.

Sources:, 11 life-saving skills everyone should know, 8 Basic Life-Saving Skills Everyone Should Know, When Every Second Counts: the 4 Life-Saving Techniques You Should Know

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