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HANDY FIRST AID TIPS
When someone is injured or suddenly becomes ill, there is usually a critical period before you can get medical treatment and it is this period that is of the utmost importance to the victim. What you do, or what you don't do, in that interval can mean the difference between life and death. You owe it to yourself, your family and your neighbors to know and to understand procedures that you can apply quickly and intelligently in an emergency.
Every household should have some type of first aid kit, and if you do not already have one, assemble your supplies now. Tailor the contents to fit your family's particular needs. Don't add first aid supplies to the jumble of toothpaste and cosmetics in the medicine cabinet. Instead, assemble them in a suitable, labeled box (such as a fishing tackle box or small took chest with hinged cover), so that everything will be handy when needed. Label everything in the kit clearly, and indicate what it is used for.
Be sure not to lock the box - otherwise you may be hunting for the key when that emergency occurs. Place the box on a shelf beyond the reach of small children, and check it periodically and always restock items as soon as they are used up.
Keep all medications, including non-prescription drugs such as aspirin, out of reach of children. When discarding drugs, be sure to dispose of them where they cannot be retrieved by children or pets.
When an emergency occurs, make sure the injured victim's airway is not blocked by the tongue and that the mouth is free of any secretions and foreign objects. It is extremely important that the person is breathing freely. And if not, you need to administer artificial respiration promptly.
See that the victim has a pulse and good blood circulation as you check for signs of bleeding. Act fast if the victim is bleeding severely or if he has swallowed poison or if his heart or breathing has stopped. Remember every second counts.
Although most injured persons can be safely moved, it is vitally important not to move a person with serious neck or back injuries unless you have to save him from further danger. Keep the patient lying down and quiet. If he has vomited and there is no danger that his neck is broken, turn him on his side to prevent choking and keep him warn by covering him with blankets or coats.
Have someone call for medical assistance while you apply first aid. The person who summons help should explain the nature of the emergency and ask what should be done pending the arrival of the ambulance. Reassure the victim, and try to remain calm yourself. Your calmness can allay the feat and panic of the patient.
Don't give fluids to an unconscious or semiconscious person; fluids may enter his windpipe and cause suffocation. Don't try to arouse an unconscious person by slapping or shaking.
Look for an emergency medical identification card or an emblematic device that the victim may be wearing to alert you to any health problems, allergies or diseases that may require special care.
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Common Emergencies Basic First Aid
Accidents can happen anytime and anywhere. How the victim is first responded to during an accident is very crucial. In most cases, the basic first aid provided at the scenario can improve a victim's chances for survival and recovering. The correct response to a medical emergency is way better compared to an erroneous quick one. Some medical experts say that whatever type of response, even if it may be incorrect, is "better than none at all".
Basic first aid
At all times, keep in mind that the very first response to accidents is always the most vital. It is important to know what needs to be done. Remember to keep shock victims covered to decrease heat loss. Attempt to stop any bleeding through applying pressure on the wound. Don't move a victim that has spinal injury, except if they are in further danger. Here are some basic first aid responses to common emergencies:
If a victim is found unconscious, perform "rescue breathing". If a victim's heart stops beating, perform "cardiopulmonary resuscitation" or CPR if you have the proper training to do so.
This usually accompanies serious injuries or severe emotional upset. The symptoms are clammy and cold skim, chills, pale face, frequent vomiting or nausea, shallow breathing, and confusion. Until the emergency unit arrives, let the person lie down with legs elevated. Keep victim covered to stop body heat loss or prevent chilling. Give non-alcoholic beverage if victim can swallow or hasn't sustained any abdominal injury.
Burns and scalds
Until medical assistance arrives, immerse burned area at once in cool or tap water, or put cool, moist, clean towels. Don't use ice, as it can cause more damage to a burned area. Keep doing this treatment till burning or pain stops. Don't use greases, powders, or ointments.
Until emergency assistance arrives, attempt to control the bleeding. Preferably, put on latex or rubber gloves first before touching the blood. If not available, a "clean" plastic bag may be used in covering the hands. It's important to not get in contact with blood due to health risks.
If hand or finger pressure is not enough to stop the bleeding, put a thick pad of bandage or clean cloth directly on top of the wound, and keep it in place using a bandage, belt, cloth strips, or neckties. Be careful to not stop blood circulation to other parts.
Knowing basic first aid is very important, you can further your knowledge by taking first aid courses at organizations that provide them.