In the Netflix movie ‘I Care A lot,’ Rosamund Pike’s character places her knocked-out tooth into a milk bottle to preserve it. She then drives to a dentist in the dead of night, and the tooth is quickly and professionally lodged back into its designated gum socket. Preserving or maintaining the elements of skin and bone is part and parcel of emergency first aid.
Furthermore knowing basic first aid can help in an emergency and even save somebody’s life. Here are other basic first aid skills that are valuable to know:
#1 Learn to clean a wound
The first step to minimize or lessen a wound’s impact is to clean and prevent infection, no matter if it’s a burn, a deep cut, or a small scrape. Keep in mind to sterilize your hand by washing it, and then touch the wound. Hand sanitizers work perfectly in situations where there’s no water available.
With clean hands, use a clean cloth, paper towel, gauze, or any other absorbent material. You have to put slight pressure on the wound to stop or lessen the bleed. Depending on how deep the wound is, you’d need to keep adding layers of material and get immediate medical attention. Applying constant pressure until medical aid arrives is one way to reduce bleeding and save lives.
Water is the best when it comes to cleaning a wound to remove debris and dirt around the wound, so that it reduces the chances of bacterial infection. If you have access to a first aid kit, get the antibiotic cream out and apply it to the infected area. If it’s a scrape or a small cut, a Band-Aid will suffice, but otherwise, a wound will require a bandage.
#2 Learn how to do CPR
One of the most important medical procedures, CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) is performed on a person who’s experiencing a cardiac arrest. The basics of CPR are best understood and practiced by taking a CPR class at the Red Cross, medical center, or any certified community workshops. There’s no alternative to hands-on learning and practicing CPR. If there’s an AED (automated external defibrillator), that would be the next best thing, especially if you’re not familiar with CPR.
#3 Learn to aid an adult or child who’s choking
Learning the Heimlich maneuver is also another essential life-saving skill, similar to knowing CPR. The Heimlich maneuver aids in clearing the airway of someone who’s choking. The Heimlich maneuver involves wrapping your arms and placing your fist between the rib cage and belly button of the person choking. Then, deliver quick and upward trusts repeatedly to help dislodge the object from the person’s body. Aiding a choking child is different from an adult, and knowing how to administer back blows to a child is part of this essential skill.
There are many more basic first aid skills that can come in handy in any given emergency. Apart from first aid knowledge, signing up for emergency medical equipment training is vital, especially if you work in high-risk environments.