Knowing how to treat injuries and illnesses is important for everyone, whether you frequently get injured or are someone’s caregiver. In the USA alone, there are almost three million non-fatal workplace injuries and illnesses every year, and more than 3.5 million children get injured playing sports each year.
Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) is a life-saving technique used to revive someone whose heart has stopped beating or who has stopped breathing. The goal of CPR is to keep blood flowing to the brain and other vital organs until medical help arrives. CPR involves compressing the person’s chest to keep the blood flowing and supplying oxygen to the brain. Rescue breaths are also administered by tilting the person’s head back and sealing the mouth over their nose. It is important to learn the correct CPR technique for both adults and children, which can be easily obtained through various training programs, including online CPR certification. Knowing how to perform CPR could make a significant difference in saving someone’s life.
The Heimlich maneuver
The Heimlich maneuver, also known as abdominal thrusts, is a first-aid technique used to save someone who is choking on an object lodged in their throat. The maneuver involves applying pressure to the abdomen just below the ribcage to create an artificial cough and expel the blockage from the airway.
Here are the steps to perform the Heimlich maneuver on someone who is choking:
- Stand behind the person and wrap your arms around their waist.
- Make a fist with one hand and place it just above the navel, but below the ribcage.
- Grasp your fist with your other hand and press hard into the abdomen with a quick, upward thrust.
- Repeat this motion until the object is expelled and the person can breathe normally again.
It’s important to note that the Heimlich maneuver should only be performed on someone who is choking and cannot breathe, as it can cause injury if done incorrectly. If the person is conscious and able to cough or speak, it’s best to encourage them to continue coughing to try and dislodge the object themselves, and call for medical help if necessary.
Dealing with broken bones
Dealing with broken bones requires immediate medical attention. If you suspect someone has a broken bone, you should call for emergency medical services immediately.
In the meantime, the following steps can help alleviate pain and prevent further damage:
- Immobilize the injured area: Keep the injured area still and do not attempt to move it. If necessary, use a splint or sling to immobilize the area.
- Apply cold compresses: To reduce swelling and relieve pain, apply a cold compress to the injured area for 15-20 minutes at a time.
- Elevate the injured area: If possible, elevate the injured area above the heart to help reduce swelling.
- Administer pain relief medication: Over-the-counter pain medication such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen can help relieve pain.
- Follow medical advice: Once emergency medical services arrive, follow their advice for further treatment and care. This may include immobilization, surgery, or physical therapy.
Burns can range from minor to severe and require different levels of treatment depending on their severity. Here are some general steps to follow when handling burns:
|Stop the burning process||If the burn is caused by a heat source, remove the source of heat or the person from the source. If the burn is caused by a chemical, remove the clothing that has been exposed to the chemical.|
|Cool the burn||Run cool (not cold) water over the burned area for at least 10-15 minutes. You can also apply a cool, damp compress to the burned area.|
|Cover the burn||Once the burn has cooled, cover it with a sterile, non-adhesive dressing or a clean, dry cloth to prevent infection.|
|Take over-the-counter pain relievers||Acetaminophen or ibuprofen can help reduce pain and inflammation.|
|Seek medical attention||If the burn is severe, covers a large area of the body, or is located on the face, hands, feet, or genitals, seek medical attention immediately. Also, if the person shows signs of shock or breathing difficulties, call for emergency medical services.|
Note: Do not use ice, butter, or ointments on the burn as they can make the injury worse. Additionally, do not pop any blisters that may form as they serve as a protective barrier against infection.
Vomiting and diarrhea
Vomiting and diarrhea are common symptoms that can be caused by a variety of conditions, including infections, food poisoning, medication side effects, and other medical conditions. If you or someone you know is experiencing vomiting and/or diarrhea,
Here are some steps you can take:
Vomiting and diarrhea can cause dehydration, so it’s important to drink plenty of fluids. Water, clear broths, and electrolyte drinks like Gatorade or Pedialyte can help replace fluids and electrolytes lost due to vomiting and diarrhea.
Avoid solid foods
Stick to a clear liquid diet for the first 24 hours, and then slowly add solid foods as tolerated. Avoid spicy or greasy foods, as well as dairy products, caffeine, and alcohol.
Allow your body to rest and recover. Avoid strenuous activity until your symptoms have resolved.
Over-the-counter medications like Pepto-Bismol or Imodium can help reduce symptoms of diarrhea. Anti-nausea medications like Dramamine or Zofran can help alleviate symptoms of vomiting.
Seek medical attention if necessary
If vomiting or diarrhea is severe or lasts longer than a few days, or if you notice blood in your stool or vomit, it’s important to seek medical attention. In some cases, intravenous fluids or other treatments may be necessary to prevent complications.
Remember, it’s important to practice good hygiene to prevent the spread of germs that can cause vomiting and diarrhea. Wash your hands frequently and avoid sharing personal items like towels, utensils, or food.
It is important to have basic knowledge of first aid as it can be crucial in saving someone’s life or preventing further harm. While it is always best to seek professional medical help when possible, knowing how to perform CPR, the Heimlich maneuver, and how to deal with broken bones, burns, vomiting, and diarrhea can make a significant difference in emergency situations. Additionally, it is important to remain calm and level-headed in these situations, as panic can make the situation worse. Regularly refreshing your first aid knowledge and training can also be helpful in preparing you for unexpected emergencies.