5 Steps to First Aid?
Someone needs help? When you offer First Aid to anyone, you become the “first responder”! If someone is injured or in medical distress, we can feel adrenalin – but hopefully not panic.
You automatically want to respond. You want to help. You just have to be sure that you respond effectively, respond appropriately (don’t exceed your training), and don’t forget important elements.
When does someone need First Aid?
There are many reasons why a person might be experiencing a health problem. Of course there are injuries: a fall, a collision, a bleeding wound, a burn, and more. Next, there are systems in the body that might be in trouble – heart, brain, lungs, stomach, intestines, etc. Next, there are ongoing health issues for that person – diabetes, asthma, heart condition, high blood pressure, seizure activity, pregnancy, to name a few. And there is always the presence of a scary problem – someone choking.
Where does someone need First Aid?
When you think about your day, imagine how many environments you are in per day – and first aid could be needed at any of them!
- the lobby of a business building
- someone entering as you exit the grocery store
- the lunch counter / coffee shop
- parking structure / pedestrian walkways
- bookstore / department store / office supply store
- picking up your child from school
- and the BIG ONE – your HOME – where everyone is spending lots of hours doing all kinds of activities
Who will need First Aid?
You are most likely to give care to someone you love. But you are also at work, at venues of organizations you belong to, out in public recreation and garden sites, walking in your neighborhood – so you might assist unknown members of your community!
4 out of 5 cardiac arrest occur in the home, actually.
Here are the 5 Steps to First Aid:
- Recognize the emergency. Does someone look like they’re in trouble? If so, ask them, “Are you OK?”
- Call 911 if you think you should. Remember, you don’t need their agreement to call EMS (Emergency Medical Services) – 911. (You only need their agreement to touch them
- Ask them questions in case the situation escalates to unconsciousness. “Are you allergic to anything? Are you on a medication?”
- Be kind and calm. Your compassionate and gentle smile, your reassurance that they’re “going to be OK” is a type of care! Kindness and reassurance is “care”. You might reduce their blood pressure or ease their frightened breathing. You can do a lot to soothe thei fear.
- Be a Steward of the person. Some folks have old, incorrect ideas about how to handle a problem – such as, “give him some brandy” or “lift her up and put her on the couch”. Nope. Do. Not. Do No Further Harm is the key. Step in and say, “No. Don’t do that. It can hurt them.”
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Jean Lesmeister, 16 year Babysitting CPR, Adult CPR & First Aid Instructor
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