When you or someone you know suffers from an unexpected injury, your first response may be to panic. Take a deep breath, stay calm, and remember that you have the ability to offer first aid until professional help is available!
Knowing basic first aid skills is important for people of all ages and activity levels. Afterall, you never know when injury could strike!
When is First Aid Useful?
First aid is useful when an injury occurs that needs medical attention but medical attention may not be immediately available. Scrapes, cuts, bruises, and muscle or bone injuries are some of the most common things that require first aid.
First aid has the ability to slow bleeding, avoid further injury, and ultimately keep the injured individual safe until you arrive at the urgent care.
First Aid Skills
Before you can use any first aid skills, take a step back to assess the situation and the injured individual. Make note of all the areas where they’re injured before you begin any treatment to ensure you don’t miss anything. If the person is responsive, ask them to describe where they’re feeling pain and what type of pain they’re feeling. If the person is unresponsive, call 911 right away. Common first aide skills you’ll need to know include:
- Cut or laceration – if someone is bleeding from a cut or laceration, apply pressure to the area to slow or stop the bleeding.
- Muscle strain or bone fracture – remind the person not to move the affected area any more than they have to. Offer an ice pack for the affected area to relieve swelling.
- Head injury – if someone suffers a fall and you’re afraid they may have a concussion, try to keep them talking until you arrive at urgent care.
- Choking – when someone chokes, administer the Heimlich maneuver until the object clears from their throat. Take them to urgent care after the item has been cleared to ensure there’s no damage or tearing in the throat.
After utilizing your first aid skills, you should take the injured or ill person straight to urgent care. Urgent care staff will be able to evaluate the injury and provide further care to prevent infection or worsening of the injury. Cuts, scrapes, and bruises may not seem serious, but it’s important to always get a professional opinion.
Try to take mental notes as you’re providing first aid care so you can accurately describe what happened and the care that’s already been given!