Cardiopulmonary resuscitation or CPR is a life-saving procedure that attempts to provide adequate circulation and oxygenation in individuals whose heart has suddenly stopped beating (cardiac arrest) or who has stopped spontaneous breathing (respiratory arrest).
CPR is done to maintain and/or restore circulation and breathing and to ensure adequate oxygenation and blood flow to vital organs, such as the heart, brain and lungs. It is a critical procedure during the first few minutes after a respiratory or cardiac arrest. And because of its importance, this skill is included in almost all first aid training courses.
Like other first aid procedures, CPR can be performed by trained laypeople on adults, adolescents, children, and infants. This lifesaving procedure should be performed if an individual suddenly become unconscious, stops breathing and has no pulse. There are many factors that can cause cardiac and respiratory arrest that include severe allergic reactions, choking, airway obstruction, ineffective heartbeat, drug reactions, drowning, exposure to extreme cold, trauma, or severe shock.
CPR is an important step in the emergency cardiac care system designed to save lives. Prompt recognition of CPR-situations and activation of the emergency medical system, and early CPR can help prevent many deaths. Immediate defibrillation and advanced cardiac life support measures further increases the chances of the person.
The CPR performed by trained laypeople is intended to maintain and support blood circulation and breathing while waiting for advanced medical care by healthcare personnel. Meanwhile, when CPR is performed by healthcare professionals, it is used alongside basic and advanced life support measures.
Ideally, CPR should be performed within four to six minutes after the person has stopped breathing to avoid brain damage or death. CPR is a composite of procedures – rescue breathing and external chest compression. The former delivers oxygen to the lungs and the latter to help circulate oxygenated blood to the body’s vital organs – the brain and heart. CPR should be performed after assessing the victim and calling 911 for help.
Although the principles and procedures are the same, CPR technique may differ for adults, children and infants. For the purposes of CPR, adults, children and infants are distinguished as follows:
- Adults – children older than eight years
- Children – children 1-8 years old
- Infants – newborns to 1 years old
The CPR technique used for infants and young children is modified owing to their body size. Moreover, children and infants have anatomically smaller airways and have faster heart rates. On the other hand, children over eight years old have reached a body size that can be handled with adult CPR technique. In order to learn the differences between these techniques, it is best to take both the basic and pediatric first aid training courses. The Red Cross and its training partners offer training programs year-round. Contact your local Red Cross chapter today. Learn CPR and save lives!
The road isn’t that friendly for everyday pedal-pushers. Despite the many road safety precautions, bicycle accidents can still happen. Read these bicycle safety tips to help you stay safe while riding your bicycle on the road.
Bicycles are not just a wonderful pastime: they are healthy, environment-friendly, and a cheap mode of transportation. However, the combination of disastrous road design, overcrowded lanes and careless motorist behavior has turned bicycle-riding into a high-stakes lottery.
Every year, thousands of people are injured due to bicycle accidents – and sadly, the dismal trend is set to continue. While waiting for more long-term and concrete solutions, bicycle riders and enthusiasts must rely on their own wits to keep safe. Here are a few bicycle safety tips to ensure your life on the road.
1.Plan your ride
Before you head out, carefully plan your route. As much as possible, use smaller, less busy roads and won’t involve sharing roads with larger vehicles such as buses or trucks. Even if it means taking extra turns and mileage, you’ll be a lot safer. Make use of online maps or planners.
2.Beware of larger vehicles
Another simple bicycle safety tip is keeping a safe distance with big vehicles on the road. Keep another, smaller vehicle between you and the bigger vehicle and never undertake. Beware of truck blind spots. Remember that buses and trucks have massive blind spots. If you are not in hurry, just give way and let them go first.
3.Wear a helmet while riding your bicycle
Wearing a helmet can considerably reduce the chances of head and neck injuries arising from bicycle accidents. Be sure to use appropriate helmet size and design.
Use reflective clothing during the day or warning lights at night. Establish eye contact with drivers, especially when you are crossing the road. It helps break down ‘windshield barrier.’
5.Free your ears of any distraction
On busy roads, bicycle riders need clear hearing as much as keen eyesight. Especially with oncoming traffic from behind, you’ll likely hear the danger first before you get to see it. Wearing earphones or headsets while on your bicycle is unwise. This bicycle safety tip can save you from potential collisions.
6.Be on the guard even on cycle lanes
Although many cities now have dedicated cycle lanes, don’t be too complacent. Majority of cycle lanes have cars parked on them. Be on the guard for oncoming traffic or pedestrian, especially in crossings.
7.Take first aid training courses
This is a very important bicycle safety tip. Taking a first aid training course is not only for your personal benefit but also for other cyclists. If someone gets injured, a cyclist would often be the first one on the scene.
Most basic of all principles of first aid, the rescuer must remain calm. If you get anxious or panic, you can end up losing control of the victim and the entire situation. As a trained first aider, you should be able to lead crowd and save as much lives as possible. Establish authority by speaking and acting calmly. If the victim is conscious, allow him to discuss the situation and to vent out his fears. It is important to talk with the victim frequently, honestly and in a reassuring manner. Do not be judgmental and avoid being argumentative. It’s not the time for blame game. Set your priorities.
- Keep yourself and bystanders safe. Approach the victim safely but do not allow the sense of urgency to transform a sensible rescue effort into a reckless, or even foolhardy, attempt. If you assess immediate danger, such as explosion or fire, instruct bystanders to cover up and stay in a safe place immediately. If there is no clear danger and moving the victim can only cause further harm, do not attempt moving him.
- Call for help immediately or ask someone to call for help. Make sure to note important information such as your location, number of injured persons, nature of injuries, condition of the victim, specific environmental conditions, and what procedures have been done to treat the victims. This basic principles of first aid ensures that more advanced medical care reaches the victim at soonest time possible.
- It’s better to assume the worst. Assume that the victim you are caring for has a neck injury or a heart attack, unless proven otherwise. However, provide accurate information to the rescue service.
- Do NOT move a victim with serious injuries unless there is clear danger from the environment or some medical reasons require moving the victim. Make sure that you assess the victim thoroughly for potentially serious problems.
- Do NOT perform procedures or administer medications you are not certain about. Do not further harm is a basic first aid principle that should be followed. If you are unsure about how to provide CPR or are unsure about certain medications, do not proceed. Instead of the taking risks performing questionable first aid procedures, wait for a trained first aider or the emergency services to arrive, or ask instructions from the emergency call operator.
- Listen to the victim carefully and do not leave him. Listening to the story can give you vital information that can later help the emergency medical staff in making quick and accurate medical decisions. Moreover, staying with the victim is a basic first aid principle that should guide first aiders and responders.
These key pointers should guide you while providing first aid treatment to victims of accidents and injuries.
Now more than ever, taking a first aid training course has been made much easier. Thanks to the many accredited training providers that offer training courses year round. If you haven’t completed a first aid training program, be sure to read this post.
Why take first aid training course? It’s just a waste of time and money.
Sadly, there are still countless people who have this silly idea in mind. It’s not surprising why many accidents turn into tragic losses or long-term disabilities. If you are among those people who do not regard first aid skills as important, here are just six of the many reasons why you should all the more enroll in a first aid training course.
1.Accidents could happen anywhere, anytime
It may sound cliché, but no one knows the future. At some point in your life, you will witness an accident or emergency. If you do not know first aid, be sure to pray that it’s not your loved one who ends up the victim.
2.Emergencies most commonly occur at home
Every year, EMTs and paramedics respond to thousands of home emergencies. Heart diseases, such as heart attacks and angina, are among the most common domestic emergencies and these medical emergencies can result in lasting disabilities or even death if not treated early. By taking a first aid training course, you will be able to provide life-saving first aid to your loved ones.
Interventions taken during the first few minutes after an accident are vital. In fact, first aid could mean life and death. This is especially true among cardiac arrest victims. Statistically, individuals who have had cardiac arrest but received immediate CPR have higher chances at survival than those who do not. First aid training course prepares you to handle such emergencies.
With the enactment of workplace safety laws, people who have completed first aid training have better employability. Under these new laws, workplaces are required to have trained first aiders. If you have a first aid training certificate, you have an edge over other applicants.
As mentioned earlier, the first few minutes after an accident or emergency are critical. Having someone who knows first aid in the area can shorten the response time. These training courses equip you with necessary skills that will help you react quickly and effectively at times of emergencies.
It is very easy to get rattled in the face of an emergency situation. However, first aid training equips you with knowledge skills which can help you overcome anxiety and fear. You gain improved self-confidence by completing a first aid training course.
As a final note, enrolling in a first aid training course can win you new friends and can definitely broaden your circles. These training courses are not that serious, on the contrary, they are fun-filled events that you will hopefully find challenging and enjoyable.
As the summer heats up, people head to the beach, swimming pools, and water theme parks in droves to enjoy the summer sun. And quite expectedly, the number of drowning and near-drowning incidents also increases. Providing immediate first aid for drowning can do so much in improving the outcome of the victim.
There are different water-related injuries that can occur on, in, or near the water. Fractured bones, cuts and wounds, bleeding, medical emergencies, and airway obstruction are just some of the accidents that can occur while enjoying the beach or swimming pool. However, the main concern is the risk of drowning. Even if the initial problem is a medical emergency or an injury, drowning can be result unless the victim is salvaged.
First aid for drowning involves water rescue. But unless you are trained in water rescue or an experienced swimmer, DO NOT attempt to go into the water and save someone from drowning. Water rescue and safety courses can be taken from accredited training providers such as the Red Cross.
In water rescue, the basic order of procedures is as follows:
- REACH AND PULL
If the victim is responsive and is near the shore or poolside, start the rescue by REACHing out or holding out an object towards the victim. Once the victim grabs the object, PULL him out of the water. But before attempting to do this, make sure that you are in a safe and secured position to avoid being dragged into the water. You can use any item in the surrounding for rescue (such as a fishing rod, a tree branch, stick, oar, or other similar objects). A rope is considered the best option. If there are no items available, you can use your clothing, a blanket or a towel to reach the victim. You may also grab the victim by hand but only in cases where there is no object at hand. Again, make sure to have a stable footing.
If the victim is too far, THROW any object that will float. In the absence of personal flotation devices (such as lifejackets, life preserver, or ring buoy), you can use any buoyant object around you such as plastic jugs, cushions, large beach balls, flat balls, plastic toys, and any empty container. Do this as soon as possible.
The victim will instinctively cling onto any buoyant object around
them. Once the victim is on floatation device, find a way to TOW him to shore. If you know how to swim, you may attempt to wade into the water but no deeper than the waist. Also, you should be wearing a flotation device or have access to a safety line towards the shore.
If the victim is very far from the shore, GO to the victim by boat. However, do not attempt this if you do not know how to swim. As much as possible, ask the help of people around.
Reporting a motor vehicle accident is the single most important step in providing first aid. However, if you are the first person to
respond, you should be able to provide the appropriate and complete information to help the emergency medical services.
When calling 911 to report a motor vehicle accident, you should provide the operator with essential information to hasten the delivery of emergency services. Some helpful information you can provide include:
1.The exact location of the accident
If the motor vehicle accident has happened in a built-up area, you should be able to give the exact street address or at least the names of the nearest two streets that intersect. However, if the accident occurred in a rural area, you may have a difficult time learning the exact location. If possible, provide the operator with the nearest crossroads or nearby stores or landmarks. Avoid giving vague directions such as “about four miles south of town…” If you are not familiar with the place either, you can report the nearest landmark from your point of view.
Given today’s advance technology, it is not difficult to locate accidents. Usually, the operator can track you by just checking the GPRS position of your mobile phone. Most mobile phones are able to provide the location.
2.The phone number you are calling from
The operator may need to call you back so you should be able to give your phone number.
3.The name of the caller
State if you are among the victims or a first aider. Do not hang up the phone until you are told to do so. Usually, the operator gives instructions on how you can manage the situation.
4.The types of vehicles involved
The operator needs to know the types of vehicles involved because certain vehicles require special attention from the emergency service personnel. For instance, passenger vehicles such as buses, cars, and vans would normally have passengers thus requiring an ample amount of medical supplies. If there is a truck involved in the accident, you should also provide information about the type of truck and its load. A dump truck or a chemical container would require the emergency service personnel to wear special protection devices.
5.The number of persons injured
It is important for the emergency service personnel to know the number of victims requiring emergency care. If there are more than five victims, the operator may need to send out several ambulances and rescuers. Time can be saved if you are able to provide an accurate number of people injured in the accident.
Lastly, you should be able to give description of the type of injuries sustained by the victims. This will help the operator formulate a decision on the initial response.
Emergency medical personnel recommend adding “I.C.E.” entries into your mobile phone contacts list. I.C.E. stands for “In Case of Emergency” and it is a quick way of accessing and notifying a person’s emergency contacts in case of medical emergencies or accidents. Every second counts in emergency situations. It is important for the first aider, EMTs and other emergency personnel to obtain critical medical information about the patient, in case he or she is unconscious or unable to give coherent information.
Most people neglect the possibility of an emergency occurring to them. Others assume that they will be able to communicate their medical history when they need emergency medical attention. For the first aiders or emergency personnel, knowing whom to contact during an emergency can greatly help in gathering vital information. This information can help the first aider provide efficient and accurate medical care for medical emergencies.
Emergency medical personnel are increasingly aware and looking for such entries in mobile phone address books. By adding ICE entries, they can immediately identify and call the right person. Experts recommend adding at least 2 ICE numbers so that there is a backup in case the other one is not reachable. Make sure that the designated person is familiar with your medical history. To designate a contact in your current phone address book, simply add ICE before the name of the person; for example, ICE – Mom or ICE – Dad.
Mobile phones can play a critical role
providing valuable information in cases of medical emergencies. Alongside having ICE entries, experts also advise carrying a summary of medical histories in wallets. Usually, mobile phones have security features that do not allow unauthorized use. Having a record in your pocket is a good idea.
There are three important things that you should include in your medical history and is summarized as MAD (Medicines, Allergies, and Doctors).
- Medicines – list all your current medications, prescription and non-prescription including organic supplements or herbal products.
- Allergies – list all known allergies such as medication allergies, food allergies and others.
- Doctors – list the name and contact numbers of your medical providers, especially those responsible for your regular care.
Finally, it is important to note that neither ICE nor pocket-card information can substitute for medical alert devices, such as necklaces and bracelets. These items are usually standardized thus are easily recognizable to any medical personnel.
In medical emergencies, the more information the first aider, EMT or medical responder gathers about a person’s medical background; the more efficient the emergency medical care is.
Cuts, lacerations, wounds, and scrapes are some of the most common emergencies at home. Learning first aid for bleeding is essential for first aid situations.
Beneath the skin is a rich network of blood vessels, when the skin is scraped or cut, you begin to bleed. While bleeding serves the purpose of cleansing out the wound, too much bleeding poses health risks. Massive blood loss can cause shock. First aid for bleeding prevents potential complications arising from wounds, cuts and scrapes.
The amount of bleeding does not always indicate the severity of injury. In fact, some serious injuries can bleed very little. On the other hand, even minor cuts such as those on the face, head, and mouth may bleed a lot because of the rich network of blood vessels in these areas.
First aid for bleeding
For cuts and wounds:
- For small cuts, flush it under running water and wash with soap. Do not do this for large wounds.
- For cuts that are large or bleeding heavily, place the person on his back. Keep the person calm. If the wound is on an extremity (arm or leg), elevate the injured limb slightly above the level of the heart.
- Remove foreign objects, such as grass or sticks. If the debris is embedded in the body, do not remove it.
- For cuts with severe bleeding, wear gloves (if available) apply firm pressure to the wound with dressing/folded cloth/bandage for 5-10 minutes. Do not lift your hand to look at the wound, as it may bleed again. If the dressing becomes soaked with blood, apply another dressing and continue firm pressure on the wound.
- Once bleeding is controlled, tape a clean bandage over the wound.
- Seek medical care if: the wound is deep or jagged, the cut is on the face or head, the bleeding won’t stop, there is embedded debris or dirt, or the cut is a result of an animal bite.
Chest and abdominal wounds that result in damage to vital organs can be life-threatening. Usually, injuries to the chest and abdominal cavity do not have obvious bleeding. However, it can cause internal bleeding and shock. As such, chest and abdominal wounds are considered an emergency and requires immediate emergency care.
Bleeding accompanied by weakness, dizziness, cold and pale skin, increased heart rate, and shortness of breath indicate shock. While waiting for emergency services, give first aid for bleeding and shock. Place the person on his back and elevate the feet about 12 inches. Keep the body warm and continue to provide reassurance.
Take basic first aid training course and learn how to manage bleeding. Contact your local Red Cross chapter to inquire about their training schedules.
There are a lot of mishaps that can happen while you’re on the road. While prevention is king, there are a lot of uncontrollable factors that may increase the risk of accidents. Be prepared for these unwanted events with a well-stocked emergency car kit.
A well-stocked emergency kit can help ensure prompt and efficient first aid, whether at home or on the road. And while good car maintenance can help prevent breakdowns, there are still a lot of factors along the way that can cause trouble to your car – bad weather, poor road conditions, and irresponsible motorists to name some. Be prepared for these unforeseen with an emergency car kit, either commercial pre-packaged or self-customized.
What supplies to include in your emergency car kit:
Water – Water is essential to life. You won’t survive for very long without clean water. Choose emergency water pouches instead of bottled water to save on space. Regularly check water for expiry.
Food – Include high calorie energy bars, with long shelf life and ability to withstand temperature extremes. Avoid salty foods that will increase your thirst and quickly diminish your water supply. Keep food supplies in a hard plastic container.
Extra clothing – Pack in rain jacket, as well as seasonal clothing such as gloves, scarf, and hat.
Blankets – Wool blankets can help provide warmth if you are stranded along the road and need to spend the night in your vehicle. A space bag or blanket is best for cold weather conditions. It is made of reflective material that can absorb as much as 80 percent of body heat, even in the winter.
Flashlights – Durable flashlight with extra batteries will provide illumination through the night. They will also serve as hazard lights. Choose high power LED flashlights with longer battery life.
Tools – Make sure you have necessary equipment to troubleshoot your car should it encounter problems on the road. Aside from basic car repair tools, it is recommended to include a knife, a basic tool kit, and a collapsible shovel for shoveling your way out of mud or snow in emergency car kit.
Cellphone and charger – Cell phones provide an easy way of communicating and asking for help. Moreover, modern cellular phones today are GPS ready and can help rescuers locate you easily.
Medications and medical supplies – Make sure you have enough supply of prescription medications especially if you are on a long trip. If you use medical supplies such as blood pressure apparatus or glucose meter, bring it with you.
First aid kit – An emergency car kit is not complete without a first aid kit. Your first aid kit should include first aid instruction manual or chart to help you manage minor injuries. Better yet, consider enrolling in first aid training course offered by the Red Cross or its accredited training providers.
Be sure to regularly check your emergency car kit, replace any expired or near-expiration medications, and restock it at least once each season.
The importance of having a car first aid kit can never be discounted. Read on to learn more about why you need to pack your car with appropriate first aid and emergency supplies.
So you got the key for your new car and you want to test it for road worthiness. Before you even think of driving your new car, make sure it has a well-stocked car first aid kit. Having a first aid kit in your car is very important. You might find yourself stuck in a heavy traffic or in a bad weather or in an automobile emergency. You will be grateful if you have packed some extra water and food, emergency medical supplies, warning devices, flashlight, and roadside flares, if you find yourself in such situations. If you did not stock emergency supplies in your trunk, you will definitely feel guilt.
Your car emergency kit should contain basic first aid supplies that include bandage, dressings, gloves, cloth tape, antibiotic ointment packets, antiseptic wipes, common OTC medicines (aspirin, acetaminophen, mefenamic acid), and a simple first aid manual. However, if you do not have time to make your own car first aid kit, you can choose to buy pre-packed car emergency kits. Just be sure to familiarize yourself with its contents so that you know what supplies you can use in specific emergency situations.
New drivers, especially teenagers, definitely need to have a car first aid kit in the trunk. Before you allow your teenager to drive the car, make sure he knows where to find the emergency kit. Go over some ground rules to prevent possible accidents. Besides following traffic rules and driving safely, the teenager should know how to respond in emergencies.
Introduce your child to the contents of the car emergency kit. Discuss and demonstrate to them how each item in the kit is used, and when they can be used. Given them pointers as to what needs to be done in case of emergencies on the road. Make sure your teenager knows where to find the first aid kit. It can certainly add to your peace of mind knowing that your teenager has first aid kit ready in his car.
Meanwhile, if you have young children and you allow a nanny to drive your children in places, you need to make sure that the automobile is well prepared for the unwanted events. Show to your nanny where the emergency kit is located. Be sure to place it in a place that is accessible to her in case of an emergency.
Regularly check your car first aid kit and emergency supplies. Food and water should be checked for possible expiration. Storing several bottled water is a must. Have signaling devices, and perhaps a disposable cellphone that can be used to activate emergency medical services. The first aid kit should have medical supplies that are adapted to the child’s age. Moreover, these supplies should allow your nanny to tender to minor injuries such as wounds, scratches or bruises. Of course, it would be helpful if you get a nanny who has completed first aid training course or a babysitting course.