Having knowledge of basic first aid skills could save someone’s life or your own life. These skills are easy to learn and recall in emergency situations. Basic skills like CPR, setting a splint, stopping bleeding in dire situations, are important life skills.
Perhaps the most well-known, and most important first aid skill—CPR. Learning CPR is very simple, it takes about five minutes, and it could save a life. CPR is short for cardiopulmonary resuscitation—it provides artificial ventilation that can preserve brain function, blood circulation, and breathing in a person. In an emergency situation, knowing how to perform CPR is invaluable.
2. Heimlich Maneuver
If someone is choking, the Heimlich can dislodge whatever it is that is blocking their airways to save their life or prevent potential brain damage. Typically, a person who has had their airways cut off has about five minutes before brain damage occurs.
3. Set a Splint
If you are far away from help and someone in your group has suffered a broken bone, you’ll need to set a splint. If the injury is not set before moving the injured person, it could get worse and cause excessive pain. A split can be set with household items or with a stick and clothing if you out on the trails or in the mountains.
4. Stop the Bleeding
When you’re in a situation where someone is bleeding excessively, it’s important to stop the bleeding. The injured person could be bleeding from a main artery or vein, in which case they could bleed out in 10-15 minutes. Stopping the bleeding could be a matter of life or death. Learning how to make a tourniquet is simple and extremely helpful.
5. Treat a Burn
There are three degrees of burn injuries and treating each degree is different. First degree burns really just need topical remedies and loose gauze. Second-degree burns will be blistered and a little swollen. Run it under cool water, then treat similar to a first-degree burn. Third-degree burns are classified by whitening of the skin, blistering, and numbness. These burns should be treated by a doctor.
6. Spot a Concussion
Concussions are dangerous and require medical attention. After a blow to the head, you should check for symptoms like dizziness, pupil dilation, coherence, etc. If left untreated a concussion can have long term effects on the brain. Seek medical attention if there are any signs of a concussion.
7. Support a Sprain
Sprains are common injuries. The sprained joint should be wrapped with an ace bandage and elevated until a doctor can take a look at it. Usually, the best treatment for sprains is R.I.C.E.—rest, ice, compression, elevation. If a sprain is not properly taken care of it can cause long-term cartilage and tissue damage.
8. Sutures and Stitches
Hopefully, you never find yourself in a situation where you need to perform stitches, but you never know. You may find yourself in a situation where you need to closure up a wound before getting medical help.