The Importance of First Aid
Whether traffic accident, fire, or circulatory arrest: In an emergency, first aid is important – often even essential for survival. Not sure what to do now? Aside from taking a First Aid course from Skills Training Group, we will give you a little refresher in terms of first-aid measures.
When people are in need, every second counts. Even if 112 is dialed immediately in an emergency, an average of ten minutes elapse before the rescue services arrive. This time can be crucial. The problem is that many of us are insecure and don’t know what to do. This is not to act, although it would be necessary and safely possible, even punishable and punishable by fines or imprisonment.
By the way, you don’t have to be afraid of making a mistake. If you have acted to the best of your knowledge and belief, you are not threatened with any legal consequences. Because a saved life is more important than a broken rib or torn clothes. So there is no reason not to take action.
What is first aid exactly?
First aid includes all measures that people take in an emergency until professional help is on site. The goal is to stabilize the condition of the injured or ill person until the emergency services take over the care. It is essential to always exclude dangers for oneself and others, such as speeding cars or the spread of a fire.
What to do in an emergency?
What should you do if you come to the scene of an accident as a first responder?
1. Secure the scene of the accident
First aid does not begin with life-saving measures, but with one’s own safety. Do you recognize an emergency? Keep calm and get an overview and assess what dangers threaten.
For example, you pass a traffic accident? Then: Immediately after stopping, switch on hazard lights, put on the safety vest, and set up the warning triangle. In this way, following road users are warned and subsequent accidents can be avoided.
2. Getting victims out of danger
Sometimes injured people have to be taken out of the danger zone, for example, if a fire threatens. To do this, reach through the person’s armpits with your hands, placing their forearm on their stomach and grasping the forearm with both hands. This allows you to pull the victim supported on your thigh to a safe place and carefully place it there.
3. Make an emergency call
In case of traffic accidents or apartment fires, the situation is quite clear and you should dial 112 immediately. More difficult are situations, such as when someone sits pale on the side of the road, waves off, and says: “It’s okay”. If you do not like the circumstances, you can also dial the emergency call.
The control center then asks specific questions about the situation and quickly finds out what form of help is necessary in individual cases. The following information is therefore always important:
- Where did something happen?
- What happened?
- How many people are affected?
- What injuries/illnesses are present?
Do not hang up until the control center has finished the call and leave your name and phone number for possible callbacks.
4. Get support
Sometimes the situation overwhelms you or maybe you can’t see blood. Draw attention to yourself by waving or making others understand by gestures, to stop. Address people specifically, such as: “You in the blue T-shirt, please come here” or “You with the green hat, please call 112”.
When you ask others for help, you no longer feel that you are solely responsible for everything and can share the tasks.
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5. Apply first aid measures
Continue to take care of the affected person until the emergency services arrive. Which measures you take depends on the injuries.
Proper bleeding: The victim bleeds, but he is conscious. If possible, put on disposable gloves. For open injuries, you should try to stop the bleeding by applying a bandage in such a way that pressure is applied to the wound. If there is a foreign object in the injury, you must never remove it. Leave that to the emergency services. Because when pulled out, there is a risk that it bleeds, even more, the wound enlarges, or the remains get stuck. It is enough if you gently cover the injury with a sterile bandage.
Until the rescue services arrive, stay with the affected person, talk to him well and provide warmth if necessary. To protect against hypothermia, you can take a rescue blanket; the silver side points to the victim.
Unconscious with breathing: Is the person unconscious, i.e. does not react to loud response or strong shaking of the shoulder, but breathes normally? Then bring it into the stable lateral position. This prevents fluids such as blood or vomit from entering the respiratory tract, which could lead to suffocation. Since the entire musculature relaxes, there is also a risk that the tongue falls back and closes the airways.
And this is how to correctly perform the stable lateral position: kneel next to the victim and place the closed arm upwards at a right angle. Then bring the back of the hand of the other arm to the cheek and hold it. Stand up the removed leg, grab the person by this leg and pull it to his side. In the correct final position, the thigh is at right angles to the hip, the fingers under the cheek hold the head in the overstretched position and the mouth is open.
Unconscious without breathing: If breathing is irregular or has completely stopped, this indicates cardiac arrest, which, if left untreated, inevitably leads to circulatory arrest. There is an acute danger to life. Therefore, start cardiopulmonary resuscitation immediately.
Start with the cardiac massage. To do this, place the ball of one hand on the middle of the chest, and the ball of the other hand over it. Now press five to six centimeters deep 100 to 120 times per minute with outstretched arms. For the right tempo, it helps if you sing the pop hit “La Macarena” or “Stayin’ Alive” quietly in your head.
After pressing 30 times, give two breaths from mouth to mouth or mouth to nose. To do this, stretch the head of the injured person to clear the airways and close the nose with your fingers. Check if ventilation is effective: The chest should rise and fall significantly as the air escapes. Do not end the cycle of pressure and ventilation until you notice clear signs of life or take over rescue workers.
First aid in times of corona
Even during the corona pandemic, there is a legal obligation to provide first aid. However, the recommendations for first aid measures have been adapted so that helpers do not put themselves in danger.
Whenever possible, keep a minimum distance of 1.50 meters. If closer contact is necessary, for example, to stop bleeding, you should cover the mouth and nose of the victim with a cloth and protect your own face. To check to breathe, you do not necessarily have to hold your ear to the mouth and nose of the affected person. Instead, check whether the chest is moving breath-synchronously while standing. In case of cardiac arrest, you can do without ventilation and perform only cardiac massage.
Important: This introduction cannot replace a first aid course. It gives an initial overview of the procedure at the scene of the accident and the most important first aid measures. In addition, it is worthwhile to refresh your own knowledge with the help of a compact course.
Knowledge to take home
Do you notice an emergency? Keep calm, pay attention to your own safety, and secure the scene of the accident. If there is danger, you can bring the injured person to safety with the rescue handle. You can reach the emergency services by calling 112. Answer the W questions and do not hang up until the control center staff ends the call. It is also important to know yourself. Specifically, address fellow human beings at the scene of the accident.
With a pressure bandage, you can stop bleeding. If there is a foreign body in the wound, you must never remove it; Instead, cover the injury with a bandage. If the person breathes but is unconscious, the stable lateral position prevents liquids from entering the respiratory tract. If breathing is irregular or has completely stopped, this indicates cardiac arrest. Resuscitation includes cardiac massage and breathing. In times of corona, you can refrain from ventilation.