There’s no guarantee you’ll have access to proper medical care when a crisis happens. That means when a friend or loved one gets injured in a crisis, it’s up to you to treat them.
Knowing some first aid techniques will go a long way in preparing you for a crisis and might even save the life of someone you care about during a crisis.
You don’t need to know every first aid technique out there. Just knowing these top 5 first aid techniques will solve most of the medical problems you’ll encounter in a crisis.
Please note that this blog post is intended to give you a basic overview of first aid techniques and is not a substitute for getting professional training.
CPR – Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation
CPR is one of the most well-known first aid techniques.
It’s used to help victims of cardiac arrest. Cardiac arrest is fatal, and if you don’t treat the victim with CPR, then they will die.
CPR used to be performed with mouth-to-mouth, though in 2008 the American Heart Association stated that hands-only CPR works just as well as mouth-to-mouth CPR when treating adults.
This is good news for you because hands-only CPR is easier to learn and it’s much safer for the victim.
How to perform hands-only CPR:
- Lay the person on their back and tilt their head up slightly to open their airway.
- Move your head close to theirs and listen for signs of breathing. If they aren’t breathing, you’ll need to perform CPR.
- Put one hand on top of the other and place them in the middle of their chest.
- Position yourself with your shoulders over your hands and use your body weight to push down about 2 inches into their chest. Quickly release your compression so your hands and their chest return to their starting position. The Red Cross recommends doing this at a rate of about 100 compressions per minute.
That’s all there is to it for hands-only CPR. Mouth-to-mouth CPR involves just one more step:
Pinch their nose every 30 compressions and breath air into their lungs through their mouth.
Be careful not to force too much air into their lungs or you could cause a complication called gastric distension.
Stabilizing a Spinal Injury
If someone has taken a big fall or has been forcefully hit on the head or back, then their spine might be damaged.
In that case, you need to act immediately to prevent the victim from moving, which could possibly sever their spinal cord leading to permanent paralyzation.
The good news is that it’s easy to stabilize their spine. All you have to do is use both of your hands to keep the victim’s head completely still so they can’t move it in any direction.
You’ll need to have another person available to perform a full body assessment to see if there’s any significant damage.
It could be a false alarm, but it’s good to stabilize their spine anyway just in case. The last thing you need is for a loved one to become paralyzed during a SHTF situation.
Pressurize a Wound to Stop Blood Loss
If someone has a wound, they’ll lose blood rapidly. The fastest and most effective fix for this is to simply apply direct pressure to the wound.
First, locate the wound and then place clean fabric over it, such as gauze. Then apply steady, firm pressure for at least 20 minutes so the blood has time to congeal.
At the end of 20 minutes check the wound again. If it’s still bleeding a lot, then apply more pressure and wait.
Once it has mostly stopped, wrap the wound with gauze or with a poultice until it completely heals. This first aid kit is affordable and is packed with plenty of gauze.
Shock happens when a person’s brain isn’t getting enough oxygen to function properly. It can be caused by many things, such as blood loss, accident, or illness.
Your goal when treating someone experiencing shock is to get more oxygen to their brain. The easiest way to do this is to lay them on their back with their legs raised above their body.
This will cause more blood to flow to their head and help their brain function properly.
While they’re lying there, check to make sure they’re breathing. If they aren’t, you’ll need to perform CPR.
Cover them with a towel or blanket to help keep them warm. It’s also a good idea to not give them any food or water because they’re already disoriented and they might choke.
The Heimlich Maneuver
Choking occurs when a foreign object is blocking a person’s airway and prevents them from being able to breathe.
You’ll need to perform the Heimlich maneuver to dislodge the foreign object and restore their ability to breathe.
How to perform the Heimlich maneuver:
- Get behind the choking person and wrap your arms around them.
- Make a fist with one hand and place your pinky on their belly button with the palm side of your fist facing towards you.
- Place your other hand over your fist to provide extra strength.
- Pull your fist in and up, doing it repeatedly until the foreign object has been dislodged from their airway.