Timesofummah.com – 10 Basic First Aid You Must Learn.Basic first aid is an important skill that anyone needs to learn. Because, we never know when we will be faced with an accident or emergency situation that threatens life, while medical treatment cannot be accessed right away.
By equipping yourself with first aid skills, you can help minimize the risk to victims while waiting for help to arrive. Even in certain situations, your actions can save someone’s life.
In order to always be alert during an emergency, it is important for you to train yourself with the following 10 basic types of first aid.
1. Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR)
CPR (Cardiopulmonary resuscitation) or in its Indonesian language CPR (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation) is a crucial first aid for those who experience cardiac arrest or are not breathing, for example in victims of a heart attack or drowning.
CPR technique is done by manually pumping the heart to keep blood flowing to the body, especially the brain. This procedure needs to be done as soon as possible, because the stopped blood flow or breathing can cause brain damage and even death in just a few minutes.
Before performing CPR, make sure the place and situation is safe enough to provide basic assistance. Then, check the victim’s consciousness, breathing and pulse. If he remains unconscious and not breathing (or only breathing occasionally), call emergency medical contact immediately and perform CPR until help arrives.
Here are the steps to perform CPR:
- Lay the victim on a flat and hard surface
- Perform chest compressions by placing one hand on the center of the victim’s chest and the other hand on it. Make sure your elbows stay straight
- Press the chest quickly and firmly at least 100-120 times per minute at a depth of 5-6 cm. Rely on upper body strength for stronger pressure
- After each compression, let the chest return to its normal position
- If you have been trained with all CPR techniques, you can proceed with giving artificial respiration. However, if you have not been trained, you should only do chest compressions without breathing assistance. The way to give artificial respiration in CPR is, first, lift the victim’s head and lift his chin slowly using two fingers. Then, pinch the nose and blow air through the mouth for a second while watching whether the chest rises and falls or not. Perform rescue breaths twice every 30 compressions
- Continue to perform CPR, either chest compressions alone or followed by respiratory support, until help arrives or the victim shows signs of breathing
2. Heimlich Maneuver
The Heimlich maneuver is a first aid attempt performed on a choking person. Choking occurs when food or a foreign object gets stuck in the throat, blocking the passage of air into the body. If not removed immediately, the body will lack oxygen which can be fatal.
In general, objects that cause choking can be removed by themselves by coughing. But in more serious conditions, a person cannot cough up the object, even with difficulty breathing and speaking. If this is the case, try bending over the person and then slapping the back with the tips of your palms five times. If it still doesn’t work, immediately perform the Heimlich maneuver.
Keep in mind, the Heimlich maneuver can only be performed if the person is still conscious. The technique also varies, depending on who you give it to.
Heimlich maneuver in adults and children over 1 year:
- Stand behind the person who is choking, then wrap your arms around their waist
- Make a fist with the thumb facing the stomach, and place it between the navel and the person’s ribs. Especially for pregnant women and obese people, place your fists higher, at the base of the breastbone
- Hold the fist tightly with the other hand
- Press your fists into your stomach and push them up quickly and firmly. Continue until the choking object is removed and the person is able to breathe again or is coughing.
Heimlich maneuver in infants under 1 year:
- Position yourself in a sitting position. Then, hold the baby supine in your arms and support him with your thighs. Position the baby’s head lower than the body
- Give a gentle stroke on the baby’s back using the tip of the palm five times
If that doesn’t work, hold the baby on his back, resting him on his arms and thighs. Keep the head lower than the body. Perform chest compressions by pressing two fingers on the center of the baby’s breastbone quickly five times.
- Repeat steps 2 and 3 until the choking object is removed and the baby can breathe again or cough
Heimlich maneuver on self:
- Make a fist right between the navel and the ribs with the thumb facing the stomach
- Hold your fist with the other hand, then push it in and up simultaneously up to five times
- Repeat until the choking object is removed and you can breathe again or cough
3. First Aid To Stop Heavy Bleeding
Heavy bleeding can occur as a result of a severe accident or being stabbed by a sharp object. If you find someone or yourself in this condition, immediately try to stop the bleeding while waiting for help to arrive. This is very important to prevent excessive blood loss and minimize shock.
Here are the steps to stop the bleeding:
- If available, use disposable gloves to avoid the risk of infection
- Remove clothing or debris stuck to the wound
- Check for sharp objects stuck in the wound. If there is, don’t try to remove it as it can help slow the bleeding. Instead, press firmly on both sides of the thing
- If nothing is stuck, apply direct pressure to the wound using gauze or other clean cloth until the bleeding stops
- Wrap the wound using a sterile bandage or clean cloth. Wrap tightly, but not so tight that it blocks blood circulation. You can check it by pressing the nail or skin on the outside of the bandage for five seconds until it’s pale. If the color doesn’t return to its original color within two seconds, then the bandage is too tight. If so, you can try loosening it again
- Help the victim to lie down. If possible, place him on a rug or blanket to keep him warm
- If the wound is on the hand or foot, lift the part higher than the position of the heart if possible. This can help slow the bleeding
- If blood seeps on the bandage, do not remove the bandage. However, put a new bandage over it
- Calm the victim until help arrives.
4. First Aid For Burns
Burns require medical attention if the condition is severe enough. It is characterized by the condition of the wound being quite deep, large in size, causing the skin to become dry and rough, the skin to appear charred or blotchy, and the wound area to swell quickly.
Minor burns can be treated with first aid alone. However, if the wound is on a sensitive body area or occurs in infants and the elderly, you still have to take it to the nearest clinic or hospital.
Here are the first aid steps for minor burns:
- Flush the wound with running water for about 10 minutes until the pain subsides
- Remove rings or objects that are tightly attached to the burned area before they swell
- Apply a moisturizer or lotion (such as aloe vera) to soothe sunburned skin
- Do not break the blistered skin. Because, it serves to protect the wound from infection. If it breaks, gently clean the area with water and apply an antibiotic ointment.
- Loosely cover the burn area with a clean bandage
- If necessary, take a pain reliever such as ibuprofen, naproxen sodium or acetaminophen.
5. First Aid When Bitten By a Venomous Snake
The bite of a venomous snake is very dangerous, it can even be life threatening if not treated immediately. If this situation happens to you or someone else around you, immediately call an emergency medical contact or visit the nearest hospital.
Generally, a venomous snake bite will cause severe aches and pains around the bite area, followed by red, bruised, swollen, or even blistered skin. Other signs and symptoms include nausea and vomiting, difficulty breathing, a strange taste in the mouth, an increased heart rate accompanied by a weak pulse and low blood pressure, and numbness around the face or limbs.
Here’s the first aid you need to do immediately if you are bitten by a venomous snake:
- Immediately move away from the area where the snake is located
- Remember the characteristics of the snake, or more simply, take a photo from a safe distance using a smartphone. This is useful to help treat wounds
- Stay calm and don’t move too much to help slow the spread of the poison
- Remove any jewelry or tight clothing in the area of the bite before the wound swells
- If possible, position the body part bitten by the snake at a level or lower than the heart position
- Clean the wound with soap and clean water, then cover it with a clean dry cloth
Avoid doing the following:
- Installing the tourniquet
- cutting wounds or sucking poison with your mouth
- Applying ice cubes or soaking the wound in water
- Give the victim a drink of caffeine or alcohol
6. First Aid If Stung By a Bee
In general, bee stings only cause mild symptoms such as skin redness, swelling and itching. This condition can be overcome enough with first aid alone. New medical treatment is needed if a person has an allergy to bee stings or experiences symptoms such as shortness of breath, dizziness, loss of consciousness, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
First aid steps if stung by a bee:
- Get rid of the sting immediately from the skin by scraping it off using a fingernail or a credit card
- Wash the stung body part with soap and clean water
- Compress with ice cubes
- To reduce pain, take acetaminophen or ibuprofen in moderation
- Apply hydrocortisone cream or calamine lotion to reduce redness, itching and swelling of the skin
- If itching and swelling bother you, take an antihistamine containing diphenhydramine or chlorpheniramine.
7. First Aid For People Who Have Seizures
Witnessing a seizure can be a bit scary, especially for those who have never been in the situation before. However, there is no need to panic. Seizures usually last in about two minutes and don’t always require medical attention.
Just do the following simple steps to help the victim:
- Move the victim to a safe place if he is in a dangerous place, for example from the middle of the highway
- Put his head on a pillow or something soft
- Loosen clothes around the neck to help him breathe easier
- Do not restrain the victim’s movement. Also don’t put anything in his mouth during a seizure
- Record how long the seizure lasts
- After the seizure stops, position the victim’s body in a tilted condition
- Accompany the victim until the seizure ends. After he fully recovers, calmly inform what just happened
Call for medical help immediately if any of the following situations occur:
- Seizures last more than five minutes or longer than usual
- The victim has never had a seizure before
- The victim has difficulty breathing after the seizure
- The victim has another seizure after the first one
- Seizures occur in water
- The victim was seriously injured during the seizure
- The victim has diabetes, heart disease or is pregnant
8. First Aid For Hypothermia
Hypothermia occurs when a person is exposed to extreme cold for a long time, causing his body temperature to drop drastically below 37°C. This condition needs to be treated as soon as possible. Otherwise, the organs of the body will be damaged and can cause death.
Signs and symptoms of hypothermia include body shaking, slurred speech, weak pulse, slow breathing, numb hands and feet, confusion and memory loss, and fatigue or drowsiness.
If you see someone experiencing symptoms of hypothermia, immediately call for medical help and perform the following first aid:
- Move victim to a warm and dry place. If this is not possible, protect yourself as much as possible from exposure to wind, water, or other cold sources, especially in the head and neck area
- Remove wet clothes from the body and cover them with a dry and thick jacket or blanket
- Warm compresses on the middle of the body such as the neck, chest, and groin. If you want to use a hot water bottle or hot pack, make sure you wrap it in a cloth. Don’t touch it directly to the skin
- Give the victim a sweet, warm and non-alcoholic drink
- Do CPR if he shows no signs of breathing or moving
Avoid doing the following:
- Do not warm the victim too quickly, for example bathing him with warm water
- Do not warm the victim in the arms and legs
- Do not give alcohol or cigarettes
9. First Aid For Fractures
Although not life-threatening, fractures require immediate medical attention. The signs and symptoms include a cracking sound like “crack”, there is severe pain in the injured area so that it is unable to move it, swelling with redness around the bone, changes in the shape of the bone, and numbness in the area.
Here are the first aid steps when dealing with a broken bone:
- If bleeding occurs, apply pressure to the wound using a sterile bandage or clean cloth
- Do not move or reposition the broken limb
- If you are trained to perform first aid on a fractured victim, attach a sling or splint to keep the bone from moving. You can make a temporary splint by using a board or cardboard and wrapping it with a bandage or tape
- To reduce pain, compress ice cubes that have been wrapped with a cloth on the injured part
- Help the victim to get into a comfortable position and calm himself down while waiting for help to arrive
10. First Aid For Sprains
If a person suddenly experiences pain, swelling or bruising around their joints while exercising, they may have a sprain. Cases of sprains themselves usually often occur in the feet and wrists. This condition can be treated alone with first aid or medical assistance, depending on the severity.
For mild sprains, here are simple steps you can take:
- Rest the sprained body part from doing activities for 48-72 hours after the incident
- Immediately compress with ice cubes wrapped in a cloth on the sprained area for 15 to 20 minutes. Do it 4 to 8 times a day for two days in a row or until the swelling is reduced
- Wrap the sprained area with a bandage or elastic. Make sure the bandage is not too tight so it doesn’t hinder blood circulation
- Whenever possible, elevate the dislocated limb above the heart to help prevent swelling
- If necessary, take pain relievers such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen to reduce pain while healing.
- If the sprained area does not show signs of improving after two or three days, consult a doctor immediately.
Accidents can happen anywhere and anytime. It’s not enough just to be careful, we also need to train ourselves with first aid skills to avoid bad things that can happen. Following training that is guided directly by the experts is the best way. That way, we can be more prepared and confident when facing an emergency situation. Remember, doing something is much better than just standing still.