Friday, May 6, 2011

Standard First Aid and CPR/AED Level C - Check

After completing this course I think there are 3 things that everyone should know:

  1. Take a First Aid course! Become familiar with basic signs and symptoms of someone hurt and become familiar with basic ways to help, especially breathing and bleeding problems. It is so easy to save someone's life if you take one course. Who knows? You could save the life of the prof in whose course you are failing - instant extra credit! A course can also help you recognize life-threatening situations so you know when to...
  2. Call 911! The sooner, the better. You can always call back and cancel or upgrade the priority. Paramedics prefer to come to a false call than to a call that has been delayed and the person's life is now severely threatened. So when you call, tell them 4 things:
    1. Location: They can find out where you are on a land-line, but not on a cell. If the EMS can't find you, they can't help you! Tell them where you are. If you are in a building, be specific and send someone outside to guide the firefighters and EMS in when they arrive.
    2. What happened?: The EMS can prepare for what's to come with potential injuries that you can't see yet.
    3. Number of people injured: This may seem obvious, but if you don't tell them and you have 3 people injured and only one ambulance shows up...
    4. How bad?: Are the people conscious or unconscious? Bleeding? Breathing? Is it something like a heart attack or stroke? This will help EMS rate the call from a 1 (not severe - "Ouch! I got a paper cut!") to a 4 (extremely severe - "You cut my leg off, you *-insert sequence of personally preferred profanities here-*!!!!).
  3. Don't run away! It seems to be that the human instinct is to crawl off into a corner and die - at least it is with choking. We are all guilty of it. You are sitting in a meeting and get something stuck in your throat and you start coughing and tearing up, so you make a v-line to the door and lock yourself in the bathroom where you can privately hack your lungs up. Now that grape you were eating gets completely stuck... you can't breathe... you're banging on the door... but no one's around... the next bathroom seeker finds you laying on the dirty bathroom floor, your deathbed. Don't run away! Call 911 and go towards people - run outside where someone can find you! I feel like this applies to all injuries in addition to choking. And if you see someone running away, follow them or get them to stay and not panic.
Of course there is much more to learn, so take the course, learn the acronym FAST for stroke and learn how to do CPR, how to use an AED, and carry gloves, a face shield, and a cell with you at all times.  You can save a life.

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