Handy First Aid Tips

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Handy First Aid Tips


When someone is injured or suddenly becomes ill, there is usually a
critical period before you can get medical treatment and it is this period
that is of the utmost importance to the victim. What you do, or what you
don't do, in that interval can mean the difference between life and death.

You owe it to yourself, your family and your neighbours to know and to
understand procedures that you can apply quickly and intelligently in an
emergency. Every household should have some type of first aid kit, and if you
do not already have one, assemble your supplies now. Tailor the contents to
fit your family's particular needs. Don't add first aid supplies to the
jumble of toothpaste and cosmetics in the medicine cabinet.

Instead, assemble them in a suitable, labelled box (such as a fishing
tackle box or small took chest with hinged cover), so that everything will be
handy when needed. Label everything in the kit clearly, and indicate what it
is used for.

Be sure not to lock the box - otherwise you may be hunting for the key
when that emergency occurs. Place the box on a shelf beyond the reach of
small children, and check it periodically and always restock items as soon as
they are used up.

Keep all medications, including non-prescription drugs such as aspirin,
out of reach of children. When discarding drugs, be sure to dispose of them
where they cannot be retrieved by children or pets.

When an emergency occurs, make sure the injured victim's airway is not
blocked by the tongue and that the mouth is free of any secretions and
foreign objects. It is extremely important that the person is breathing
freely. And if not, you need to administer artificial respiration promptly.

See that the victim has a pulse and good blood circulation as you check
for signs of bleeding. Act fast if the victim is bleeding severely or if he
has swallowed poison or if his heart or breathing has stopped. Remember every
second counts.

Although most injured persons can be safely moved, it is vitally
important not to move a person with serious neck or back injuries unless you
have to save him from further danger. Keep the patient lying down and quiet.
If he has vomited and there is no danger that his neck is broken, turn him on
his side to prevent choking and keep him warn by covering him with blankets
or coats.

Have someone call for medical assistance while you apply first aid. The
person who summons help should explain the nature of the emergency and ask
what should be done pending the arrival of the ambulance. Reassure the
victim, and try to remain calm yourself. Your calmness can allay the feat and
panic of the patient.

Don't give fluids to an unconscious or semiconscious person; fluids may
enter his windpipe and cause suffocation. Don't try to arouse an unconscious
person by slapping or shaking.

Look for an emergency medical identification card or an emblematic
device that the victim may be wearing to alert you to any health problems,
allergies or diseases that may require special care.

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