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7 Powerful Reasons to Learn Basic First Aid

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5 Min Read

We all know first aid saves lives. Yet, eight out of 10 parents surveyed said they didn’t have even basic first aid knowledge that could come in handy should something terrible happen.

The above finding is a shocker because toddlers can be particularly prone to accidents – cuts, bruising, falls. The only rationale behind most parents’ mindset is that no accident could ever befall their kid. However, need we expressly state that accidents can happen to anybody, and cannot be anticipated?

Ask yourself how confident you’d feel in the face of the most common accidents at work and home? Most put off learning essential first aid citing more crucial commitments. Still, the reality is you’d rather cross your fingers and only rely on professional medical intervention should an accident occur.

If that describes you, make sure you right the wrongs and equip yourself with the essential life-saving skills so that you know how to act confidently during an emergency.

Reasons to Learn Basic First Aid

1. First aid saves lives, and then some.

First aid training undoubtedly saves lives, especially if imparted during the ‘golden hour’. In the field of emergency medicine, ‘golden hour’ refers to the period following trauma or an accident where prompt medical attention can prevent death.

According to a Red Cross survey, a staggering 59% of deaths from injuries cannot be averted because of a lack of adequate first aid knowledge. We are talking about 59 out of 100 people dying because most around them don’t know how to react to an emergency. Isn’t that shocking already!

But saving lives is not where the utility ends; providing suitable and prompt first aid can bring down the period of convalescence and prevent long-term disability. You also learn how to stay calm and collected during an emergency, for that will help you think clearly and take the right steps towards the patient’s recovery.

Put simply, essential first aid training imparts confidence and makes you more effective when it matters the most.

2. First aid training helps to provide patient comfort.

While all accidents may not require immediate hospitalisation, they need medical intervention nonetheless. Remember, an accident, no matter how severe it may be, causes pain and suffering. For example, a bruised knee or a sprained ankle may be better managed with basic first aid knowledge like wrapping an ice pack to reduce swelling or bandaging the area properly and allowing it to rest.

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If you follow these simple steps, you should be able to relieve the patient of the discomfort. Adequate first aid training also helps you prioritise severe injuries, offering the best chance at recovery to the seriously ill or injured.

3. First aid can lessen the pain.

You can stay calm during an emergency if you know how to respond. First aid knowledge allows you to gather your thoughts when others are panicking around you. This quality of yours can go a long way in providing emotional support to the patient, something that’s considered real pain relief.

More importantly, primary first aid knowledge gives you the confidence to move somebody who might be experiencing pain and support the injured area by bandaging and dressing it appropriately.

4. First aid training prevents emergencies from deteriorating.

With basic first aid knowledge, you can undoubtedly prevent a bad situation from spiralling out of control. Suppose a patient who has got a deep gash that’s bleeding profusely. Without prompt first aid, the patient may suffer severe blood loss.

This is where first aid knowledge can be so significant. If you know the simple techniques, you’ll be able to apply the right amount of pressure and prevent the emergency from getting worse. More importantly, you can stabilise the patient’s condition until professional medical care arrives.

5. First aid knowledge helps you convey crucial information.

Staying with the patient (at the time of the accident) and intervening with basic first aid means you are gathering vital information in the process. You know how the patient sustained the injury and also the current condition.

When emergency services arrive, you can pass on such vital information that would help caregivers decide on an effective treatment plan and speed up the recovery process.

6. First aid training promotes healthy living.

If you’re adequately trained in first aid, you will know how crucial it is to ensure and prioritise your safety. Mind you; this isn’t being selfish, but practical. When you secure your safety, you automatically are in a better position to look after the patient.

Besides, you also learn the significance of clean eating and healthy living. You realise the impact of certain habits on your life, and how introducing minor yet significant changes can ward off the risks of developing complications like lifestyle disorders and heart diseases.

Being equipped with first aid knowledge implies that not only are you aware of your health but also alert to any potential health risk in your immediate surroundings.

7. First aid training empowers you.

With the essential life-saving skills, you feel more confident in your abilities vis-à-vis administration of first aid. First aid training allows you to think about how and others should ideally behave and react when faced with a medical emergency. Fair understanding of critical care needs leads to increased confidence in a range of other non-medical situations as well.

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Sudden illnesses and conditions like a heart attack, or stroke, or severe blood loss require immediate medical intervention. First aid knowledge and training enable you to offer just that. Besides, it also helps you to deal with burns, breathlessness, shocks, and bouts of fainting.

Essential First Aid Must-Haves

Kit

A well-stocked first aid kit is fundamental for emergency preparedness. That’s precisely why you must have the following first aid essentials in your car:

  • Adhesive Band-Aids to cover cuts and bruises
  • Gauze pads to treat wounds
  • Safety pins to close the bandages
  • Topical antibiotic ointments
  • Adhesive tape
  • Hydrocortisone cream and antiseptic for rashes and inflammation of the skin
  • Antihistamine to be administered during allergic reactions
  • Antiseptic wipes and hand sanitizer
  • Pain-relieving medications like ibuprofen and aspirin
  • Sunscreen, Vaseline
  • Aloe vera for treating mild burns
  • Cotton balls and swabs
  • Insect sting relief pads
  • Digital thermometer, tweezers, needle
  • Medical scissors to cut away clothing from the injured body part
  • Saline solution to clean wounds

PLEASE NOTE

  • If you have children in the family, make sure you include pain relievers and medications prescribed for infants. Likewise, include children’s sunscreen, small bandages and wipes, and medicine cups or a syringe to administer certain medications.
  • Don’t forget stocking up on items for more severe injuries. These include:
    1. Hot and cold packs
    2. Synthetic gloves for dealing with deep wounds and gashes
    3. CPR mask for mouth-to-mouth resuscitation
    4. Medications for diarrhea
    5. Anti-allergy medications
    6. Disposable plastic bags
  • Carry an easy-to-follow first aid manual at all times
  • Additional items you may need include:
    1. Personal items, including asthma medications, nausea relievers (if any)
    2. An extra blanket
    3. A flashlight and extra batteries
    4. Extra pair of gloves
    5. Diapers, bottles, slings
    6. Non-perishable food items, water

Know These First Aid Methods

Disinfect the area

Skin-to-skin contact with open wounds is a super spreader as far as infections are concerned. Therefore, always sanitise your hands and disinfect the injury before applying a bandage on the wound.

Stop the bleeding

Apply consistent pressure on any open wound to prevent further blood loss. Only then should you proceed to bandage the area.

Support the injured area

In case of a fracture or trauma to the bones, you should immobilise the area first. Unless you are a doctor, don’t try to rest the bone.

Perform CPR

reasons to learn basic first aid

If the patient has become unresponsive and isn’t breathing, perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). This emergency procedure combines artificial ventilation with chest compressions with the objective to preserve brain function until professional medical help arrives. Dial 112 for emergency help.

Replenish your first aid kit

This is crucial if you don’t want to be stranded in the face of an emergency.

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