Health & Fitness

Top 10: Essential Ways to Save a Life… Or Yours

Aug 2, 2017 | Health & Fitness

Saving Your Butt…In a Worst Case Scenario!

Any person can get caught off guard by life’s infamous unpredictability. It is important in those moments to get a grip on yourself and know how to handle a situation. The following are going to be some tips and techniques that can greatly increase your odds of saving another person’s life, as well as your own.

CPR

Trying to manually pump blood around a person’s body is no easy task, but is one worth trying, especially when somebody’s life depends on it. No matter how good you think you are, it is always better to call for help or dial 911 before you start.

Position: Place your hands in the middle of the person’s chest, with your fingers interlocked and the heel of one hand on the back of the other. Now straighten your arms and position your shoulders directly above the victim’s chest to generate maximum force.

Compression: Push down hard. After each compression, lift your hands completely off the person’s chest so you can reset for the next push.

Pace: Aim for 100 to 110 compressions a minute. It can be tiring, so if someone else is with you, take turns. And finally, keep at it until the person regains consciousness or the EMTs arrive. According to redcross.org, alternate, thirty chest compressions with two mouth-to-mouth breaths is recommended for airway blockage, drowning or trauma in infants and children.

Heimlich Maneuver

So, there you are sitting in a restaurant and enjoying you beef tenderloin, when all of a sudden you hear a woman shriek, “HELP, HE’S CHOKING.” What do you do? You calmly excuse yourself and dash on towards their table. Here’s how you can force the offending morsel of food out of the airway of a person.

First, you should lean the person forward and deliver five back blows between the shoulder blades. If that doesn’t help, try this: Stand behind the victim and wrap your arms around their waist. Bring your hands together, with the hand closest to the victim’s stomach made into a fist and knuckle of your thumb positioned and pressed between the victim’s bellybutton and the bottom of their rib cage. Now, squeeze and thrust your hands inwards and upwards simultaneously until the obstruction pops out.

And what if someone from the curious little crowd gets a piece of whatever stuck in their pipe. Babies are built differently, and are more likely to put whatever they can get a hold of in their mouth. For babies who are younger than one year old, giving them five gently but firm thumps on their back while they lie face down on your lap should do the trick.

Preventing Hypothermia

There is no such thing as tippy canoes, just tippy characters. But this isn’t going to be one of those, “whenever I take out the canoe, I end up swimming” stories. But rather on what you do after you’ve tipped off your canoe and ended up swimming with the fish. Hypothermia is a condition that occurs when the body temperature falls below normal. Severe hypothermia can cause unconscious and even death so it’s definitely something that should be avoided at all costs.

Surviving hypothermia means being smart, and savvy outdoors enthusiasts do that by wearing appropriate clothing that help insulate critical heat loss regions, such as the head, chest and groin. But no cotton, clothing made of water tight material like nylon is always recommended.  Hypothermia has the ability to sneak up on its victims, so it’s better to be prepared while going out on an adventure, especially in cold climates.

AED

AED’s or Automated External Defibrillators are becoming prevalent in public places, such as schools, public buildings and airports and train stations, and rightly so. These portable electronic devices have the ability to save lives when it comes to heart related problems. For instance, once a cardiac arrest from an irregular heartbeat or some other reason has occurred, the sooner a defibrillator is used the better.

So, how does it work? The AED practically walks you through the whole process, from where to place the pads to telling you when to push the button. Using an AED is terribly easy and can just save someone’s life.

Bleeding

Seeing a person bleed can put fear into the hearts of any man or woman. But it’s important to remember that, stopping uncontrollable bleeding is important in order to save a life. In cases of extreme trauma, calling 911 is always the best option, but there are some things that you can do, while help arrives. Bleeding can be controlled by using two simple steps. Applying pressure to the wound and elevation, the higher you can keep the wounded area, the easier it will be to stop a person’s precious life force from leaking out.

Heart Attacks and Strokes (Aspirin)

Many people talk about the benefits of aspirin when it comes to decreasing the risks of heart attacks and strokes. A heart attack or stroke usually occurs when a blood clot is formed in one of the arteries. But using Aspirin as a preventive measure against heart attacks and strokes should only be done after consulting with a physician.

Make no mistake that Aspirin does have side effects, so the potential risks should always be measured alongside the benefits.

Sinking Car Escape

Needless to say, a car accident is a scary experience, especially if you happen to be in one. That terrifying experience multiplies two-fold if your car happens to be thrown in water. When trying to escape from a sinking car, your motto should be, forget DIALING 911, UNBUCKLE seat belts, UNLOCK/BREAK door or window, OUT. The key to staying alive in these situations is to get to work as soon as your car skids off the road and lands in the lake.

Trying to open the car door will be impossible as long as there is air inside the car. Try not to panic as the car fills up with water, then take a deep breath and open the door to swim out.

Burning Building Escape

Being stuck in a burning building…what are the odds of that? If you find yourself in this situation, well bad luck aside, you will need to act smart and act quickly to survive. Apart from calling up the fire brigade, making a dramatic escape will also be necessary.

To escape a fire, you will need to think like a fire. All a fire needs is a heat source, spark and cinder…and plenty of oxygen. Fires continue to burn and spread and almost always make their way to cooler parts by following the flow of heat. So, you will be working with an extremely small window of opportunity. Again, calling 911 is always best, and so is the following.

Fire and people have one thing in common. We both compete for oxygen, the lack of which makes us humans, slightly dumb and a bit sleepy, two things which you do not need while running from a flammable situation. The noxious gases created by a fire will always rise up, so staying low in these situations is always a good idea. Also, try to cover your mouth with your coat or shirt. If you find that the primary and secondary routes out of the building are blocked or inaccessible, try to get out a window. And one last thing, once you’re out, stay out, there’s no need to be a hero.

Severe Allergic Reaction

I know…Your feeling itchy just thinking about it. Having a severe allergic reaction is a lousy feeling. Penicillin is a common and treatable allergic reaction. For those who are allergic to the drug, contacting an allergist would be a good idea.

Call 911 immediately after to see the signs, such as, dizziness, feeling lightheaded, tongue swelling or difficulty talking. If the person is known for experiencing severe allergic reactions in the past, they might be having an Epinephrine shop around. Inject the person with the Epinephrine before calling 911.

Snakebite

It is every person’s nightmare, no wait…worst nightmare. Snake bites are poisonous depending on the type of snake that has bitten you. Calling emergency services should be the first thing on your things-to-do-after-a-snake-bites-me list. While the paramedics arrive, you can do the following to make their job a bit easier.

Get a good look of the snake’s appearance. Take note of the patterns and color of the snake’s skin. Get to a safe spot that is preferably away from the range of the snake. Be as still as possible, try not to panic and take deep steady breaths while you wait for the paramedics to arrive. A bite from a poisonous snake will cause swelling. Unlike in the movies, never try to suck out the venom or cut the area around the puncture wounds.

Conclusion

Knowing how to perform first aid can make a dramatic difference in an emergency situation, such as a person having a stroke or a heart attack, or caring for a person until professional help arrives.