First Aid Basics

Call 9-1-1 in any life-threatening situation

CPR Basics:

Before you seek to help someone else, make sure that you are protected.  Use personal protective equipment such as gloves or eye protection.  In an emergency situation remember to stay calm.

The CPR guidelines can easily be remembered as the ABCs. 

A stands for Awake:

Is the victim awake?

Yes- Determine what is wrong with the victim, call 911 if necessary.  If the victim is awake, CPR is not necessary.

No- Attempt to wake the victim.  Shout, shake, rub their shoulders.  Do anything you can think of to wake them.  If no response, have someone else call 911 so you can continue to care for the victim.  Now move on to the next letter.

B stands for Breathing:

Yes- Your victim is breathing, but is it normal?  Is your victim slowly gasping for air like they are having trouble breathing?  If so, you must help them breathe better by starting CPR.

If the victim is coughing or breathing normally, do not attempt CPR.  CPR on a person who is breathing could have the opposite effect; you could stop their heart.

No- It is time to start CPR.  If you have not called 911, call them now, the victim’s life may depend upon it.  If the victim is not on their back, roll them over (unless they have injured their neck, you could damage them further).  Tilt their head back so their airway is open. Put the palm of your hand in the middle of their chest; place your other hand on top.  Rise up on your knees and straighten your elbows.  This will give you the correct angle. 

Press down 30 times on their chest.  You need to press hard enough to affect them, about two inches into their chest is the standard measure.  To make sure you are pressing in the correct rhythm sing one of the following songs in your head or aloud: Dancing Queen by ABBA, Walk Like an Egyptian, Girls Just Wanna Have Fun by Cindy Lauper, or Shakira’s Hips Don’t Lie.  Any of these songs are at, or approximately around, 100 beats per minute which is the speed you need to do the thirty compressions.

Give two rescue breaths.  Open their mouth and pinch their nose shut.  Then place your mouth on theirs and breathe slowly into their mouth so their lungs can expand.

C stands for Continue:

If the victim is not breathing, continue CPR (30 compressions on the chest, two rescue breaths) until the victim is breathing or the ambulance arrives.

Other First Aid Basics:

  • Roll the victim on his/her side if they have fluid, blood, or vomit in his/her mouth.  If fluid is in the mouth while the victim is on their back they can choke on the liquid.
  • If there is a wound put pressure on it to stop the bleeding.
  • If the victim stops breathing at any time, start CPR and call 911.
  • If the victim is choking perform the Heimlich Maneuver.
  • If the victim has heat stroke, exhibiting signs of high, weak pulse, shallow breathing, and disorientation, get them into the coolest environment nearby.  This could be a building with air conditioning or the shade, which ever is available.  Next, attempt to re-hydrate them.  Fan them if you can, apply water to their skin, and have them drink water slowly.  Do CPR if the victim stops breathing.
  • For animal bites, clean the would and apply antibiotic ointment if available.  Apply pressure to the wound to stop the bleeding.  If the bleeding does not stop, call 911.
  • With severe allergic reactions, such as peanut or bee stings, call 911 immediately.  If the victim has an epi pen, inject them with it.  The best place is the muscle of the thigh.  Do not put the epi pen in the hands or feet.  Do CPR if the victim stops breathing.

Downloads & Resources

Basic First Aid Kit

How to Treat a Sprained Wrist

How to Stop Mild Bleeding

How to Treat Severe Bleeding

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