Why First Aid ?

st-john-ambulance-kelowna-bcThe first few minutes after an injury or medical emergency are the most crucial to determine the rate and duration of recovery. Knowing what to do in the event of an injury or emergency will help you stay calm and take the proper actions and precautions to help the victim have the best chances of a full recovery.

For example, would you know when you need to call a doctor if you or someone you know gets a cut? Answer: Anytime a cut is deep, gaping or you cannot get the edges to stay together, you should call a doctor. Also, if you cannot get out some of the dirt, if the cut is a facial wound or bleeds for more than ten minutes, it needs professional attention.

If you work with other people, have children or spend time participating in sports or other hobbies that could result in injuries, you should know first aid. You never know when someone might get injured and knowing what to do to at least help them feel comfortable until professional help arrives will be so beneficial to the patient. Of course, you often cannot do it alone. It’s important to have supplies on hand just in case of an emergency (and a box of adhesive bandages doesn’t count as a first aid kit!) Having a well stocked first aid kit in your home and vehicle and a smaller kit in your purse or briefcase will ensure that you’re prepared where ever you are.

In addition to knowing basic first aid skills, becoming certified in CPR is a great skill as well. Studies show that one out of every seven people has the opportunity to use CPR at least once in their lifetime. When someone is not breathing, their brain does not get the oxygen it needs and irreversible brain damage can occur within four to six minutes and death can occur within ten minutes.

Taking a course on first aid and CPR can help you help the people you encounter on a daily basis. Furthermore, knowing these skills will help you remain calm in the event of an emergency because you’ll know exactly what you need to do.

Emergencies: How to Prevent Them or at Least Avoid the Detrimental Effects of Them
Emergencies happen; it’s a fact of life. Here are some tips to help you prevent emergencies or at least to help you avoid detrimental effects if they do occur:

Medical Emergencies. The best way to avoid medical emergencies is to get yearly physicals and to make sure you take care of your body through exercise and proper nutrition. If you do begin experiencing out-of-the-ordinary symptoms you can often avoid major medical issues if you get it checked out early. Avoiding the doctor’s office is not one of the best ways to prevent medical emergencies.

Auto Emergencies. First and foremost, make sure that you keep your vehicle tuned up. This is the best way to prevent unexpected breakdowns. Secondly, keep a first aid kit in your vehicle as well as an emergency roadside kit that contains flares, blankets, a shovel and a spare tire. Also make sure that everyone wears their seatbelts at all times and that children are secured in approved safety seats. To ensure that you’re using the safety seats properly, follow the directions for your particular model. You can also go to your local police or fire station and have someone who is specially trained install your safety seats and show you how to properly use them.

Sports Injuries. If you or your children participate in sports, make sure that the athlete has a complete physical before participating. It’s also important to learn proper stretching techniques to use before and after physical activity. Also, have access to first aid supplies whenever you are participating or watching a sport in case of an injury.
Taking precautions and knowing what you can do to prevent emergencies can help you make the proper decisions to keep you and your family safe.

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