First Aid: Five Ways To Save A Life

Could you rise to the challenge? Would you know what to do in those vital first few minutes? It only takes a little training to learn the basics, which could make a huge difference.

"At Picaw, we want all our staff – especially engineers who are on the road a lot – to know what to do in an emergency!"

We encourage everyone to do the one-day Emergency First Aid at Work course and anyone who wants to take it a bit further is able to do the three-day First Aid at Work course. There are lots of local and national training providers, but we prefer to work with St John Ambulance.

Here are some basic tips which I have taken from the St John Ambulance first aid training manual, and which I expect will be covered in more detail on the course I am booked on next month.

What to do if someone is unresponsive:

  • Open their airway
  • Tilt their head back
  • Check for normal breathing for up to 10 seconds
  • If they’re breathing normally, put them in the recovery position then call 999 or 112 for emergency help
  • If they’re not breathing, call 999/112 for emergency help and start CPR

What to do if someone is unresponsive and not breathing normally:

  • Get help - tell someone to call 999/112
  • Pump – 30 chest compressions at a rate of 100-120 per minute
  • Breathe – give two rescue breaths
  • Continue to pump and give rescue breaths until help arrives

What to do if someone has a heart attack:

  • Call 999/112 for emergency help
  • Sit the casualty down, with their back supported and knees bent
  • Give them 300mg aspirin to chew

What to do if someone is choking:

  • Cough it out – encourage the person to keep coughing
  • Slap it out – give up to five sharp back blows between their shoulder blades; check their mouth
  • Squeeze it out – give up to five abdominal thrusts
  • If that doesn’t work, call 999/112 for emergency help

What to do if someone is bleeding:

  • Put pressure on the wound
  • Call 999/112 for emergency help
  • Secure a dressing with a bandage to maintain pressure
  • Treat for shock

Make sure you always have life-saving knowledge at your fingertips, as I am. Get some training or at least download the brilliant (and free) St John Ambulance first aid app.

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