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Cornell Student Articles on Topical Affairs

Common queries regarding first aid

Not everyone is first aid certified, but they should be. Utilizing first aid skills might become necessary at any point. For that reason, it’s extremely important to cultivate a basic knowledge and understanding of emergency first aid. From small cuts that need band aids to handling bodily fluids, first aid knowledge is beneficial. For some professions, especially those that deal with people on a daily basis, first aid training is a requirement for their career. Although it can be optional for some people, first aid certifications can always be put to use.

Why get first aid certified if I don’t have to for a job?

Common emergencies can happen every day. Things like small cuts, burns, scrapes, bleeding, head or neck injuries, and even broken bones can be handled with first aid knowledge. In the event a medical professional is unavailable, tending to the emergency until they can seek proper medical attention is better than not having that in the first place. First aid knowledge can help damage control in the event that an emergency takes place.

How do I identify an emergency?

Emergencies can happen anywhere. It can be witnessing someone fall or even a motor-vehicle accident. The first step is to notice anything unusual which may include sights, sounds, odors or certain appearances. Unusual noises are often something like screaming, breaking metals or glass, machinery equipment malfunctions, or any loud noise that is out of the ordinary. Identifying unusual sights may include a stopped vehicle on the side of a road, someone lying down, or any type of fire or smoke. Anything that seems unusual and a plausible sign of emergency should be checked. It is always better to be overly cautious in the event of a possible emergency.

What do I do after I identify an emergency?

The next step is ultimately making the decision to act. Sometimes in emergency situations, people may let their emotions get the better of them. Emergency situations may elicit strong emotions such as fear that may lead to panicking. It’s crucial to remain calm in an emergency situation as it can be the difference between a positive or negative result. People may make the mistake of assuming that others will act, and this can lead to negative results. When in doubt of who is responsible for acting in an emergency situation, it is more beneficial to go ahead and act and do not rely on others. There could only be moments to make the correct decision before an emergency situation goes completely wrong.

Who do I call in an emergency situation?

It might not always be that someone knows ACLS algorithms or who to call in the event of an emergency, so you need to learn more about the whole procedure. It is important to call some type of EMS if the situation demands it. It should be logical enough to decide whether or not a situation demands EMS.

What do I do after making a call to EMS?

It is crucial to stay with the person until a care provider is on the scene. Do not leave the wounded or injured person until EMS arrives. Leaving them could result in a bad situation for both parties. Practicing whatever first aid skills someone has until first responders arrive will be most beneficial for the victim. It is important that a conscious person legally consents to receiving care. When arriving on the scene if one plans to give care, they should first tell the person their name, how much training they have, and what they plan to do to help the person before they receive any care. If the person refuses care, it is important to accept their wishes and call first responders to the scene.

What is disease prevention?

Many diseases are easily spread. As someone knowledgeable in first aid, it is important to understand what to do in the event diseases are at risk of spreading. When giving first aid care, stay away from blood or any other bodily fluids. Utilizing breathing barriers can help reduce the risk of spreading diseases. Cover any cuts or scrapes before putting on gloves or any other type of protective equipment. Individuals giving first aid care should not touch their nose, eyes, or mouth before or during giving care. After, it is very important that the individual wash their hands to prevent the spread of diseases.

How can I be more prepared for emergency situations?

One of the best ways to be prepared in the event an emergency arises is to always have emergency contact information readily available to use. This may include first responder numbers or any other local emergency information. Another way to help be prepared for the unexpected is to keep a first aid kit at all times. It can be a good idea to have multiple first aid kits wherever an individual is located throughout the day. Find out where the first aid kits are in public places such as work settings or school. One of the most important ways to be prepared if an emergency happens to you is to keep your personal information on you that will help responders easily identify you so that you will receive the best care possible. Keeping a personal identifier on you with information about what to do in an emergency situation can help responders know who to call and how to best help you. Preparedness is key in an emergency.

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