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First Aid know-how may save someone’s life

Cape Town – Do you know that if you learn First Aid, you can help your friend or brother and sister if they get hurt?

Russel Meiring, spokesperson for the ambulance service, ER24, said First Aid means that you can help somebody immediately when that person has hurt themselves or has become ill.

“Remember, not all people needing First Aid are seriously injured. Most of the time it is a minor injury like a cut on the finger. Also, First Aid does not take the place of medical help. There are three reasons for First Aid,

Preserve life

Prevent the injury becoming worse and

Promote recovery.”

He suggests calling for help early. If the injured person has a cell phone. Look for the In Case of Emergency (ICE) number. If the number has the word ICE in front of it then that is the number to call If there is no ICE number then send someone to call for an ambulance, using the Emergency Number 112.

“Before you touch anyone you need to put on gloves or cover your hands with a plastic bag and remove them in such a way that you do not get blood, sweat or tears on your hands. Check to make sure you are safe before you touch the person. Shake them to see if they will wake up.

If they are not breathing or make a gasping noise you are going to need to do CPR on the person. Shout for help or call the emergency number. Don’t panic. The person on the other end of the phone will tell you what to do.

First of all, ensure the patient is lying on a hard, flat surface. Lock your fingers knuckles up. Put them in the middle of the person’s chest. Push hard and fast. Push down about 6cm and keep your elbows stiff. Carry on till help arrives, said Meiring.

For cuts and wounds: He recommends before you touch anyone you need to put on gloves or cover your hands with a plastic bag and remove them in such a way that you do not get blood, sweat or tears on your hands. Use direct pressure with the weakest hand.

While working to make a dressing with the strongest hand. Lift the arm or leg higher than the heart. Wrap a bandage around the wound to keep the gauze in place.

With nose bleeds remember you must be safe so you must put on gloves or plastic bags before you touch the wound. Make the victim sit down and lean forward (only if there is no possibility that he has hurt his neck or back) holding a bowl to catch the blood. The victim must not swallow the blood as it will make him vomit. Pinch the nostrils closed for at least 10 minutes.

Burns require you to cool the burn or scald with cold water out the tap for at least 20 minutes and remove rings, watches and bracelets. Do not pop blisters and dress with a wet dressing or use burn gel the same way you would do a dressing for another type of wound.

Weekend Argus

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