COULD YOU SAVE A LIFE? First aid for ev­ery­one

Good Housekeeping (UK) - - Front Page -

You are all that stands be­tween dis­as­ter and a lucky es­cape… Would you SPRING INTO AC­TION or FREEZE

WITH FEAR? Here’s what to do to make a dif­fer­ence

CHOK­ING First ask the per­son if they need help. Cough­ing, splut­ter­ing and go­ing red in the face may look alarm­ing, but are signs they’re deal­ing with the sit­u­a­tion. A per­son who is truly chok­ing will be silent, but will be able to nod if they need help. Lean them for­ward, then, us­ing the heel of your hand, strike the per­son hard be­tween the shoul­der blades. What­ever is caus­ing the block­age should shoot out. Do this up to five times. This usu­ally works, but if not, hold your nerve and per­form ab­dom­i­nal thrusts. Cir­cle their body from be­hind, link­ing your hands with your lower fist in the soft squidgy part above their belly but­ton. Push up and in­wards sharply.

There is a dif­fer­ent pro­ce­dure for ba­bies – see the Choke­ables video on sja.org.uk/the­choke­ables. SE­VERE BLEED­ING Don’t panic! If you see a lot of blood on the floor it will look ter­ri­fy­ing, but your body can cope with los­ing as much as three to four pints. Ap­ply pres­sure to the wound un­til the blood flow slows down. Use ster­ile dress­ing pads if you have them in your first-aid box – if not, use a clean tea towel or bath­room towel on the wound. If you think the wound is deep and may need stitches, con­sult a doc­tor.

Los­ing two to three pints of blood can cause some­one to go into med­i­cal shock – when the body’s or­gans shut down – so look out for the pa­tient go­ing pale and sweaty, and be­com­ing dizzy. Lie them down, raise their legs, if pos­si­ble, and put a blan­ket over them. Make sure an am­bu­lance is on its way.

Help is at hand! How to act fast in an emer­gency

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