Do you know what to do if you get stuck in a rip current? What if someone near you starts choking? We can’t know when such skills will be useful but we are 100% sure that every person should have them.
That’s why Bright Side decided to compile a list of useful recommendations that might save someone’s life. At the end of the article, there is a bonus that will tell you about an interesting new theory on how to stay safe during an earthquake.
11. Rip currents
Rip currents are strong flows of water moving away from the shore that can take even the most skillful swimmers out to sea. That’s why it’s important to know the techniques of how to get out of it: The main goal in this situation is to get back to calm waters. Since rip currents are usually narrow and don’t exceed 30 ft, those waters are located at the sides. That’s why it’s important to swim parallel to the shore. You shouldn’t try to swim against a rip current — it’s too strong. Swim with the flow. Keep in mind that a rip current will be pushing you away from the shore, so don’t worry and swim parallel to the shore until you feel you are out of the dangerous area. Once you are out of it, try to swim diagonally towards the shore because rip currents tend to circulate back.
We are used to tapping on the back of someone who is choking. However, there is another method that is considered more effective and safe — the Heimlich maneuver.
Stand behind a choking person. Wrap your arms around them. Your thumbs should be placed lower than his chest but higher than his belly button. One of your thumbs should be kept in the position shown in the left picture above. Press their abdomen firmly, quickly, and with an upward thrust. Repeat this until the foreign object is dislodged.
9. Electric shock
If a person near you is being electrocuted, don’t try to pull them away from the source of electricity with your bare hands. It is a danger to your own life.
Act quickly: Unplug the electrical device. Push the person away from the device using something that doesn’t conduct electricity. You can do it with a wooden or a plastic stick (for example, the handle of a broom) or by wearing rubber gloves. If there is no danger, don’t touch the person and call the ambulance. If there is a danger of being electrocuted a second time, pull the person away from the source of the current at least 30 ft.
Many people are sure that the first thing they need to do if they get burned is to apply cream or even butter to the damaged area. Doctors highly insist on not using such a method because the wound may get infected.
After getting burned, it’s important to quickly cool down the skin. You can use cool water or cold objects to do this. If blisters appear, don’t try to open them up. If a blister was damaged and, as a result, opened up, don’t use water so as not to get an infection. In this case, cover the burn with a sterile bandage and consult a doctor. It’s good to keep a special foam for burns at home. You can get it at any drugstore. Not only will it relieve the pain but it will also help restore the skin.
7. Cuts and arterial bleeding
When an artery is damaged, blood will be of a scarlet color and will flow out in pulsating streams. In case of severe arterial bleeding, you need to press the artery above the wound as soon as possible and then apply a tourniquet. Make a note indicating the time of fixing the tourniquet. At room temperature, it can be kept for no more than one hour. Moreover, every 30 minutes, you should loosen it a little bit and then tie it back up again. Call an ambulance. Apply a sterile bandage or a clean piece of cloth to the wound itself.
6. Cuts and venous bleeding
In case of venous bleeding, blood has a dark red color. It is thick and flows out without pulsation. If the damage is not severe, it will be enough to apply a pressure bandage. If the bleeding is severe, call an ambulance after applying a bandage.
With bruises, it’s enough to cool the affected area. For example, keep an ice pack on the bruise for 15-20 minutes. If the affected area starts to swell, you can wrap it with an elastic bandage. In this case, you should go to the emergency room.
If you suspect a concussion, the procedure should be the following: Call an ambulance. Before the paramedics arrive, the person should be left in a semi-sitting position with their trouser belt loosened. If the affected person is feeling thirsty, he should be given some sweet tea or water. Don’t use aspirin for headaches. Don’t try to constantly make the sick person feel more comfortable by supplying more cushions. He should stay as motionless and as relaxed as possible.
It’s not recommended to throw back your head during a nosebleed. To stop the bleeding, you should keep the bleeding nostril pinched for 10-15 minutes.
It’s necessary to outline that many of us are used to blocking the bleeding nostril with cotton. This method works, but you still shouldn’t throw your head back. If the bleeding lasts for over half an hour, seek medical help.
2. Indirect heart massage
It is necessary to perform an indirect heart massage if the affected person is not showing signs of a pulse. First of all, you need to call an ambulance and keep performing an indirect heart massage until the paramedics arrive. Even if there is still no pulse, an indirect heart massage with artificial respiration helps to supply the human body with the oxygen it needs. Place your palms crosswise on the lower third of the affected person’s chest. Start pushing with a frequency of one time per one minute. Don’t bend your elbows because your whole body mass should be involved while massaging. It’s necessary to perform artificial respiration together with an indirect heart massage. During this procedure, the affected person’s nose should be pinched and air should be blown into their mouth. If the resuscitation is performed by 2 people, the ratio of the pushes and inhales should be 5:1, accordingly. If the resuscitation is performed by one person, the ratio should be 15:2 (inhale twice in a row.)
1. Tick bites
If you discover a tick bite on your skin, don’t pour oil on it. By doing so, you can make the insect choke, which means you won’t be able to test whether or not it was infected.
You should take out the tick with special tweezers. If you don’t have special tweezers, it’s better not to try to take it out by yourself but ask for medical help instead. It’s also necessary to visit a doctor if a fever or a rash appears after the bite. After taking the tick out, it’s necessary to take it to a special laboratory for testing. Not only will they study the insect, but they’ll also test your blood to exclude the chance of infection.
Bonus: How to survive an earthquake:
The triangle of life is a theory originated by Doug Copp. It suggests the best place to hide in during an earthquake. According to Copp, a void is usually formed next to furniture items and if a person sits in or curls up in this area, they can be protected against falling walls. The name “The Triangle of Life” comes from the triangular shape of the area. However, this theory has been criticized and rejected by the American Red Cross and other agencies explaining that it’s difficult to foresee where those triangles will be formed. Moreover, according to statistics, deaths and injuries during earthquakes most often happen due to the falling and moving objects rather than falling structures, thus making lying near big objects dangerous.
How are your first aid skills? Is there anything that we forgot to mention? Share your knowledge with us and write your experiences in the comments below!