Knowing and applying first aid can save many lives

When administered promptly, first aid has the potential to save a life in a variety of emergency situations.

Knowing and applying first aid can save many lives
Having the ability to recognize and treat life-threatening emergencies is a crucial skill. Photo by Michel E / Unsplash

The Mexican population, for the most part, ignores the elementary issues of first aid to an injured person, and even avoids getting involved. This has increased the number of deaths, people wait for the emergency services to arrive, which can take up to half an hour to reach places where accidents have occurred.

First aid are maneuvers that are applied to a person who has suffered an accident or illness. Its importance lies in the fact that the first contact or attention could save a person's life. The person who gives first aid is the "first responder," which is the first person to arrive and give care at a place where an individual suffers an accident or ailment.

It is very important to be aware that if we do not know how to apply the first aid properly, we could cause more damage to an affected person and even death. That is why it is necessary to be prepared because the more we know, the more possibilities we have to help.

Deaths due to drowning and heart attacks could be avoided by applying a few first aid maneuvers; each year alone, around 2 million people die worldwide due to heart attacks, a good part of which could have been avoided.

The home, where most accidents happen

The home is the place where most accidents happen, especially in the kitchen, the most likely to suffer an accident are children, the elderly and housewives. According to the Mexican Institute of Social Security (IMSS), children's accidents at home increase up to 30 percent during the holiday period. Among the most frequent are: burns, falls and intoxication.

Hemorrhages or loss of fluids are also one of the most common causes of death that are not taken care of.

Another of the most common causes are seizures. For these seizures, all you have to do is turn the patient on his side, do not put any object in his mouth, prevent him from hitting his head and wait for the seizure to end.

What to have at home to give first aid

It is highly recommended to have a first aid kit at home with the following items (which can be purchased at any drugstore):

Tongue depressor
Adhesive tape
Isodine, for cleaning wounds
Microdacyn, for washing and disinfecting wounds.

It is not necessary to have medicines, since self-medication should be avoided. Although there are pharmacies that sell a first aid kit, these contain medicines that sometimes are not functional for emergencies.

At least one member of the family knows about first aid, with one person who does, he/she could pass it on to others and make this awareness and culture of care grow.

What we should know about first aid

A basic first aid course consists of at least these topics:

How to be a first responder: being the first individual to attend to an emergency.
How to attend wounds and hemorrhages.
How to care for burns.
Knowing CPR or Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation.

Health institutions such as the Red Cross, Green Cross and Civil Protection continuously offer free or moderately priced courses to learn about first aid, which is highly recommended. Get to know the programs and courses (which are free) they offer and become interested in safety and culture of health care and attention.