Even knowing just basic first aid could one day help you to save someone else’s life. In June of this year, good Samaritan Sharon Thorneywork managed to save the life of a stranger on a bus by administering CPR while singing along to the Bee Gees’ classic hit ‘Stayin’ Alive’ in her head.
Sharon’s actions were the result of having seen the British Heart Foundation advert featuring ex-footballer Vinnie Jones demonstrating how to perform chest compression properly in time to the beat of the 70s classic. By acting as quickly as she did, she managed to save retired taxi boss Terry Holly’s life.
Sharon, who is now being nominated for a British Humane Society award, said: “I think everyone should know first aid and I would hope that if anyone else was in the same situation they would have a go and help. I don’t think I’m anything special, I just acted the way I think anybody should.”
Not all first aid treatment can be carried out on a double-decker bus at random, however. Many of the most common accidents and injuries also need first aid supplies or other medical equipment. Here are some of the most common and how you can treat them.
Cuts and Bruises
A large number of health and safety incidents require treatment for cuts and bruises. Children fall over and scrape different parts of their body all the time, but adults too are often in need of a plaster or bandage because of an accident. Make sure you keep a box of plasters in different sizes, as well as some antibacterial wipes and a roll of bandage in the house for when those situations arise. In most cases you won’t be dealing with a life-threatening emergency, but having a way of stopping the blood flow is important for the injured – and your carpets!
You should always try and have a basic first aid kit with you in your car too in case you are involved in an accident. A basic first aid kit containing plasters, antiseptic cream, bandages and scissors means that you can deal with most minor injuries, and applying a bandage quickly could also help to reduce bleeding for something more serious while waiting for professional help.
You should also pack some simple first aid supplies like plasters and wound dressings in your luggage when you go on holiday. If nothing else, you may want a plaster for a blister from your summer sandals!
Heart attacks are suffered by thousands of people every year, and in many cases the result is fatal. The main reason why people die from cardiac arrest outside of hospital is because the heart stopped beating for too long before an attempt was made to restart it. Automated external defibrillators (AED) are commonly used to get a heart pumping again and can be used by the general public or employees at a sports centre or school, for example. As in cases such as footballer Fabrice Muamba’s, they can be the crucial difference between life and death.