Whenever you’re out exploring the outdoors, there is always a possibility that accidents may happen. Therefore, learning basic first aid skills will not only help you in your outdoor hobbies but can also save someone’s life. Especially when a disaster happens. Having the knowledge of basic first aid skills greatly increases your chance of survival and your family as well.
It’s also important that you have a calm and collective mind. Being able to assess the situation and act accordingly. This will really help in applying the correct and proper first aid to a person. If you panic and act irrationally, you might worsen the person’s condition.
Hence, this is why it’s important to learn basic first aid skills. The 5 basic first aid skills you will learn in this article are:
- associated with common accidents
- easy to do
5 Must-Learn Basic First Aid Skills for Preppers
Back in my college days, I accidentally spilled a boiling cooking oil on my right hand at home. I suffered a 2nd-degree burn and had surgery in my hand. The accident happened so quickly that my mind wasn’t able to process it properly. My body was in a state of shock and my friends who were with me at that time didn’t know what to do. When you’re in a state of shock you don’t feel any pain and your body feels weak.
Luckily, I was able to snap out of it. First thing I did was to instruct my friend to look up on what to do when you get burned. While he was hurriedly looking in the net, I placed my hand inside the fridge. This was really an idiot move on my part as it will worsen the burn. But as soon as my friend told me the proper first aid, I was able to manage the accident.
The experience taught me how important it is to know and be able to apply first aid. Had I not followed the correct way of applying first aid, I would have worsened the burn I had in my hand.
There are 5 basic first aid skills you can learn and use in saving other peoples lives in the future. These are:
1) Cleaning and Dressing a Wound
A wound is either a cut, blow, or impact that damages the skin. It’s the most common accident that happens in everyday life. Treating a wound is one of the most important among the basic first aid skills to learn. If you treat a wound improperly, you might cause an infection and risk the person to deadly infection and bacteria. When you help someone with a wound the first thing you should do is to assess the wound. Here is a list of things you must assess in a wound
- What caused the wound
- How big the wound is
- The bleeding rate of the wound
When the wound is bleeding really fast, the first thing you must do is to stop the bleeding. You can do this by either elevating the wound above the level of your heart or also apply pressure to the wound. You can do this by tying a piece of cloth tightly near the wound. Also, the cloth should be in a place where blood coming from the heart will go to the wound. The tied tight cloth helps slow down the blood flowing out from the wound. After stopping the bleeding the next thing you should do is to clean and disinfect the wound. Having a first-aid kit is really important but if you don’t have one during the emergency you can use a warm water to clean the wound.
To illustrate and further explain, here is a basic first aid skills video on cleaning and dressing a wound:
2) Making an Improvised Sling
Breaking your bones is a common accident. Especially for people who are constantly engaged in outdoor activities and sports. Preppers should have this as one of their basic first aid skills in their arsenal. Breaking your bones in an accident is scary and sometimes horrifying. I’ve seen people who try to fix the accident by putting the bones back to place. While this may be correct to an extent, it does not apply to all. Moving the bones without first-aid knowledge will result in further damage to the bones. That’s why a sling is important to keep the area where the bones broke immobile. This helps protect the broken area and avoid any further damage by slight movements. Making use of the sling allows you to move the patient safely and without further damage.
here is a tutorial video on how to make a sling to show you an example of how it’s done.
CPR or Cardiopulmonary resuscitation is one of the most common basic first aid skills. It is especially for helping people who are under cardiac arrest. Cardiac arrest leads to the heart ceasing to function and stops giving out blood. CPR is done in order to preserve the brain function until further steps are taken to bring back the blood circulation and breathing of the person. Furthermore, there are 5 steps you should follow in doing a proper CPR. These are:
- Chest Compressions
- Rescue Breathing
- Repeating Chest Compressions
- Repeat Rescue Breathing
- Check for Breathing Response
All these steps must be properly executed and to help guide you is a video as an example:
4) Heimlich Maneuver
You might have seen this in movies or commercials. Heimlich Maneuver is one of the basic first aid skills that treats people who are choking. It’s done by thrusting the abdominal area of the choking person in order to expel the object blocking the person’s breathing. When done incorrectly this might cause the blocking object to stick up more or cause an injury to the person.
Here is a video to help you do the correct and proper way of executing the Heimlich Maneuver:
5) Treating a Person in Shock
When a person loses too much blood they enter a state of shock. This is because the blood loss causes the blood pressure to drop. And when the blood pressure becomes very low, it may cause death. This frequently happens if the bleeding isn’t stopped. Likewise, when you are trying to stop the bleeding and seems futile you should apply shock treatment to the person. Shock treatment is one of the most useful basic first aid skills you can learn. You will follow a step procedure in order to carry out the shock treatment properly.
Make the person lie down – the feet, if not injured, should be raised above the level of the head.
Check blood circulation – make sure the person is still breathing and apply CPR if not.
Keep the person warm and relax – remove any tight clothing on the person like a belt or fit jeans.
Prevent choking – the person could be bleeding from the mouth and may drown by his/her own blood. Always make sure the passage of air is clear.
Treat the injuries – Apply appropriate first aid to the person’s injuries after all the previous steps are done.
To further explain the method here is an example of how it’s properly done:
Having the knowledge to do the basic first aid skills can be the life and death of a person. Therefore, learning how to properly apply basic first aid skills will greatly help not only you but to the people around you. Especially when you plan to do outdoor activities with friends or family.
It’s also important that you have the proper equipment to be able to do a proper first aid treatment. There are different kinds of first aid kits that you can use. Each may have their own different set of items. Here’s a link of different first aid kits you can buy.
Basic first aid skills are great skills to have. Every day accidents really do happen. You’ll be put in a situation where you can actually help people in need. You have the skills to do it. There is no better feeling than having saved someone from death.