First aid Tips

by Dr Birhanu H. Michael (Neurosurgeon)


This advice is a general guideline for use in an emergency. It’s not intended to replace professional classes in first aid and resuscitation.

First aid is an important skill.

By performing simple procedures and following certain guidelines, it may be possible to save lives by giving basic treatment until professional medical help arrives.

Remember, too, that practice makes perfect.

In an emergency there’s no time to read instructions. If you’ve memorized some of the basic procedures, it will help you react quickly and efficiently.

Breathing difficulties

If someone stops breathing, see if the person replies if talked to or touched on the shoulder.

If not, call for help – and immediately begin first aid. Send bystanders for help.

But if you’re alone, perform basic life support for one minute before going for help.

1. Place the person on his or her back on the floor.

2. Tilt the head, so that the chin is pointing upwards. Do this by placing the fingertips under the jawbone, then lift gently while pressing down softly on the person’s forehead. This is done to make sure the tongue is not blocking the throat.

3. Keep holding the head in this way while checking for breathing.

Look if the chest is rising and falling, or place your ear next to their mouth to listen for breathing and feel breath on your cheek. Only check for 10 seconds.

4. If there’s normal breathing, hold the head as described above until help arrives. If there’s no breathing or gasping breaths, start basic life support.

How to give basic life support

More coming soon

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