Friday, October 27, 2017

Could You Save A Life?

It’s very unlikely that you’ll ever find yourself in a situation where you need to leap into action to save somebody’s life, but nobody knows what’s around the corner. One minute you could be driving to work or doing your grocery shopping. The next you may be facing a scenario where your actions could make the difference between life and death. If you encountered an emergency situation, would you be able to save a life? 

Cardiac arrest

Cardiac arrest occurs when blood flow to the heart is disturbed, preventing oxygen from flowing around the body and reaching the organs. If somebody collapses suddenly, their breathing is abnormal, and they’re not responding to you, it’s likely that they may have gone into cardiac arrest. At this point, you’re dealing with an emergency situation, and it’s wise to seek help as soon as possible. Call for an ambulance and prepare to do CPR or use life-saving equipment like the Zoll AED Plus. The aim of CPR is to get the heart beating again. If you don’t know how to do CPR, the operator on the emergency line will guide you through it. CPR is made up of a combination of chest compressions and rescue breaths. In most cases, cardiac arrest is caused by ventricular fibrillation, which is an abnormal heart rhythm. If the heart rhythm is shockable, it is possible to get the heart pumping again using a defibrillator. If you’re not near a medical surgery, you may find that a defibrillator is available at a local library, dental office or community center. 

Image credit https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:CPR_training-02.jpg
Fainting and dizziness

It’s very unlikely that fainting will prove fatal, but there’s always a risk that somebody who feels dizzy or lightheaded could fall and sustain serious injuries. If you come across somebody who appears to have fainted or you spot someone who feels very weak or dizzy, encourage them to sit down carefully and stay with them, reassuring them all the time. Dizziness is often linked to low sugar levels or exhaustion, so it’s often beneficial to eat something sugary and drink water. Raising the legs and lowering the head can also increase blood flow to the brain.

Image by https://pixabay.com/en/trees-away-nature-eddy-turn-dizzy-358418/
Car crashes

More than 32,000 people died in car crashes in the US in 2015. Car accidents can cause a wide range of injuries, from minor scrapes and scratches to life-threatening spinal and head injuries. If you suspect somebody may have a spinal injury, don’t attempt to move them, as this could make the injury worse. Call for help, and stay with the casualty until paramedics arrive. If the person is bleeding, apply pressure to the wound using a cloth, a dressing or a piece of clothing. If you don’t have anything with you, you could use your hands as a last resort. This will help to stem bleeding. Head injuries can cause dizziness and confusion, so try and keep the casualty talking until help arrives.

Image courtesy of https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Cervical_Collar_Emergency.jpg
Most of us don’t wake up in the morning expecting to be in a situation where we could save somebody’s life later that day. The reality is that accidents happen and we never know when we may be required to act quickly to help others. Although experts usually arrive swiftly, those first few moments could be crucial, and hopefully, this guide will maximize your chances of saving a life. 

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