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Alba Iulia
Monday, August 10, 2020

6 basic first aid skills every Australian resident should have in 2020

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Only 5% of Australians have some form of first aid training. This places Australia among the lowest first aid-savvy countries in the world.

This statistic is worrying when you think about the lives that could be saved with first aid but are not. 

When you think of life skills, first aid is among the top skills anyone could learn. When thinking first aid, here are the top first aid skills all Aussies should learn.

1. The Heimlich maneuver

Every year sees tens of Australians die from a choking incident. This includes both kids and adults. 

Choking is a leading cause of death in children. If you have kids, are in child care, learning how to handle someone who is choking is a must-have skill. 

The most common remedy for choking is a move known as the Heimlich maneuver. 

2. CPR

This is an emergency procedure combining artificial ventilation with chest compressions.

This helps preserve the brain by ensuring the circulation of oxygenated blood until the injured party gets to hospital for specialized help.

Without this, the heart stops, causing brain damage, the person then dies within 8 to 10 minutes of this occurrence. 

CPR is key in saving someone that has just had a cardiac arrest. About 20,000 Australians suffer cardiac arrests every year.

3. Making a splint

The Aussie landscape is indeed enticing to adventurous spirits. 

Unfortunately, this sense of adventure can lead to accidents, from scrapes and bruises to more serious injuries like sprains and fractures.

A splint is a first-aid remedy that provides temporary relief for a broken limb and prevents the injury from getting worse before medical treatment.

This may also shorten recovery timelines. 

However, if a splint is used incorrectly, there might be problems later on, especially if medical intervention is not sought. Sometimes this might necessitate surgery to reset the broken bone. 

4. Treating wounds

Treating a wound correctly can be the difference between it getting infected and healing quickly. 

Learning how to treat wounds teaches you how to clean and dress different wounds in a way that allows the person to heal faster. 

5. Snake bites

Australia has an estimated 140 snake species, leading to about 300 snake bites every year. This underlines the need to take a first aid course.

Whenever you are unsure if the offending snake is venomous or not, it’s best to assume that it is. 

Snakebite first aid usually revolves around getting the person to safety as you wait for an ambulance to get them to hospital. Sucking out the venom, cutting the wounded area, and applying water or ice is discouraged.

6. Treating shock

Shock is easy to miss and can cause death. It is caused by a sudden drop in the amount of blood circulating in the body. 

It might result from burns, a stroke, excessive loss of blood, poisoning, allergic reactions, and so on. 

When a person gets aid, the people helping might focus on say, the burns or the bleeding at the expense of the shock the person might be experiencing. 

The decreased circulation means the person’s organs are not getting enough oxygen, which can lead to death or permanent damage.

People who are trained in first aid skills can catch the signs of shock and know how to manage it alongside other injuries so as to save a life and prevent further damage to one’s organs.

What next?

The very idea of first aid is to ensure that lives are saved. 

With these skills, you do not have to feel helpless or watch helplessly when injuries occur. Getting first aid training ensures you have the skills to save a life or two should you have to.

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