Written by: Regina Thomas
You never know when an unforeseen event may happen and you’re not prepared for it. It could be when you’re out getting coffee or on your ride to work or school. An unfortunate event, like someone having a stroke, heart attack, or some other drastic episode, can happen at any instant. You may even be in one of these instances yourself at any certain time. When events like this happen, we are usually unprepared for them and this can have extremely negative results.
But there are ways that you can prepare yourself for incidents like these. You can develop a skill set that caters to these types of unforeseen instances. How can you be better prepared? Here are four life-saving skills that you should know. Each of them is helpful to know, should any situations happen where someone’s life is on the line.
Also known as cardiopulmonary resuscitation, CPR is one of the single most important skills you can learn to better prepare yourself for saving someone’s life. It involves essentially restarting someone’s heart and helping them to breathe again, which consists of chest compressions and mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. CPR is mainly needed when someone is about to go into cardiac arrest, which can be caused by practically anything at any instant.
Even though many people assume that CPR only involves pressing against someone’s chest, training for the procedure is required and vital to ensure the victim’s safety. The wrong type of push or a push with poor placement can lead to drastic results. Even more, CPR is only effective within a certain time frame from when the victim’s cardiac arrest symptoms have begun. That being said, you should go through training to get the CPR certification. In addition to receiving the CPR certification, you’ll also need to get it renewed yearly depending on the particular state area that you live in. You can even get your CPR renewal online.
2. Knowing Stroke Symptoms
Perhaps one of the most difficult skills on this list is knowing how to recognize when someone is having a stroke. Recognizing stroke symptoms is so difficult because the symptoms may be different for everyone and they are usually very subtle at first. Some of the most prominent symptoms you should look for are sudden weaknesses on only one side of the body, numbing in certain areas of the body, or even simply just trouble walking overall.
There are certain tests that you can run through if you do properly recognize someone having a stroke, like the FAST test. FAST stands for Face, Arms, Speech, and Time. you can look further into recognizing a stroke and getting someone the help they need by watching YouTube videos or reading online sources.
3. Using an AED
An AED is a small device that stands for Automatic External Defibrillator. It’s essentially responsible for delivering a shock to someone’s heart when used correctly, and it’s meant to shock the heart to start pumping blood again.
The device consists of a small pack with two extending wires. The wires have pads on the ends of them, which are meant to be placed onto a victim’s chest. Again, knowing when and how to properly use an AED is the first step to saving someone’s life.
4. Heimlich Maneuver
Lastly, it’s important that you know how to perform the Heimlich maneuver. This procedure is probably one of the most commonly used processes regarding saving someone’s life, and you don’t need any type of certification to perform it.
You simply need to know how and where to place your arms and pull. The maneuver is meant to remove food from someone’s throat as they’re choking. If the food isn’t removed within a certain amount of time, then the victim could potentially die from lack of oxygen.
Whether you develop one of these skills or all of them, at least knowing of them can create a more positive outcome in dire situations. Even more, you can end up saving a life by simply knowing how to recognize the symptoms of someone having a heart attack or a stroke since you can either assist them yourself or get help by calling the emergency authorities. Knowing both what to spot and when to call for help is the first and most vital step to saving anyone’s life, even your own.