First Aid Overview
While most of us are blessed with access to almost immediate medical care, there is much that can be done to help ourselves, our families, and our neighbors by being able to intervene in the first few minutes of an injury or illness to make a difference in the lives of the people around us.
A prime example involves persons who collapse in cardiac arrest or an obstructed airway. Medical technology in hospitals and doctors' offices can save lives; however, the care provided by bystanders using basic CPR guidelines often makes the difference in whether or not the victim survives.
People who have friends and relatives with diabetes should be able to recognize hypoglycemic symptoms, in which the individual becomes confused, lethargic or comatose because their blood sugar falls too low. Treatment can be as easy as helping them to drink some sugary fluid or giving them an injection that causes a rise in blood sugar.
Ideally everybody should have the ability to provide initial treatment for cuts, lacerations, burns, broken bones, sprains and strains, or a tooth that has been knocked out. Some people try their best to assist someone in need of first aid, even if they don't have the knowledge; however, often a person fears they will make a mistake if they try to help a victim, thus paralyzing them into inaction.
The first step in first aid is wanting to help. Whether it is reading a pamphlet or taking a first aid course offered by the Red Cross, the, American Heart Association, YMCA, local school or hospital, there are places that teach first aid basics that will last a lifetime and possibly save a life.
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