While every workplace has a dedicated and trained health and safety person to administer First Aid, it is very useful if everyone knows some basic procedures. Emergencies have a way of happening unpredictably and fast. Immediate steps must be taken, alongside calling for help. A simple understanding of what to do in the event of an accident or injury is beneficial for all.
What to do if someone gets a cut
With any sort of bleeding, the key thing is to stem the flow of blood as soon as possible. A superficial cut will usually start to clot by itself quite quickly. It only requires to be washed and gently dried, and a plaster put over it. Do check if the person has a plaster allergy though.
For deeper vein cuts, the blood has a darker appearance and seems to pump out steadily. This type of cut requires pressure. Staunch the flow with a sterile cloth and then wrap the wound in a sterile bandage. A deep cut is liable to need stitches, so take the injured person to the nearest medical department.
Arterial bleeding is highly dangerous. This is when light red blood squirts out rhythmically. You must press as hard as you can on this wound until help arrives. If nothing else is available, use your hand. Make the person lie down with their head lower than the rest of their body so that blood can still get to the brain.
What to do if someone is choking
If someone has got an obstruction in their windpipe and is panicking, unable to talk, stand behind them and slap hard between the shoulder blades. Repeat five times, but if the obstruction has not been spat out, proceed to the Heimlich manoeuvre.
To perform the Heimlich manoeuvre, stay stood behind the person choking and put your arms around their waist, bending them forwards. Clench your fist, placing it above their belly button, and put your other hand over it. Now, thrust really hard up and into the stomach. Hopefully, the object will be expelled. If not, repeat the manoeuvre.
What to do if someone is in shock
Many things can cause a state of shock. The person will turn pale and feel dizzy and faint. Their blood pressure has dropped and not enough is getting to the brain. Get them to lie down and call for an ambulance. The best position is with feet raised and on one side to prevent any gagging. Keep them warm, but don’t give them anything to drink.
Knowing these basic First Aid practices may help in a crisis and could potentially save someone’s life.