Would you know what to do if someone was lying in front of you dying? I understand the question is quite harsh, but be honest. The worst thing you can do right now is lie to yourself. Just imagine if the life of a loved one depended on it. Would you know what steps to take to save that person's life? If the answer is no, don't feel embarrassed. Truth is, most wouldn't. The overwhelming majority of us have no idea what to do in an emergency situation. Sure, some of us are naturals under pressure and will get it right without any kind of formal training, but is someone's life worth risking on pure instinct alone? Below are 4 steps one should take if ever faced with such a problem. These steps should be memorized, are universal, and can be exercised in any emergency situation.
It is all too common to let fear and anxiety take over in the midst of a crisis situation. Fear and anxiety are not necessarily bad things, but become a burden when we allow them to take over. When channeled correctly, these emotions can be the catalyst for some of your best decisions. There is a reason we have these feelings. Quite simply, they are a part of our evolution that has allowed us to survive. You shouldn't learn to fight these feelings, but instead allow them to propel you into action. Individuals who don't know what to do seem to be the first to panic, which is why knowing what steps to take in an emergency situation is so important. Having a basic blueprint for such situations help gain clarity while also minimizing the chance of panic and disarray.
When encountered by an individual that is in need of emergency medical assistance, it is important that they not be moved from where they are. There are exceptions to this rule, but for the most part this is the default. If faced with someone who has collapsed or fainted, lye them down face up and raise their legs to just above head level in order to get blood to circulate back to the brain. If by staying where the patient is poses the possibility of further harm to you or the patient, relocate the patient to a safe place if possible. Bear in mind that you are no help to anyone if you yourself are not safe. Therefore, do not put yourself at risk. By now, if you've followed these instructions, the proper emergency response should be well on their way.
I'm not going to get into how one performs CPR in this article, nor can I express to you just how important a tool this can be in the midst of an emergency. Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation, or CPR, is an emergency procedure which is performed in an effort to manually preserve intact brain function until further measures are taken to restore spontaneous blood circulation and breathing in a person in cardiac arrest. Research has shown that the application of CPR can double a patient's chance of survival from an episode of cardiac arrest. Those numbers jump up nearly 15 times when defibrillation is used in conjunction with CPR within the first 3-5 minutes after onset of cardiac arrest. If you are unfamiliar with the application of this technique then get familiarized quickly. It is the greatest tool one can possess in the midst of a medical emergency. Your local hospital may provide classes for learning this life saving technique.
These simple steps can be the difference between life and death. I hope you never find yourself in a position to have to use them, but if you do, you'll be grateful to have learned them.
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