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Learning first aid and para CPR: A lifesaver’s manual

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Imagine that you’re enjoying a picnic as a family. The laughter fills the room, but then someone collapses. The panic sets in. Are you prepared? Knowing CPR, Para CPR and First Aid can make you a hero in the most critical situations.

To begin with, let’s examine Para CPR. This is not about pumping the chest of a person like you are trying to start a lawnmower. It’s a bit more complicated than that. The goal is to keep vital organs nourished until professional assistance arrives. In essence, you’re buying time for a person who is in trouble.

Imagine the following scenario: At a barbecue, your buddy Joe chokes while eating a steak. It’s not necessary to be Superman. You just need to know the Heimlich manoeuvre. Standing behind Joe, place your hands around his waist and make a fist. Place it just above Joe’s navel. Grab your fist, and with the other hand, give quick upward thrusts to make that piece of meat fly out like a wine cork.

What if Joe’s not breathing? Now it’s time for mouth-tomouth action! Tip his head slightly back to open up the airway. Pince his nose shut and then breathe into his mouth. If he does not start breathing within two breaths, go back to the chest compressions.

Don’t forget the wounds. They can be nasty, especially when someone tries to be Gordon Ramsay and ends up like Mr. Bean. Avoid soap and clean the wound using water. Apply pressure to the area with a clean bandage or cloth. Elevate the affected area if you can.

Campfires and grilling mishaps are common at social gatherings. Run cool water for several minutes over the affected area (no ice!) to treat minor burns. Then, cover the burn with a gauze bandage. It’s best to avoid popping blisters. They are there as a form of protection.

We’ll talk about fainting spells, because who hasn’t seen Aunt Mildred wobble at Thanksgiving dinner? If someone faints you should lay them on their backs with their legs elevated to increase blood circulation to the brain. Check for any injuries and loosen clothing around the neck if someone falls.

What about heart attack? It is important to know the symptoms of a heart attack. The symptoms can be chest pain or discomfort. They may also include shortness of breathe, nausea, and lightheadedness. Call 911 immediately! As you wait for help, try to keep the person calm.

Seizures are also frightening, but understanding how to manage them can make a huge difference. Restraining someone experiencing a seizure is a bad idea. If possible, place a soft item under their head and remove any nearby objects that might cause injury.

Remember that episode from “The Office” when Michael Scott sang “Stayin’ Alive” while performing CPR? As ridiculous as it might sound, the song’s rhythm actually works.

You should also be aware of allergic reactions. Bee stings, food allergies and other ninja-like attacks are lurking everywhere. EpiPen is a lifesaver here. Quickly inject it in the outer thigh to stop things from getting worse.

Why should this matter to you? You should be prepared for emergencies, because they don’t announce themselves. Being prepared is being ready for when it counts most.