Someone cuts his or her finger on a sharp object. Out on the road or tail, an older person collapses from a heart attack. During a sporting event, a someone faints from standing too long or pushing themselves too hard. Two automobiles collide, seriously injuring the occupants. A youngster floats motionless, face down in a swimming pool. A diner at the next table chokes on food, unable to breathe.
It happens every day. Some of these people just need a helping hand while others will die or suffer serious permanent injury if not immediately attended to. Many things separate those who live and escape serious disability from those who die or suffer long after their misfortune: the individual’s fitness and health, the severity of the initial incident, the distance from medical care and often, just plain luck. No one can control these variables.
But there’s one variable you can control when you are on the scene of any medical emergency: You. Often, life versus death or complete recovery versus long-term disability lies with a layperson first responder providing care between the emergency’s onset and the arrival of professional medical personnel. If you are there, you can provide that care. You can be an Emergency Responder. As a layperson, you can not guarantee that a patient will live or fully recover – there is too much beyond anyone’s control – but you can feel confident that given the circumstances, everything that could be done will be done.
If you are not familiar with emergency care procedures, it can seem intimidating and complex. What do you do? For that matter, how do you know what to do first? Such questions may appear overwhelming, but actually, they are not. If you can remember “ABCD’S” you will know what to do. This is because no matter what the nature of a medical emergency, you follow the same steps in the same order, providing basic care based on what you find.
As you venture away for the comfort of your home environment it is extra important to know some basic skills; perhaps you are not able to communicate in the language of the country you are visiting, during Outdoor Events you tend to be further away from help, and perhaps the country you are visiting has a very different viewpoint in what medical care is. Knowing some of the basic will help you be less stressed during your vacation and everyday life.