February 5, 2010

First Aid first

A typical indian scenario. A guy's just had an accident, he's lying injured bleeding to death. There are people
all around him. They watch in "horror" as life drains out of him. As if the whole ordeal weren't tragic
enough, the dying man now has an audience!
Let's face it, we're pathetic when it comes to helping others, we're too 'busy' with our own problems.But
basic first aid is something that needs acute focus because, apart from being really liberal when it comes to
safety(read construction sites); our society is also blessed with an almost inhuman indifference. Help and
then expect help, people!

First Aid is no rocket science. A basic knowledge of human anatomy and some common sense goes a long
way. Dad has been pushing me to attend a first aid certification course somewhere near Koti, which I
conveniently ignored- until now. I'm going soon. And heads up IT geeks who think they're clear- A
certification looks good in a resume too!

Some basics
The most basic and fundamental premise of first aid is to preserve life, Secondary objectives include
preventing further harm and promoting recovery.
The mnemonic ABC can be used as a first step in the process.

Airway - check the airway for any obstructing particles. During unconsciousness the tongue usually slips
back into the throat causing asphyxia. This can be restored by tilting the head backwards while keeping the
body horizontal.

Breathing - Adequacy of breathing is checked. CPR(Cardiopulmonary resuscitation ) maybe be given in case of no breathing. A pointer- adequate training is required for this procedure and as shown in movies, it's not always the cheeky hero-on-heroine CPR.

Circulation - This involves cuts and bruises and gauging the level of emergency by the nature of the cut. A
wound that bleeds for more then 10 minutes requires immediate medical attention.

If a full fledged training is still a long shot, one reading of a basic FA book is good enough.
Accidents are part of life. they can happen anywhere and anytime. the presence of a well trained or atleast
sensible person can help save precious lives. Dad once saved a guy from eloctrocution by an exposed wire
by throwing a haysack at him, the force knocking him down, breaking contact with the fatal wire!

One may be no pro in first aid but there is no harm in taking necessary precautions to avoid such a situation
in the first place.

- A list of emergency numbers in wallet. As I said, anything can happen to anyone and it pays to have a list
  of important numbers in pocket.

- Some essential meds in bag. A strip of Vertin helped me through an exam one day when an extreme bout
  of vertigo took over me.

- I know this may sound funny but one should usually try and avoid the first few rows in a bus. Statistics
   have proven most casualties in bus accidents happen to be from the first rows. It helps to be careful, isn't it?

- Touch wet switches with the back of the hand. By reflex, fingers tend to clasp in during a sudden
   electrocution. In case of an electrical wire or switch, this is a really bad thing to happen. Hence by using the
   back of the hand, the reflex is directed away from point of contact.

- I think I was in 9th class when Dad taught me a simple way to remember the types of fire extinguishers.


OLD - Class A - for Ordinary fires including combustible things like wood, paper etc

LADY- Class B - for Liquid fires including gasoline, kerosene and the like.

GENERAL- Class C - G here stands for non-conductive(maybe gas) substances. It is used for electrical fires.

MANAGER- Class D - M for metals. This type is usually used in chemical laboratories for fires invloving
combustible metals.

- Heights: A student at my brother's college slipped off the railing and fell three floors to his death. He was
  leaning on the edge when his leg slipped on a small puddle of water. Common sense and a sense of safety is
  important for self preservation. One guy got his head chopped off at a leth machine because he'd miscalculated it's height from ground. gross!

Common sense and a fair bit of luck(sometimes even first aid is of no use) can get us through life.





sakshi said...

wow! that was a lot of info for pepl who dint know much abt first aid.. cool ..

Aziz Siddiqui said...

@sakshi: thanks!