Are You Ready for an Emergency?


The most important factor in preparing for medical emergencies is to do everything you can to prevent them. It is always advised to put safety first by practicing caution and common sense, and safety instructions when given. Take care of yourself by following a sensible diet, exercising regularly, and getting an annual physical examination. Work with your doctor to determine whether you or your family members are at risk for any potentially life-threatening conditions that may be linked to genetics or lifestyle, and then follow your doctor's advice in reducing the risk factors.

Taking a first aid training is always a necessity to help you be constantly prepared to a medical emergency that could happen anytime. Most of the first aid trainings focus on four main types of emergencies: choking, poisoning, heart disease emergencies, and traffic accidents.

Choking is one of the most common cases of emergencies. You are in a restaurant when someone at your table starts choking. What should you do to help? Approach the person from behind and put your arms around their waist. Make a fist with one hand with the thumb pointing in. Place this hand along the middle of their abdomen between their belly button and their breastbone. Put your other hand on top of your fist. Firmly thrust your hands inwards and upwards. Repeat until the person coughs up the object they are choking on.

If you are babysitting a 4-year-old child when you discover the child has swallowed more than half a bottle of his parents' pills or his mom’s nail product, your quick response in the next few minutes can save this kid’s life. If the child is unconscious, has stopped breathing, or has no pulse, call for an ambulance and start Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) immediately until help arrives.

If you were present in the scene of a traffic accident, you need a clear plan of action. First, call for an ambulance and check if there is anyone at the scene with a medical background who can help. Then, quickly figure out which of the injured people to help first. Check each person briefly to see if they respond to you, and whether their injuries are life-threatening. Check to see if the person's airway, the breathing tube from their mouth to their lungs, is open. If they are talking or breathing, the airway is open. If not, the airway could be blocked. Check to see if the person's heart is beating. Feel for a pulse on the inside of the wrist or the side of the neck. Check for visible bleeding. If bleeding is present, stop it by applying pressure and elevating the bleeding area so it is above the heart. If the person is not breathing or if the heart is not beating, you should perform CPR immediately until help arrives.

Once again, receiving proper first aid training is essential to prepare you for all common sorts of emergencies. Always remember that being prepared is something to be taken seriously, as it can possibly save the life of one of your beloved ones.


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SCIplanet is a bilingual edutainment science magazine published by the Bibliotheca Alexandrina Planetarium Science Center and developed by the Cultural Outreach Publications Unit ...
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