First Aid for adults
Pediatric first aid requires patience and the ability to help relax and converse with panicked children. First aid for adults presents its own challenges. Oftentimes, when an adult is injured and requires first aid, it’ll be something so serious that it prevents them from speaking altogether. This is why first aid training for life-threatening emergencies such as heart attacks and strokes is worthwhile. These medical emergencies are more common than most people think.
In general, situations where adults require first aid are more serious than when children need them. The condition might be so serious that all you can do is call for help and offer basic life support. This might be CPR or simply moving the individual into a more comfortable position.
Some of the most common first aid emergencies that occur to adults are:
Anaphylaxis (anaphylactic shock)
This is a severe allergic reaction that can occur after eating certain foods or being stung by insects. This allergic reaction can make it difficult for the person to draw breath as their tongue and throat may begin to swell. Usually, this reaction will happen almost immediately. This means those nearby should call for emergency assistance as soon as possible. In the meantime, assist the afflicted person by sitting them upright (if they’re conscious). Also, make sure that they’re comfortable and breathing as well as they possibly can.
In this scenario, the objective should be to stem the bleeding to prevent blood loss. If too much blood is lost, the person may go into shock and become unresponsive. Contrary to what you may have seen in movies, if an item is embedded in someone, do not remove it because this will only increase blood loss. Remain calm and apply pressure on the wound until emergency services arrive.
Burning and scalding
In the case of providing first aid for burns and scalds, it’s crucial to apply cool running water onto the affected area as soon as possible. You should do this either for at least twenty minutes or when the pain has faded. This is a good example of why you’d need pediatric first aid training for burns as well because children’s bodies would react differently to adults. If a young child or baby suffers a burn, you’d have to cool the burn in shorter stints. This is because a continuous flow of cold water onto the skin could cause hypothermia. You should also carefully remove any jewellery or clothing that might affect the afflicted area. Do not apply any sprays, lotions or creams.
For anyone over the age of one year old, the following advice applies in the case of mild choking; encourage the person to cough or spit out any objects in the mouth. If this doesn’t work, give them firm blows on the back. Do not put your fingers down their throats as this might push the object even further down their throat.
For severe choking, the person may not be able to breathe or even make any noise at all. To help them, stand behind them and lean forward to encourage the object to tip out of their mouth as opposed to travelling down their mouth or throat. Give the person no more than five firm blows to the area between their shoulder blades with the heel of your hand. If the person is still choking after these procedures, call for emergency services and explain that the person is choking. Continue with back blows until the ambulance arrives.
Heart attacks are one of the most common life-threatening heart conditions that occur in the UK. Sometimes, people can be suffering from heart attacks and be unaware that it’s happening. This makes providing first aid for heart attacks extremely difficult. This is because the symptoms can differ. The most common one is chest pain which feels like pressure or tightness or general discomfort in the upper body. But heart attacks can also cause pain in other areas of the body, like the arms, jaw, back or abdomen. If you think someone is having a heart attack, call for emergency services as soon as possible. Then, move them into a comfortable sitting position until help arrives.
From this list, you can see just how many conditions first aid training can be crucial in treating. And this list only scratches the surface. There are still many more emergencies that could occur, such as electric shocks, fractures, poisoning, strokes and shock after a serious injury.