Why Everyone NEEDS to Know First Aid

Why Everyone NEEDS to Know First Aid
8 April, 2017

As some readers are aware, I have spent many years working in EMS. 
One of the things that always hurt my heart when on a call was showing up on a scene, and having a family member or bystander say “I didn’t know what to do.”

I can’t even imagine how helpless they must have felt, waiting for the ambulance to arrive. 

I am passionate about teaching first aid, and that is one of the many reasons why. 
Most of the time, as a layperson providing care in an emergency, the care you provide is to a family member, a friend, or a co-worker.  It is someone you know. 
Why would you NOT want to have the tools and knowledge to help?

Sadly, accidents happen.  Accidents can be messy.  And, accidents can be scary.  But, they are much more scary, when a person doesn’t know what to do to assist that injured person.  Medical emergencies are scary too, and more scary when a person doesn’t know what to do to help. 

Waiting for the ambulance, especially in rural areas, can potentially make a situation worse, if care is not provided immediately.  In a critical situation, it just takes too long for the ambulance to get to your home or workplace. 

Here is a harsh example. 
A family member collapses with a sudden cardiac arrest. 
If no one does anything except call 911 and wait for the ambulance, the odds of that person surviving are slim to none. 
Because within 4 – 6 minutes, brain damage starts to occur.  By 10 minutes, that person has such severe brain damage, that even if EMS or the hospital was able to get the heart started again, there would be no brain function. 
Starting CPR provides oxygen to the brain, and protects the brain and vital organs until more advanced care can be obtained.
If an AED is available, survival rate is exponentially higher than with CPR alone.     

Think about how long it takes an ambulance to get to your location.  Five minutes?  Ten minutes?  Longer?  For most of us, it is longer than 10 minutes.  That is why we NEED people to know first aid! 

Basic first aid skills are easy to learn, and the importance of this knowledge cannot be overstated. 
Knowing what to do in an emergency not only supports the sick or injured person, but is also invaluable help to the emergency responders and medical practitioners.  It also helps the person providing the care, by knowing that they did something to help, rather than face that helpless feeling of not knowing what to do. 

It isn’t “just first aid.”  It is precious knowledge and skills that could someday save the life of someone you love.  Isn’t that worth 14 – 16 hours of your time to gain that knowledge and skill?