The Basic First Aid Moves You Should Know
You’ve heard it before, and you’ll hear it again: it’s better to be safe than sorry. In a time in our country’s history, where the future of our health care is on such shaky ground, we need to take care of each other. We need to look out for one another. Part of that means standing up, and part of it means learning to recognize when others need help. Sure, you might not be able to perform open heart surgery or bring back the dead, but maybe, just maybe, you can help save a life. With that, here is a list of some conditions and first aid that everyone should know.
Disclaimer: as you read this, please bear in mind that I am NOT a doctor. If you, or someone you know, are injured, sick, or overdosing CALL 911 FOR FUCKS SAKE! But you should consider learning the following techniques because a pro might not be around, which might leave only you, to save a life.
Let me tell you a story. Recently I was chilling in my kitchen reading garbage on the internet and munching on cashews – divine. I emptied a small handful of nuts into my mouth and suddenly GASP! I couldn’t breathe. I tried to push up against my counter to coax the blockage out. No dice. Thankfully, my neighbor whom I share a porch with was home and I ran into his open door. I gave him the internationally recognized “OH SHIT I CAN’T BREATHE” hand jive and he gave me the Heimlich maneuver. Had he not been there, and I wasn’t able to reach him as quick as I did, I can assure you I’d likely be dead. No one wants to be killed by a cashew. Learn the Heimlich maneuver video here.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, CPR. Sure, you’re going to take that class with the American Red Cross or other safety course near your house soon. Sure, you’ve missed it the past six times, but it happens once a month, so no big deal. Bullshit. With 350,000 folks going into cardiac arrest 90% of them die, but when CPR is administered within the first few minutes life expectancy becomes a lot better. The CPR rate for an adult in need is 3 ‘compressions’ or presses to the sternum for every 2 seconds. After 15 compressions/10 seconds, you then give the person 2 breaths into their mouth. (Confused? Well go take a fucking cpr class in your area then! At the very least read about it via the redcross.org.)
Heart Attack Symptoms
One in every seven people who die in the US is because of heart disease. ONE IN FUCKING SEVEN. What does that mean? Learn the signs of a heart attack. These include: nausea, cold sweat, aching in your chest or arms, fatigue, and a host of others. Check out this list for more. Does knowing these really help? Well, in 1999 my step-father thought he had been bitten in his left arm by a centipede. It was numb and he was feeling off. Just fresh out of my Human Anatomy and Physiology final I had heart attack warning signs on the brain. I told he and my mom my armchair diagnosis and they went to the hospital. Turns out he did have a heart attack, but because he was able to get to the hospital early and quickly I am happy to report he is alive, well, and giving me shit to this very day.
It’s fucked up, but we, as a culture, are in the throes of a massive opioid epidemic. Opioid addiction wears many faces. It isn’t just the providence of rock stars or disenfranchised, it’s also prevalent in the successful, middle class, boring, young, and old. I know, I know, you don’t know any junkies. However, current use and addiction statistics pretty much assure that you do, in fact, know someone who is. That’s why it’s important to understand the signs of an overdose and to learn how to administer naloxone, or Narcan. Programs like DOPE Project offer tutorials and many large pharmacies in California offer it over the counter.
For more information on where to learn CPR and other first aid techniques the American Red Cross is a great place to start for tips and classes. We all need to keep an eye out for one another.