CPR and First Aid Do’s and Don’ts

Although mobile devices provide access to a variety of medical information, the internet is no substitute for adequate training. You won’t have time to compare papers, read comments, or study a diagram in an emergency, especially if you’re hurt and alone.

The best approach to obtain the skills and confidence you need to aid someone (or yourself) in an emergency is to get hands-on training with an experienced teacher. Review the first aid and CPR Do’s and Don’ts below to learn about some of the topics covered in first aid and CPR courses.

ACTIVATE EMERGENCY SERVICES FIRST before administering aid.

Emergency medical services arrive at an accident scene in 7-14 minutes on average. Before attempting assistance, make sure that skilled personnel are on their way.

When administering CPR, DO NOT bend your elbows – you will waste energy.

It’s exhausting to perform CPR alone using your arm muscles. You activate your back and shoulder muscles and leverage your body weight by maintaining your arms straight. Adding extra muscles to your chest compressions enhances your ability to do them correctly and increases your endurance.

DO NOT rock back and forth between chest compressions because it is exhausting and ineffective.

It’s not difficult to do life-saving chest compressions, but it can be exhausting. During your CPR training, you’ll practice on a specially made mannequin and learn how to save energy from your teacher.

DO NOT roll an unconscious patient onto their side unless a spine or neck injury is suspected.

Rolling someone on their side can help them avoid choking on fluids that have accumulated in their airway (such as blood or vomit).

Removing blood-soaked gauze could cause blood clots to break apart.

Maintain the pressure and, if necessary, add more layers of gauze.

Replace a knocked-out tooth as soon as possible to safeguard the root.

Replace the tooth in its socket if the patient is breathing and communicating.

If the tooth is unclean, gently rinse it while avoiding the root. Do not immerse your teeth in water (this can damage the root).

Put the tooth in the patient’s mouth or a glass of milk if it won’t remain in its socket. If at all feasible, get the patient to emergency dental care within 30 minutes.

Enroll in a hands-on CPR course — either in person or online.

Only training is insufficient.

CPR, like dribbling a ball or lifting weights, is a physical skill. Form is important, and an expert local instructor may provide you with helpful advice and comments. Find a CPR teacher in your area.

DO seek refresher training in first aid and CPR — we all forget things over time.

Every couple of years, everyone, including doctors and nurses, must refresh their CPR training. Your instructor can give you a fast reference card, but wouldn’t you rather have your life-saving skills front of mind when it counts?