Most of us understand the importance of first aid, but unless you're working in the medical field or using your knowledge every day, it's easy to fall behind on key techniques. As with much of the medical field, these techniques are always changing, so it's crucial to brush up periodically—you never know when your knowledge could mean the difference between life and death.
Thanks to recent research studies, first aid techniques such as the use of a tourniquet are now being seen in a new...
The team at LifeHacker recently came up with a helpful list of six parts of first aid training that may have changed since you learned them. We've summarized them below, but for more details, check out the full article on LifeHacker.
- CPR: the “ABCs” (airway, breathing, chest compression – in that order) have been re-ordered to “CAB”, or chest compressions, airway, then breathing. Some researchers have even claimed that mouth-to-mouth breathing is unnecessary, recommending hands-only CPR.
- Tourniquets: although they have been discouraged in the past due to risk of limb damage, research has found the rate of complications is lower than initially thought. You should still only use them if you can't stop bleeding with pressure, but don't worry so much about losing limbs from a properly applied tourniquet.
- Poison Control: some first aid classes in the past suggested inducing vomiting if someone ingests a toxic substance. Don't do this, as it could cause more damage depending on the toxin involved. Call Poison Control immediately and follow their advice.
- Severed Digits: Don't just put them directly on ice, as this can damage the flesh, making reattachment surgery impossible. Wrap them in cloth, then put them on ice.
- Seizure Victims: Some people think putting items in their mouth for them to bite down on will help. It won't. Cushion the victim's head if possible (but don't hold them down), stand clear, and call 911.
- Heimlich Maneuver: It's now recommended to hit the victim's back with the heel of your hand before using the Heimlich maneuver. This helps dislodge foreign objects.
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