Every Parent Should Know These Lifesaving Skills

If your child’s heart suddenly stops working, would you know what to do?
Man doing CPR

Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) is a life-threatening condition in which the heart’s electrical system malfunctions and the heart can no longer pump oxygen-rich blood to the brain and vital organs.
SCA is the number one cause of death in the USA. SCA is the number cause of death in teenage athletes. A sudden cardiac arrest can happen to children as well as adults.

There are many causes, including underlying heart disease, a blow to the chest, asthma, drowning, electrocution, diabetes, and allergic reaction.

When CPR and an AED are administered within the first 3-5 minutes of collapse, the victim has a 75% greater chance of survival. Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is an emergency procedure that combines chest compressions often with artificial ventilation in an effort to manually preserve intact brain function until further measures are taken to restore spontaneous blood circulation and breathing in a person who is in cardiac arrest. CPR pumps oxygen-rich blood to the brain and major organs to sustain life; an AED can deliver a lifesaving shock to the heart and get it beating effectively again.

To check for breathing, use the acronym LLF(Look, Listen and Feel) Look to see if their chest is rising and falling. Listen over their mouth and nose for breathing sounds. Feel their breath against your cheek for 10 seconds.

Did you know that the human person can bear without a breath between 3 TO 7 minutes?

ALSO, READ: How to clear the airway of an unconscious person

Quick! Someone is choking! Seconds count because the brain can’t go without oxygen for more than 5 to 10 minutes without suffering irreversible brain damage. When an object becomes lodged in a person’s throat, it can stop them from breathing immediately. Stand behind a victim, wrap your arms around them, make a fist and grab it, then press it into their upper abdomen. Several quick thrusts should help dislodge the object and get the person breathing again. Just in case, and especially for babies and children, learn the proper technique in a course.

Among the many basic life-saving skills everyone should know is how to help stem the flow of blood from a cut artery, vein, or other wound. Stopping bleeding doesn’t require much training, but again, an in-person first aid class is a good idea. Until then, know that all you have to do is apply a piece of cloth—shirts, towels, and the like work well—to the wound and hold it down with direct pressure. Raise the injured area above the heart as well. There are pressure points on the upper arm and leg you can hold down as well to slow the flow of blood.

Shock occurs when the body’s blood flow diminishes due to a life-threatening injury, loss of blood, and other trauma. Shock can kill just like any major injury, so it’s important to recognize and treat shock while treating other issues. Shock can manifest as dizziness, fainting, cool or pale skin, clamminess, and other unusual changes in the body or the person’s behavior. Keep the person calm and still, cover them with a blanket, elevate the feet so the blood flows toward the brain, and don’t let them drink or eat.

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