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How to Stop Bleeding and Save a Life
The Las Vegas shooting highlighted the role of bystanders in saving lives. Public health agencies are working to expand awareness and training.

Police Officers Need to Get Better at CPR
When they shoot, they must be prepared for the aftermath.

Why First Aid Is Often Lacking in the Moments After a Police Shooting
A police research group suggests that departments install requirements for officers to render first aid, even to people they may have just shot.




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Common First Aid Scenarios You Should Recognize

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While you can't necessarily predict the unexpected, you can learn about basic first aid scenarios so that you know what to do. Though you might see televisions shows and read books about medical dramas that include complicated injuries and diseases, chances are slim that you will ever need this level of expertise. Here are some common first aid scenarios and how to deal with them - as you'll probably encounter at least one in your lifetime.

Cuts and Scrapes

No matter how they happen, cuts and scrapes are still the most common first aid scenarios in any situation. Because life comes with sharp edges, your skin is simply going to get torn from time to time. The main thing to be concerned about when this happens is infection. You need to make sure you are cleaning out the wound as much as you can with warm and soapy water. If you don't have any water on hand, try to use an antibacterial gel or wipe to help remove dirt and germs. Once you have done this, cover the wound up to prevent further infection and monitor for redness, swelling, and warmth.

In the case of a large gash, you will want to apply pressure to the wound to stop the bleeding first before cleaning the area. The body should be able to clot the blood and stop the bleeding within 10 minutes or so, but if this isn't happening, you need to seek medical attention. These kinds of cuts will probably need stitches or medication.

Heatstroke/Frostbite

If you're out in nature at any given point of the year, you need to realize that heatstroke and frostbite can happen. These first aid scenarios might not be as dramatic as a broken bone or a gash, but they can turn from problematic to life threatening in minutes. Here are the signs you need to watch out for:

Heatstroke

* Mental confusion
* Lack of sweating
* High body temperature

In this case, you need to douse the person in water as well as try to have them take a sip or two of water each minute. This will help to cool the body and prevent damage to the cells. You don't want to give the person a lot of water to drink as they are prone to vomiting at this point which will only dehydrate them further.

Frostbite

* Loss of feeling in extremities
* Fatigue
* White or blackened fingertips, ears, nose, etc.

For frostbite, you need to cover the area as much as you can to keep it warm. If you can, run tepid water over the area to start warming it back up, but not hot water as this can cause more damage as the nerves are deadened and won't be able to feel a burn.

Both of these first aid scenarios can only be managed by you until help arrives - medical assistance will be necessary.




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