Editorial Contribution by Sally Writes
Only half of Americans say that they know CPR, according to one Cleveland Clinic survey. However, due to the unpredictable nature of emergency situations, it’s necessary that everyone be educated on even the simplest first aid skills, several of which can save a life. Whether it’s simply knowing the location of important medical equipment at your local gym or knowing key steps in controlling heavy bleeding, here are just some of the essentials that no black man should go anywhere without.
The location of the defibrillator
Findings from a six year analysis of 22,500 people with no history of cardiovascular disease led to the discovery that black participants were almost two and a half times more likely to die from sudden cardiac arrest than white participants. This proves that AEDs are a necessity. Also known as an automated external defibrillator, an AED is a device that can save the life of someone experiencing sudden cardiac arrest, as it can analyze a heart rhythm as well as deliver an electric shock should it be necessary.
AEDs can commonly be found in many public places, such as gyms, rec centers, or airports, and are designed in an easy to use manner (with instructions) so that it’s accessible for anyone to be able to use in case of an emergency. If you frequent such locations, it’s important to be aware of where you can find the defibrillator in case of an emergency. Simply familiarizing yourself with the location of the nearest defibrillators can save someone’s life, especially in a moment when timing is everything.
Getting CPR certified
Those in predominantly black locations are less likely to receive CPR (or defibrillation) from a bystander should their heart stop at home or within the community (when compared to those who live in predominantly white neighborhoods). For such reasons, those in such situations have a worse chance of survival, according to one study that was published in JAMA Cardiology by researchers at the Duke Clinical Research Institute.
CPR, which stands for cardiopulmonary resuscitation, is commonly used in situations such as when a person shows no signs of life or is otherwise not breathing normally. Performed by using multiple chest compressions, CPR is a necessary, lifesaving skill to have, especially since it can be needed in a number of different situations at a moment’s notice — whether it be at the beach, the gym, or elsewhere. For such reasons, getting CPR certified is a great addition to your first aid knowledge, as doing so can provide you with the proper techniques and methods that you’d need to use in an emergency.
Other basic life saving skills
Around 60,000 Americans die each year due to hemorrhaging, as estimated by one 2018 review. Like with other emergencies, heavy bleeding can occur in a number of different situations, making knowing how to manage it a necessity. For example, emergency services may advise you to apply pressure on the wound to control the bleeding.
Additionally, the Heimlich maneuver is yet another life saving first aid skill, as it can save someone who is choking by expelling an object that is stuck in their airway. Taking part in a professional and comprehensive first aid course/program is a great way to learn all of the essentials in one go, and can broaden your knowledge on the proper way to handle a myriad of different situations.
First aid is more than just knowing how to apply bandages, as there are a number of life saving first aid skills that can save a life when needed. From controlling heavy bleeding to simply knowing the location of the nearest defibrillator, these are just a few of the necessary skills that everyone should know.