A couple of years ago my brother-in-law Bobby was puttering around in his garage one morning when he collapsed, then turned blue. Other than calling 9-1-1, his wife didn’t know what to do. She did what people who don’t know what to do always do in a situation like that- nothing. Bobby, only 50 years old, had had a heart attack. By the time the paramedics arrived ten minutes later, he was dead.
Ten years ago six of us took a ten day canoe trip in the Everglades. There were three adults and three boys aged 11, 12, and 13. While swimming from a chickee, the twelve year old sliced his leg wide open on an oyster shell. We were five days out, as far as we could have been from a telephone or help on that trip.
I pulled out a first aid kit and Ken Shannon went to work cleaning the injury, stopping the bleeding, then binding it. That wound did not get infected and it healed up without being stitched, stapled, or glued. Today that young man has a long scar on an otherwise fully functional leg.
Son Alex and I took our re-certification courses in standard first aid and CPR with the American Heart Association yesterday. It reminded me again how uninformed most of us are about steps to take in an emergency, and how easy it is to get yourself educated.
Everyone who spends any time paddling, power boating, biking, hiking, whatever you like to do that takes you away from a prompt response by EMTs, should have a first aid kit and the know-how to use it.
Look, I truly hope that I am never called upon to use CPR. But this is life, and shit happens. Wouldn’t you rather know what to do in an emergency than to watch someone, perhaps someone you love, die because you didn’t?
Find out more about the American Heart Association’s CPR and First Aid classes here…
Find out more about the American Red Cross’s classes here…
Put together or purchase a well stocked first aid kit with the help of this list…
Do it now, before it’s too late!
- CPR Training Videos (answers.com)