When you least expect it, you might be the first to arrive at the scene of a medical emergency. Would you know what to do? Would you help? Learning first aid is more than a skill, it is an act of humanity. Yet sometimes, people just don’t want to get involved. Common concerns include:
1) Not knowing what to do. Take first aid training (it is easy to learn). Then you will have the knowledge, skills & confidence to help someone in a medical emergency.
2) Fear of doing something wrong. In Canada, you won’t get sued if you act reasonably. Use common sense & don’t try to do something you weren’t trained to do. We have provincial laws to protect bystanders who give emergency aid (in Alberta it is called the Emergency Medical Aid Act).
3) Too much of a hurry/can’t be bothered. We are a fast paced society focused on our own needs. We are forgetting how to be compassionate & considerate. We are losing our empathy for others in need. Put yourself in the other guys/gals shoes. How would you feel if no one could be bothered to help you? Take the time to help others, as you would want others to help you.
4) Uncomfortable helping someone who is different . If we were all the same, the world would be a boring place. I am proud to live in a multi-cultural nation. When there is a medical emergency, please provide help to people in need regardless of their race, political beliefs, religion, social status or culture.
5) Concerns over personal safety. Never put yourself in danger trying to help someone else. If you fear for your safety, simply call 9-1-1. By making this call you are helping in a big way.
6) Unpleasant injuries. The sight of blood, vomit & other injuries can be very unpleasant & upsetting. If you need to, take a moment to calm & compose yourself. Try taking deep breaths, then do what you can to help.
7) Catching a disease. Simple precautions can prevent this.For example, just don’t touch a somone’s blood. Use barrier devices, like gloves & CPR masks. Improvise when you don’t have the perfect tools. Always scrub with soap & water after administering first aid.
8) Other people at the scene. When you see lots of people at the scene, it is easy to assume that they can take care of the emergency without your help. Never assume & always offer your help. What if no one at the scene has a cell phone (perhaps 9-1-1 hasn’t even been called). Maybe you can help get supplies, meet the ambulance, comfort the injured or help with crowd/traffic control.
Don’t be indifferent or look the other way. Step up. Contribute to your community in a positive way. Get involved. Decide to act. Help others in a medical emergency. You could save a life!