7 Lifesaving First Aid Skills Everyone Should Learn

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21 November, 2019

Emergencies do not come with warnings - it can happen anytime, anywhere and to anybody.

The first step in handling emergency situations is to call 000 (Emergency Number Australia). While waiting, bystanders with basic first aid knowledge must do something while waiting for the emergency help to arrive.

Yet, many people are reluctant to step forward to help due to lack of knowledge on first aid application. Pre-hospital deaths could have been prevented had first aid been carried out before the emergency medical services arrive.

First Aid Training must be recognised and promoted as an essential life skill that It is. Below are the basic life-saving skills everyone should know to be emergency ready.

1. Perform CPR

Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) is performed to provide chest compressions and rescue breaths when the heart is not pumping on its normal pace.


With Adult CPR, the ratio is 30:2. Apply a steady rate of 100 to 120 compressions per minute about 5-6 cm deep. After every 30 compressions, give two rescue breaths.


With Child and Infant CPR, gently deliver quick compressions that are about 1.5 inches deep. Tilt the head of the child/infant and gently provide two rescue breaths.


Continue CPR until the emergency response is ready to take over.

2. Respond to a Heart Attack

The first thing to do is to recognise the symptoms. If the person started exhibiting signs of heart attack, perform first aid immediately. The Mayo Clinic advises the person having a heart attack to chew aspirin while waiting for the medical services to arrive.

3. Stop Someone Choking

Heimlich Maneuver is the recommended treatment to stop choking. Stand behind the person and place both arms around leaning them forward, then perform up to five (5) abdominal thrusts. Continue the cycle until the foreign object is dislodged.

4. Revive Someone from Drowning

The first minute after near-drowning is critical. Maintain an open airway by thrusting the jaw open, allowing the person to breathe. Pinch the nose of the victim closed, then cover it with the responder’s mouth to create an airtight seal. Give 2 breaths followed by 30 chest compressions. Continue this process until the person starts breathing or emergency help arrives.

5. Stop The Bleeding

Apply firm, direct pressure on the wound using a clean cloth (or sterile dressing) available until the bleeding stops. Elevate and support the injured area above the level of the heart while applying pressure. Maintain the pressure until help arrives.

6. Treat a Burn

Treatment must take into account both cause and extent. For First Degree Burn and Second-Degree Burn:

•             Immediately cool the affected area with flowing water

•             Apply antibiotic ointment

  •         Cover the burnt with a clean, dry, non-stick dressing

For Third-Degree or Fourth-degree burns, seek immediate medical help

7. Deliver a Baby

The birth will naturally happen without intervention, the role of the bystander is to make a safe and relatively comfortable environment for the woman in labor Support the baby’s head and body as it moves out of the mother’s body. Dry the baby and keep it warm until emergency medical services arrive.

The thing about first aid survival skills is you never know when you are going to need them.