The second Saturday of September every year is pretty special to the proudly-injured and battle-scarred gang. World First Aid Day has been held on this day every year since its conception in 2000 by The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC). If the need for a special day for first aid completely goes over your head, here is what you get out of it – the awareness and skills to save lives in situations of crisis through first aid. Now saving lives seems like a pretty sound reason for a celebration. It is indeed a classic superhero move, with first aid knowledge to boot. So basically, you also get to have your ultimate nerdy superhero fantasy. Everyone should learn first aid, and here is why.
1. One Man, One Cause
The man responsible for first aid is Henry Durant. This unlikely hero was a merchant in Geneva who underwent severe trauma during the battle of Solferino in 1859. To put off his fellow soldiers’ misery, he grabbed the necessary tools and equipment to build a ‘makeshift hospital’ at their camp in the middle of nowhere. The idea of a ‘makeshift hospital’ was reflected in his book ‘A Memory of Solferino’ in 1863. The formation of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the concept of ‘first aid’ can be traced back to this book.
2. Learning the Basics
Since the COVID-19 restrictions were lifted, the roads have gone back to being veritable transportation landmines. In the spirit of giving COVID the slip, people choose the option of commuting using their own vehicles as the lesser of two evils (as opposed to public transport). But then they cause traffic holdups, tempers run high, and impatience takes the stage – the perfect recipe for road accidents just waiting to happen. Whether you are a driver or passenger, there are five things you must remember if you witness an accident. While you call for professional help, take the time to – identify seriously injured persons, try to stop the bleeding, check for consciousness, remove any obstructions in the airway, and try EAR (expired air resuscitation) if you are not getting a pulse. It sounds like a gargantuan task, but it comes easier with practice.
3. Bandaging Wounds Is a Survival Skill
First aid is a survival skill that will get you pretty far. If not for yourself, then definitely for someone in need. Popular belief runs that only a professional can perform first aid right – no, you are eligible as long as you have functioning hands and adequate understanding. Take your time and learn the process step by step. Make sure to wear gloves before dressing a wound (when gloves are unavailable in a crisis, wash your hands with soap and water or rubbing alcohol), cover the bandage delicately, and secure the bandage to tie the wound in place. Finally, check for blood circulation and loosen the bandage if necessary.
4. Blood Is Blood – Do Not Panic
Hold your ship when you see a flood of blood at the scene. If you faint at the very thought, give it a moment. Inhale deeply and slowly exhale. Remember that a life may depend on your helping hand. No time for histrionics here; just take that deep breath, chuck the diversions and fears, and go save lives. First aid builds your mental strength to act quickly and boldly in times of life or death.
When lives are hanging in the balance, a lot rides on your ability to think quick, and think smart. This World First Aid Day, give yourself the push you need to be a part of the first aid community. Learn the significance of lifelong first-aid by not letting no reason block your way and become a superhero in your own right. Chop chop!