Whether we are talking about urban survival or wilderness survival, first aid is a critical part of your training. Many people get first aid training confused with a first aid kit. Often, we try to buy our way out of learning something new. Rather than take a free first aid class we will spend lots of money on a big first aid kit. Won’t know how to use a damn thing in the kit, but we got it.
I would take first aid skills over first aid stuff any day of the week. Belts can be tourniquets, leaves can dress wounds but if you don’t know how to apply either you are gonna be worse off. I thought we would discuss three indispensable skills in the world of first aid, in this article.
The fundamental skill of all first aid training. CPR is the practice of pumping oxygenated blood through the body when the body is incapable of doing it itself. Your compressions are literally squeezing the heart against the spine to ‘pump’ the blood. When I first learned that this was the nitty gritty of CPR it changed the way I looked at it forever.
There are a few things to do before administering CPR
- Assure that the scene is safe, and you can get in there without getting hurt yourself
- Try to converse with the victim “Hey you ok!”
- See if they are breathing
- Tell someone to call 911
If you make it this far its time to start administering compressions. The method is 30 compressions to two rescue breaths. Try to find a buddy who can help you because you are going to get tired fast. Remember, if you stop the victim will die.
A quality video tutorial can be found HERE.
Understanding how to treat shock is incredibly important when it comes to those who shoot and carry guns.
When you kill a deer with an arrow your goal is to cause massive blood loss through piercing the vital organs. While your shot placement is the same with a firearm, a rifle kills a deer through shock. Guns wounds can have the same affect on people.
There are three things to do with any person who is in shock.
- Elevate the feet
- Keep the person calm
- Cover them and keep them warm
You are trying to regulate blood pressure. If it drops too low they will die. Look for cool skin, rapid pulse, pale skin and maybe some nausea and vomiting. These are the most common symptoms of shock.
Cleaning and Dressing a Wound
This is a very important skill for obvious reasons. When you read ‘cleaning and dressing a wound’ you might think that we are talking about something like a gaping wound or worse.
Before antiseptics people died from cuts and lacerations often. In a survival situation you are not going to be in an environment that is conducive with healing. Your body will not be getting proper nutrition and you will not be getting proper sleep.
The skill of cleaning and dressing a wound must be respected down to the smallest cut. Infection can happen at any open site in the skin.
- Apply pressure to attempt to stop the bleeding
- Clean the site with an antiseptic
- Apply a healing ointment or herb (plantain which grows in everyone’s front yard will help)
- Apply a bandage or rolled gauze and adhesive tape.
- Change bandages every day, if possible.