Top First-Aid Skills & Resources for Treating Medical Emergencies during a Disaster

Basic first-aid skills are something that everyone should know. While nothing can replace hands-on training, the following resource and videos cover the essential life-saving skills you need to respond to a wide range of medical emergencies.

Get the Red Cross First Aid App

These days there seems to be an App for just about everything, and that includes first-aid. While I’m usually pretty reluctant to recommend using any sort of electronic technology for emergencies, the Red Cross has a pretty good app that can help you learn the essential skills you need to save a life.

Red Cross First Aid App

First Aid by American Red Cross

It not only includes essential first-aid guidelines and tips, but it also covers safety tips for everything from natural disasters to disease outbreaks. The app is also fully integrated with 911. It’s available for free on iOS and Android.

Top Videos for Learning Life-saving First Aid Skills

How to Perform CPR on an Adult

How to Perform CPR on a Child

How to Give the Heimlich Maneuver

How to help a choking child: Performing the Heimlich Maneuver on a Child

The Red Cross recommends a “five-and-five” approach to delivering first aid to a choking victim:

  • First, deliver 5 back blows between the person’s shoulder blades with the heel of your hand.
  • If that doesn’t work, then give 5 abdominal thrusts (the traditional Heimlich maneuver).
  • Alternate between 5 blows and 5 thrusts until the material is dislodged from the throat.

Choking Infants:

Choking Children:

How to Control an Arterial Bleeding Wound

Additional First Aid Resources

Where to Find First Aid Training:

Remember, there is no substitute for hands-on first aid training, so I advise everyone to at least take a basic first-aid course so they can practice these, and other first-aid skills, in a real world setting. In many areas you can find First Responder Training through your local hospital, fire department, community college, or local ambulance service. Several nonprofit organizations also provide first aid and CPR training, most of them for free.

Preparing a Dedicated Emergency First-Aid Kit:

Throwing a couple of Band-Aids in a box is no substitute for having a dedicated emergency medical kit. I suggest taking a look at our article on the 30 essential items you need to have in your First Aid Kit.

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  1. A thought. If the ebola virus comes to this country and you have to give CPR and the person has the disease, what do you do? Suggestion: purchase a CPR barrier mask to protect yourself and avoid the ethical decision of whether to give CPR or not.

    • Unless its your loved one and your prepared to contract one for the team, a pocket mask will not work. A bag valve mask is the only way to protect yourself. And current CPR is now all about chest compressions anyway. And almost every single person who is resuscitated will vomit on you, themselves, and those standing next to you and them.

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