First aid tips to help in emergency situations - WNEM TV 5

First aid tips to help in emergency situations

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(Source: WNEM) (Source: WNEM)
SAGINAW, MI (WNEM) -

Since the shooting on Wednesday on lawmakers in Virginia, stories have been coming out of bystanders rendering life-saving first aid until paramedics arrived on scene.

Dr. Walker Foland, emergency room director at Covenant Hospital in Saginaw, said the type of trauma should dictate how much the average person tries to help.

For instance, if it's a gunshot or stab wound there's a few things you can do even if you're not a trained medical professional.

"The first thing you wanna do is remove them from the place, get them into a safe place and second is control that bleeding. That is just purely direct pressure to the area that's been injured," Foland said.

He also said you should only attempt to apply a tourniquet if you have the training to do so.

Unlike what you see in the movies, sterilization of the effected area is not a priority before applying pressure and any material at hand will work just fine.

"It would be ideal to use fabric. Under ideal circumstances you have gauze with you or something, but a shirt would work. Anything that can help augment or absorb blood," Foland said.

He also explained how to help during a car accident.

"Call 911. Get the experts there. You really don't know the scenario and it can be dangerous entering the car. And extrication of a person in a situation can be dangerous. It can cause severe injury to that person," Foland said.

He said if the person is unconscious it may be a different story.

"It can be in certain situations a good idea to hold their head still. If they're trying to move around when they're not really conscious," Foland said.

These simple first aid steps could make the ultimate difference between a victim living or dying.

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