Thousands of people suffer from heart attacks. In fact, heart disease claims one life every 34 seconds in the United States.

There are many complex medical reasons for this, but the leading cause is the delay in reaching a hospital and treatment. Time is critical in First Aid as every second counts.

Basic first aid skills can save many lives and should be part of everyone’s skillset. However, people often get carried away with certain myths they’ve heard or read.

Read on to dispel the most common first aid skills myths.

1. Medical Professionals Can Only Provide First Aid 

Contrary to popular belief, first aid skills must not be left only to medical professionals. Individuals can be trained in their basics to respond to emergencies.

Including how to recognize and manage common ailments, respond to injury, and access necessary medical care. It is important to note that emergencies can present themselves in many scenarios, and a first aid kit is a must-have.

2. Putting Cold Water or Ice on Burns

It is a common myth that putting cold water or ice on a burn will help soothe the area and stop the burning. This belief may have stemmed from the widespread belief that cold compresses can reduce swelling and inflammation.

However, cold and even ice can further damage a burn by constricting the veins and trapping heat in the skin. Instead, a burn should be run under lukewarm water for at least 5 minutes.

3. Using Pressure Increases Blood Loss

It is the opposite – applying pressure restricts blood flow and helps control the bleeding. Another myth is that you have to use a tourniquet to stop bleeding. A bandage, dressing, or even pressure alone can effectively stop bleeding.

Applying a tourniquet can even cause more harm than good in some cases. So it’s important to know what is suitable for the situation and when to use it.

4. Slap the Back When Choking

Another common myth about first aid skills is that if someone is choking, you should slap their back to help them clear their airway. This is not true and can be extremely dangerous.

Slapping the back can aggravate the situation and cause further damage to the person’s lungs if done incorrectly or with too much force. Instead, remain calm and ask if the person is choking, then perform five abdominal thrusts and, if nothing else works, dial 911.

5. CPR and Heimlich Maneuver Are the Same

This is a misconception because while they are both life-saving techniques, they are very different skills. CPR is a series of chest compressions used to restore breathing and circulation to someone who is not breathing or whose heart has stopped beating.

In contrast, the Heimlich maneuver is used to assist someone who is choking and unable to breathe.

To become certified in CPR, you must receive training from an accredited provider. Being certified at also shows employers you are proactive and capable of dealing with medical emergencies.

Overcoming Misconceptions with First Aid Skills

First Aid is critical to providing care and help in times of need. Although there are common myths surrounding first aid skills, it is essential to know the facts to ensure health and safety.

Having the right skills and knowledge regarding First Aid is invaluable. Check out online courses and training programs to prepare for emergencies.

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