Everybody ought to know basic First Aid techniques, yet it is particularly important for those who participate in potentially more dangerous sports or events such as hunting. There are all sorts of accidents that can happen to you while hunting.
Besides being shot, you could cut yourself when skinning an animal, you could get attacked by an animal, you could fall and break a leg or you could suffer a routine heart attack that could have happened anywhere.
However, what makes all these accidents more dangerous when you are hunting is the likelihood that you will be located miles from anywhere whilst it occurs. There is no one to turn to except your companion. No ambulances, no doctors and no hospitals for tens of miles.
The first thing that everybody should know is CPR, which stands for cardiopulmonary resuscitation, which is an emergency procedure consisting of external cardiac massage and artificial respiration. It is vital to know CPR techniques for everyone not only hunters.
You can learn CPR at several local institutions including the hospital, the fire station, some schools, some scouting organizations and some other institutions like the Boys' Brigade or the St. John's Ambulance Brigade.
These institutions can normally teach you over CPR if you want, such as what to do in a crisis. There are certain procedures that are common to most if not all crisis situations. For instance, the first rule is to always take care of yourself first. Then assess the situation and make the area safe for yourself and anyone who may come into it.
This might sound selfish, but you are no good to anyone if you permit yourself to get injured and the rescue services will be very cautious if the region is unsafe when they arrive. Then either begin first aid procedures or call the rescue services depending on the circumstances.
Healthcare workers teach the ABC method of applying First Aid. ABC stands for 'Airway, Breathing and Circulation'. So, first look in the mouth and at the throat. Look for and remove any blockages such as blood, dentures or foreign bodies.
Then check for breathing. If the patient has stopped breathing, try to resuscitate him or her because the brain cannot survive longer than a couple of minutes without oxygen.
Next check the heart beat. If it has stopped attempt to get it going again. If there is profuse bleeding from a wound, try to staunch the bleeding by applying pressure to it through a clean rag. Summon help if there are a number of wounds but apply tourniquets to arms and legs that are bleeding badly. You can use a belt or stockings as make-shift tourniquets.
If the patient has experienced a bad fall, the first rule is not to move the person. You can cause serious injury to someone with broken bones by moving them. You can even cause paralysis, so if someone has fallen, ask whether they can move their fingers and toes (a sign that the spine is almost certainly undamaged) and then phone the rescue services.
Two of the best safety rules when going hunting, are to inform someone where you are going and never to go alone. If you hunt with the same person often, why not both go to a First Aid class together?
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