First Aid app to the rescue

Just recently I was vacationing in South America, waiting at a very busy bus station when I noticed a woman had dropped to the ground. I couldn’t tell for certain what had happened, but I understood there was a medical emergency. The first thing that popped into my head was: ‘what if she needs CPR?  I may be able to help.’
I’m not a medical professional, and if I was to be completely honest, I would admit that I am a bit squeamish when it comes to illness. But, I’ve been on staff with the Canadian Red Cross for six years now and have annually completed a first aid and CPR course or a refresher class. Thanks to these classes, I have gone from being a bystander to having the confidence to step forward and offer help. And in this particular case, I was able to rely on the Canadian Red Cross first aid app to boost my confidence. 
Canadian Red Cross First Aid appThe woman did not need CPR; she was having an epileptic seizure with her husband at her side.  As the seizure was ending, I helped roll the woman on her side fearing she may be sick to her stomach. We helped make her comfortable, putting a jacket under her head and securing her purse and belongings. As we waited for the woman to regain full consciousness, I started doubting myself  – had I missed something? Was there something else that could have been done?
And then I remembered I had the first aid app on my phone. I scrolled through to the section on epilepsy/ seizures and confirmed that yes, I had done what I could. The information in the app also confirmed that the woman’s husband had made an incorrect assumption in his help to her. When I first approached, I noticed he had put his hand in her mouth, likely trying to hold down her tongue. In fact, this can be dangerous because it can block the person’s airways.
Often at the Red Cross we hear from people learning first aid that they worry they won’t remember what to do if first aid skills are needed. In a lot of ways, first aid is like riding a bicycle – you don’t forget what you learn and how to do it, but sometimes you need a guiding hand or a bit of reassurance. The app does exactly that.

Download the free Red Cross First Aid app here and sign up for a course to be ready in case of emergency.


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