Most people (Scouts included) think they don’t have to worry much about first aid unless they are on a camping trip, spending time at summer camp or hiking the trails at Philmont. An article in the June 2008 Readers Digest reminded me that there are plenty of times that knowing first aid can save lives in normal situations.
Some very interesting statistics were given in the article “Save Your Own Life” by Pamela F. Galan, MD.
- 2.5 million calls were made to poison control centers in 2006
- In 2004 112,000 died in falls, drowning or other accidents
- Every year park rangers respond to about 1200 calls for people who are sick or injured
- Every year 3000 people die from choking
These statistics should help point out that it is important to Be Prepared for dangerous situations in occasions that are not normally associated with Scouting:
- You are alone eating dinner and a piece of steak gets lodged in your throat.
- You wake up with strong chest pains and are short of breath.
- While swimming at the lake you get a cramp in one leg and then the other calf gets a cramp as well.
- You are chopping firewood and a wood splinter gets lodged in your eye.
- You usually take two 200mg sleeping pills but you find the ones you have just taken are the equivalent of 800mg of the product you usually take.
- While preparing a salad you drop the knife and squeeze your legs to keep the knife from hitting the floor. Blood starts gushing from the wound.
- You are working in the garden and feel a quick, sharp pain in your shoulder. The area turns red, swells a bit and a slight rash develops.
All of these situations require prompt action and knowing what to do. Responding improperly could significantly worsen the situation or even result in death. To see if you would respond correctly in these kinds of situations and review some emergency procedures, take the First Aid Quiz for Everyday Situations.