Last month a woman was saved after a quick-thinking gentleman sprang into action and performed the Heimlich Maneuver. Okay, not exactly riveting news, but what made this heroic act so interesting was that the hero was none other than Henry Heimlich. The 96-year-old saved the life of Patty Gill Ris at a local retirement community in Ohio using the same technique he created 32 years ago. Whether it was good karma, irony, or just some plain old luck, Heimlich demonstrated just how important learning a simple life-saving technique could be. Placing clasped hands below the ribs and above the belly button, a few pumps quickly dislodged the object from Ms. Ris’ throat.
Whether you’re a practicing physician or just your average Joe, there are a variety of techniques that could one day save a life.
CPR – Almost everyone has taken some sort of CPR class. Whether it was getting up close and personal with a training dummy during high school, or learning this life-saving technique swimming at the local YMCA, CPR is an essential skill to have. It might have been years since you’ve practiced, so it’s not a bad idea to get the whole family to learn CPR. This combination of chest compressions and breathing can be the difference between life and death.
EpiPen – An EpiPen or Epinephrine Injection saves thousands of lives per year, and chances are, you might need to administer one to you or someone else within your lifetime. An EpiPen is used when a person goes into anaphylactic shock, usually caused by an allergic reaction. In most cases they coincide with bee sting allergies, but can also include nuts, shellfish, and wheat among other things. The injection is administered similar to a shot, and is to be injected in the thigh. This small tool can play a big impact when preventing an allergic reaction.
AED Defibrillator – One of the newer life-saving tools on the market, and AED defibrillator has become a staple in many schools, malls and other public places. This portable defibrillator is a scaled down version of the machine found in most hospitals and ambulances. Users must attach the electrodes to the patient’s bare chest before turning on the defibrillator. The AED will then analyze the patient and then let the user know if a shock is needed. This crucial machine could bridge the gap until an ambulance arrives.
Make sure to brush up on using these tools or techniques. Get the family involved and learn together. Having these in your back pocket can save lives and, learning these simple life-saving abilities could have a huge impact on your future.