Nearly every course that we hold and flickered across the internet there are things brought up on how something should be done and well, they just aren’t technically medically correct when administering first aid.  Some are a backward technique, some slightly off and some are just outright dangerous. We just want to right some wrongs today, once and for all and have a clean sheet on the best first aid practises that could save a life.

You don’t have to give breaths

While there is some truth to this t being that you don’t HAVE to, but it is BEST that you DO. 

Compressions only CPR means that, as the human body only carries so much oxygen that the body of the patient will soon run out of oxygenated blood circulating their body. 

If someone who has drowned receives compression only form of CPR, then effectively, deoxygenated blood is being pumped through the body by carrying out the CPR, so it would be an ineffective and exhausting first aid process. The same goes for babies as they have a high oxygen demand and a low volume of blood circulating.

How much air needs to be in my chest for CPR

Only enough air to make the chest rise is required for CPR. This works for adults, children and babies.

First Aid For Babies – Compressions While Holding On Arm

This is actually very common to crop up across the internet and in our classes and it is one that is not correct. Compressions are all about depth, by holding a baby, both on your arm or on your knee, you lose the depth and therefore the depth of the compressions that are necessary for the practice to have the desired effect. 

As well as all of this, the babys head ends up not being supported and you are going to become tired very quickly.

Correct practice for compressions on babies

Place the baby on a surface that is firm, the ground is usually a good option if possible, not a sofa or pillow. Make sure that the baby’s head is in a relaxed and comfortable position and begin compressions with two fingers, placed in the centre of the chest.

Heimlich Manoeuvre: Deemed Dangerous

The Heimlich Manoeuvre is deemed high risk and should no longer be administered. The organs that lie under are vascular, they could be damaged if it is performed incorrectly. There are many documented cases where this has been performed with life threatening implications as a result.  

Elevation of limbs when bleeding

For an arterial bleed, this is most definitely ineffective. There is no evidence that supports this practice, we pump blood in our body’s to our brains, so it is going to continue to pump ‘uphill’. In certain cases, it has actually been said that this can cause more injury.  We teach the right practises in our first aid courses NI wide.