3 life-saving Skills You Need to Know

(NC) Learning simple skills that could save a loved one's life in an emergency is essential knowledge you'll never regret acquiring. Here are three skills every parent, young adult and older adult should have:

1. CPR. Learning how to perform CPR properly through an in-person or online class is easy, but can be used in many emergencies. This includes heart attacks, sudden cardiac arrest, drowning, and choking. This life-saving technique which consist of pushing hard and fast in the center of the chest can be used on adults, children and infants (but not newborns) to keep oxygenated blood flowing to the brain and other vital organs until first responders arrive. Many CPR courses also offer first aid training as well, another useful skill for emergencies.

2. Using an AED. An automated external defibrillator is a device that checks a person's heart and delivers an electric shock if it has stopped beating normally. Designed to let you deliver a shock only if it determines one is needed, AEDs like the Philips HeartStart are safe and easy to use. It has a simple step-by-step process with clear, adaptive voice instructions to help even the most inexperienced responders.

According to Heart and Stroke Foundation, taking action by doing CPR and using an AED quickly is extremely important because most cardiac arrests happen at home or in a public place. It's so common that it barely makes a ripple in the news, yet a growing number of Canadians are alive today because someone saw them collapse and had the courage to quickly start CPR and use an AED.

3. Treating hypothermia. This skill is equally useful in the winter and summer, as freezing cold temperatures in the air and lakes and other bodies of water can lead to hypothermia any time of the year. Call 911 for immediate medical attention first, then gently move the person out of the cold, remove wet clothing and cover with blankets. Give them warm beverages and warm, dry compresses, apply only to the neck, chest wall or groin. Don't apply direct heat, and monitor the person's breathing in case they need CPR.

Find more information at www.philips.com/aed.

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