Preparedness: The Key to Successful First Aid
Adequate preparation is the key to the successful administration of first aid.
Experienced first aiders usually realize that the success of first aid is not merely an individual effort but a collective one. In light of the recent catastrophe as caused by Typhoon Yolanda (International Name: Haiyan), the lack of first aid training in the ravaged city of Tacloban, Leyte in the Philippines was exposed. The same could be said of nearby areas equally affected by the typhoon. Until professional help from medical teams arrived, the citizens of Tacloban were ill equipped and inadequately prepared to aid drowning victims from the storm surge.
One crucial skill which would have been beneficial in this scenario is cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) which can be administered to drowning victims in an attempt to revive them. With the casualty rate breaching ten thousand, it is difficult to say how many citizens of Tacloban could have been saved with a handful of skilled first aiders, trained in administering CPR.
The collective effort for successfully providing victims with first aid begins with the government. In the case of Tacloban, the local government units failed to set up centers where first aid training can be readily accessible to citizens. With the number of typhoons devastating Tacloban on a yearly basis, it is in the interest of the citizens that much effort be exerted by the local government in adequately training first aiders who can respond in an emergency situation.
Disaster strikes even in far flung areas. In the case of Tacloban, drowning victims died long before professional medical help could arrive. In the pictures featured in the aftermath of the disaster, stories on how survivors were unable to help their love ones surfaced.
Training in cardiopulmonary resuscitation is only a fraction of what it takes to be a good first aider. It is therefore imperative that local government units in disaster prone areas take time to train first aid response teams. Such training merely requires logistical preparation on the part of the local government. Training requires minimal capitalization and equipment. A few CPR manikins (Resusci Annes) and a qualified instructor are all that is necessary. People ought to be prepared when disaster strikes. Encourage your friends and family to undergo CPR or first aid training.