• 7 Basic Lifesaving Skills You Should Know for These Common Emergencies

    Medical emergencies are common occurrences that happen every day. Unfortunately, what's not so common are the people with the lifesaving skills and training to recognize and respond to these situations when they arise. The good news is — most of these life-saving measures don't require you to have any professional medical background. In fact, you can learn most of these life-saving techniques quickly, easily, and on your schedule.

    Here, we'll look at seven potentially life-threatening scenarios, as well as information about the basic skills you can learn to help save a life in each situation.

    1. Cardiac Arrest

    CPR and AED Skills. Sudden cardiac arrest claims the lives of over three hundred thousand people in the United States every year. It can happen anytime, anywhere, to anyone. Knowing how to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and how to use an automatic external defibrillator (AED) can save lives. In fact, CPR can double or triple someone’s chance of surviving — and for every minute without defibrillation, a sudden cardiac arrest victim’s chance of surviving drops. Training on both techniques only takes a few hours and can give you the skills and confidence to act in an emergency and help save a life. You can sign up quickly and easily for online and in-person CPR and AED courses now.

    2. Choking

    Back Blows/Abdominal Thrusts (Heimlich Maneuver). Just like cardiac arrest, choking can happen anytime, anywhere. Whether food becomes lodged in someone's throat during a meal, or a child attempts to swallow a small toy — these are potentially life-threatening scenarios that require quick action. When an airway becomes blocked, knowing when and how to use back blows and/or abdominal thrusts (Heimlich Maneuver) can help prevent injury or even death. Learn more about how you can be prepared and sign up for a class today.

    3. Stroke

    Recognizing the Signs of Stroke (FAST). When someone is experiencing a stroke, time is of the essence. That's why recognizing the symptoms and taking quick action during this medical emergency is critical to saving someone's life and increasing their chances for recovery. Red Cross first aid training can help you learn to recognize a stroke using the F.A.S.T. rule (Face, Arm, Speech, Time) and teach you additional steps to take when this life-threatening emergency occurs.

    4. Severe Bleeding

    First Aid, Tourniquet and Hemostatic Dressing. Knowing how to recognize severe bleeding emergencies and take action to stop the flow of blood can help in these life-threatening scenarios. You can learn how and when to control bleeding, as well as information about applying a tourniquet and hemostatic dressing. Learn more about First Aid for Severe Bleeding classes, which only take 30 minutes to complete.

    5. Severe Allergic Reaction (Anaphylaxis)

    Do you know the signs and symptoms of anaphylaxis and how to care for a person having a severe allergic reaction? Our Anaphylaxis and Epinephrine Auto-Injector Online Course will include training on how to recognize symptoms and show you how to administer epinephrine using an auto-injector device. This life-saving online skills course only takes about 30 minutes to complete.

    6. Burns

    First Aid for Burns. From the proper way to cool a burn, to when and how to apply dressings, to caring for someone in shock, to knowing when to call 9-1-1 — a first aid class will show you how to administer fast and effective treatment for burns, scalds and more. Sign up for a online first aid class today.

    7. Bites and Stings

    First Aid for Bites and Stings. Whether it's in the middle of a crowded city, or in a remote outdoor area, people are bitten and stung every day by insects, spiders, snakes, animals and marine life. Luckily, most of the time, they don't cause serious problems. But there are those rare circumstances in which certain bites and stings can cause serious or life-threatening illness. Knowing how to treat minor bites and stings, as well as how to recognize serious emergencies like venomous snake or insect bites, will make all the difference. It's scenarios like these that call for someone skilled in first aid training.

    From cardiac arrest, stroke, and choking, to severe bleeding, venomous bites, and beyond, the right training gives you the skills you need to save a life until help arrives. Even in less severe cases, your skills can help keep someone comfortable and safe — so they can heal and recover more quickly. Browse all our fast and convenient classes, most of which are available online, and don’t forget to download the free Red Cross First Aid app and activate the First Aid Skill for Alexa-enabled devices. You can also see inspiring stories about people who have put their lifesaving skills to the test or nominate someone you know here.

    For more than a century, the Red Cross has prepared people to respond to emergencies of all sizes, from the everyday to the large disaster. Join the millions we train every year and learn the skills that can save a life. Browse all our classes and sign up today.