Basic first aid
An accident can happen at any time. Even a stone’s throw from your home…
Nadège is an events organiser. One day, she was attending a cocktail she had organized and picked up a mini-skewer from the buffet. Suddenly, she couldn’t breathe. A piece had got stuck in her trachea. She started to wave her arms and the crowd around her started to panic, but a young waiter saw what was happening, put his arms around her from behind and performed the Heimlich manoeuvre. A few seconds later, the piece of meat was unlodged and expelled. Without quick thinking by this young man, she could have lost her life.
Cédric Gantzer confirms that Nadège was very lucky: “When it comes to episodes of choking, rapid action is of the essence. The first instinct should be to give a few blows to the back to try to make the victim cough. This should be followed by abdominal thrusts, the so-called Heimlich manoeuvre”.
Loss of consciousness
Melanie was away on a weekend with college girlfriends. Suddenly, one of them said that she was blacking out and collapsed to the ground. They called for help, placed their friend in the recovery position and waited about ten minutes before the emergency services reached their country cottage. During this wait, none of them knew what to do. The young woman fortunately regained consciousness shortly after the arrival of the emergency services. More shaken than hurt. But Melanie decided that day to go on a first aid course to never experience this feeling of helplessness again.
For Cédric Gantzer, they had the right reaction. “Loss of consciousness can have several causes: fainting, diabetes… so, the first reflex is to call for help. The person on the line will take you though the first diagnosis. By applying the stroke detection protocol, for example”.
“In the event of a cardiac arrest, every minute without help cuts the chance of survival by 10%,” explains Cédric Gantzer.
During a game of tennis with friends, you see someone lose consciousness and stop breathing. Call the emergency services (112) or ask someone else to do so. Perform a heart massage until the emergency services arrive. If you have a defibrillator nearby, the tool will help you make a diagnosis to react as quickly as possible either by performing a cardiac massage or by administrating an electric shock.
A decision that needs you to keep calm, which is easier said than done if you’ve never done this before… That’s why Cédric Gantzer **recommends that everyone learn basic first aid to know how to react in case of heart failure and learn how to handle a defibrillator.