What are the Basic First Aid Practices You Should be Aware of?

When it comes to emergencies, there are some first aid practices one must know perfectly. Otherwise, anyone can feel helpless during performing CPR or might feel confused when trying to use some resuscitation devices. If going through AED and first aid certification, the most important practices you should be aware of are the following.

Patient’s status check

If it seems like a typical day, and suddenly someone at home or work just faints, the first task you will need to do is assess whether you are in an emergent situation or not. How to know? Reading your AED and first aid certification course manual will allow you to know what to ask or what to do in that situation, and how to find out what is happening to the patient. It is okay to feel fear or stress when this happens, but almost always the easiest option is the best, so just relax.

Emergency Oxygen Delivery

Before starting any other procedure, you need to know the basics about oxygen. Oxygen is what the heart, the brain, and the other organs use to live. When a person undergoes a cardiac arrest or a heart attack, his body stops breathing and hence, oxygen stops entering the body. As a consequence, the organs begin to damage because of the lack of oxygen, so the earlier you deliver emergency oxygen, the less the heart or the brain will suffer injuries.

There are some facts you need to be aware of before administering emergency oxygen. You may take a look at American Heart Association (AHA) or American Red Cross (ARC) AED and first aid certification manuals, and you will find some fact sheets or videos where you will learn when to do it, and the different manner to deliver oxygen to a patient.

If you do not know how to handle medical oxygen at all, you should better stay away from it since it is a flammable gas, and handling it without the necessary precautions can harm you, the patient, and the environment.

Giving CPR (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation)

Moreover, here comes the interesting part. CPR is an essential skill you will need to practice during an AED and first aid certification course. You will need to keep the patient’s heart beating so that the oxygen you will be administering reaches all of the vital organs.

It may look simple to do, but it is not. There are some parameters you need to be aware of when delivering CPR, for example where to push (and why), the intensity of the chest compressions, how often, and when to exchange roles with the other participants (if applicable).

In the beginning, it might look hard to do, so take your time and just practice, do not get disappointed. Practicing in groups helps to fix common errors during the practice.

AED utilization

What is this? AED means Automatic External Defibrillator. When a cardiac arrest happens, the heart is not working properly (but it is still working) because abnormal movements substitute regular beats; this condition is called “Ventricular Fibrillation” (also known as V-Fib or VF). The abnormal movements are not strong enough to pump the heart’s blood, and this is why it does not reach the vital organs.

The good news is there is a manner to stop V-Fib and restore the normal heart beating and blood flow. How? Using an AED is the correct answer. An AED is an electrical device that delivers electrical discharges to the heart through the body. It consists of a generator, some wires, and two pads. There is a particular manner to use an AED since there are specific points when you need to place the pads and some energy intensities you will need to use during CPR.

All the AED and first aid certification courses teach how to use an AED and the best practice guidelines to use this device since there will be situations where an AED will be helpless (another disease than V-Fib, for example).

Airway Adjuncts Utilization

Besides delivering chest compressions or using an AED, managing the patient’s airway is the second most important thing, because if there is enough blood flow but oxygen can not reach the lungs, the patient will be at risk of suffering a heart attack or a stroke.

During your AED and first aid certification, you will learn how to know if the patient is breathing properly, and how to handle the most significant airway adjuncts (for example cannulas, tubes, bags, and others). Just like chest compressions, these skills require pretty much practice and effort.


Sometimes using airway adjuncts is not enough to manage the patient’s airway because there is an excess of secretions within the lungs or the trachea that is blocking the oxygen enter. If this happens, you will need to suction as much fluid as you can to make sure the airway is free.

American Red Cross First Aid/CPR/AED Participant’s Manual
American Red Cross Participant Material

The Top 10 Must Follow CPR and First Aid Experts on Twitter

If you went through a CPR and first aid certification or are interesting in learning CPR and first aid, there are some Institutions and Experts you definitely must follow on Twitter; they share actualizations, new techniques, recommendations and relevant facts about heart diseases. Here you can find the top 10 experts you definitely must follow.

1. AHA CPR & First Aid (@HeartCPR)

The American Heart Association (AHA) is the head institution in the US for teaching CPR and offers different kinds of resources for first aiders, doctors, and the general public. AHA is the official issuer of the best guidelines and practices when it comes to a CPR and first aid certification.

2. American Red Cross (@RedCross)

Red Cross is not only one of the most traditional public health institutions in the US, but it is the most famous organization in the world. Its staff mainly consists of experts in all medical specialties. You can also find some CPR and first aid certification courses, with over 550 locations in the US and also the possibility to take an online course. After completing the CPR course, you will obtain a digital certificate that will be valid for two years. Most of the documents, simulators and other online training materials are free.

3. American_Stroke (@American_Stroke)

The American Stroke Association forms part of the AHA. This organization specializes in stroke. Following them, you will understand better what stroke is, how to prevent it, the warning signs, and healthy lifestyle changes. You possibly ask yourself what does stroke have to do with CPR and first aid certification courses; it has pretty much to do with CPR training since a cardiac arrest or any heart disease can cause a stroke.

4. StAndrews First Aid (@StAFristAid)

It is a Scottish First Aid Institution. They have over 1171 adult volunteers and more than 350 young volunteers. It is one of the largest organizations in Europe since they offer many CPR and first aid certification courses, and support many important events around Europe to help people prevent heart disease related death.

5. Heart & Stroke (@TheHSF)

Do you live in Canada? This institution is your best option. Heart & Stroke has been enhancing Canada’s cardiovascular health for over 60 years. You can find several resources on its web pages, such as CPR manuals, some recommendations for survivors from cardiac diseases, or some tips to prevent heart disease (from exercise routines to tasty meal recipes). You will also find out how to take a CPR and first aid certification course and even how to become a CPR and first aid instructor.

6. AmerColl Cardiology (@ACCinTouch)

The American College of Cardiology provides the latest new about heart diseases, including those that cause death more often. You probably will not find as much information about CPR and first aid certification courses as in other websites, but you will find other resources, such as news and articles about cardiac arrests, CPR, and treatments for heart disease. If you work as a health professional or are a cardiology patient, you definitely must follow AmerColl Cardiology.

7. CardioSmart (@CardioSmart)

Before obtaining a CPR and first aid certification course, it is crucial to understand how heart disease happens. CardioSmart is an educational program created by the American College of Cardiology, and it shares many free articles about heart diseases, prevention information for patients, and some news about the heart. You can learn as much as you can following this site before taking a course.

8. European Cardiology (@escardio)

The ESC (European Society of Cardiology) is the most important heart organization in Europe; just as much as AHA is in the US. It aims to reduce the burden of cardiovascular disease through prevention and appropriate resuscitation and treatment of coronary disease. If you visit ESC website, you will find information about CPR and first aid certification, news or different guidelines (if you are a health professional).

9. SCAA – Cardiac Arrest (@SCAA)

This non-profit organization puts together cardiac arrest survivors, patients at risk, and general interest in cardiac arrest and life-saving. The “Keep it beating” program teaches people how to save a life by performing CPR or using an AED. If interested, you may visit its website and request information about CPR and first aid certification courses, depending on your current situation.

10. CPR Near Me (@CPRNearMe)

Whether you want to learn CPR and first aid in a training center or you prefer to take an online course, CPR Near Me offers excellent options. You can just add your city and your zip code, and you will get a complete list of locations where you can get a CPR and first aid certification. You will also be able to take an online course and get certified online. Follow CPR Near me and you will see the latest news about training programs, resources and training tips.

10 Unexpected Ways a CPR or First Aid Certification Can Make Your Life Better

Life is always unpredictable; anything can happen in a heartbeat. A heart attack, a cardiac arrest, syncope or drowning may cause death in an instant. You possibly ask yourself “yes, but what can I do?” and when an emergency happens, we start worrying and feeling helpless. The real answer is, there are numerous things that you can do, and they matter. A CPR and first aid certification can change your life and others’ unexpectedly. Keep reading, and you will see how.

1. You can be your family’s hero

We all love our families; we would never expect something happens to our kids or parents, but unfortunately, heart attacks just happen anywhere and anytime. An eighty percent of cardiac arrests occur at home. Time is vital, and every minute the ambulance delays arriving home is a minute lost. Empowering yourself by taking a CPR and first aid certification course will allow you to save your loved ones’ lives and benefit from every minute while the experts arrive.

2. Your work environment will be safer

At work, we see many people every day, and we do not know if they have a heart condition (sometimes, they do not even know). Everyone might be working on a regular day, and suddenly, he or she faints. CPR and first aid certification courses teach you exactly what to do in that situation. Your partners, your boss, and possibly the company you work for will always thank you for help.

3. Your CV will thank you

A CPR and first aid certification enhance some important skills, such as team working, leadership, and excellent communication. You can magnify and demonstrate these skills to your boss or when applying for a new job by including your CPR and first aid certification in your CV. If you wish to study a health-related career, this is a plus.

4. You will learn about stroke

The brain is one of the most affected organs when a heart attack occurs. If the heart stops beating, there will be no blood irrigating the brain, and if the blood flow is not restored within minutes, it will suffer irreversible damage. You will learn how to deliver chest compressions in a CPR and first aid certification, and this way you will know how to prevent brain damage.

5. No more panic

Fear is the most normal human feeling when an emergency occurs, but it is also the worst enemy when trying to perform an activity. A CPR and first aid certification will make you feel self-confident when taking first aid decisions.

6. You can save a life

There is a thin line between life and death when a cardiac arrest occurs. Heart attacks are the most common cause of death in the US. Obtaining a CPR and first aid certification will allow you to be very helpful when it comes to cardiac arrests and you will enjoy the satisfaction of knowing you saved a person’s life.

7. You will make the difference

A sudden cardiac arrest does not always end up in death. If the first aid team delays more than the expected time, the person possibly will live, but the more they delay, the more is the likelihood of permanent disability (heart or brain damage). CPR and first aid certification skills are a great start to make the difference and prevent people from being permanently disabled.

8. New skills

CPR and first aid certification courses teach new and different skills. For example, you will learn how to perform hands-only resuscitation, and you will learn how to use an automatic external defibrillator (AED). Yes, you will learn how to use cutting-edge lifesaving technologies, and you will also know what to do if not available. You will also learn how to identify a normal and abnormal pulse, normal and abnormal chest movements, and unusual maneuvers such as those utilized in drowning.

9. Life will look different

Life is not the same once you face death. It is hard to understand death and why it happens, but experiencing challenging and urgent situations is the only way to understand how delicate and important life is. If you choose to go through a CPR and first aid certification, you will get the necessary expertise to face others’ death and to be grateful for your life every day.

10. You will be special

CPR and first aid certification will make you a special person in the world. You will be empowered and possibly enable others to save lives. Despite the attempts to prevent heart attacks (for example, AED implementation in public places), only a thirty percent of patients having a cardiac arrest receives CPR early. Being part of the first aiders team will increase the percentage of people that benefit from CPR and first aid, and you will become part of those particular statistics.