Whether you’re expecting a routine day at the office or lining up logistics for a cross-country road trip, you never know when a medical emergency will strike. You can be ready for anything from allergies and anaphylaxis to someone who’s unconscious and not breathing with the American Red Cross’ First Aid app – free on both Android and iPhone platforms.
For example, if your son or daughter takes a tumble on the basketball court and breaks his or her arm, the app would provide you with step-by-step instructions (in text and video formats) for what you should do:
The app also lists frequently asked questions and clear answers:
Having this kind of information ready and available on your smartphone – rather than in a book or pamphlet on a shelf or in a stack of other “important” papers – will help you do the right thing in an emergency. Even the most level-headed people can panic in the moment, particularly if it’s someone you know and care about who’s hurt or sick.
On top of the useful tips for responding to injuries and illnesses, the app features a whole section on preparing for a long list of emergencies. You’ll find checklists on preparing for power outages (along with instructions on what to do during and after an outage), flu pandemics, flooding, severe winter weather, and even volcanic eruptions, earthquakes and tsunamis.
The “Emergency” button, front and center on the icon bar, takes you to a list of conditions. Selecting “Unconscious” shows you how to check to see if the person is breathing:
If you answer “No”, the app tells you to call 911 (along with a button to place the call from inside the app) or have someone else do it, and then shows you how to properly perform chest compressions until help arrives.
“The American Red Cross First Aid app is a free and easy way to get lifesaving first aid instruction and disaster preparedness information anytime, anywhere,” said Red Cross Scientific Advisory Council chair Dr. David Markenson. “Everyone should load this onto their smart phone as an important first step in learning what to do for medical emergencies and in creating a family preparedness plan.”
No one wants to be in a situation where this kind of information is necessary, but having access to it on your phone could prove critical.