8 Life-Saving Skills to Help You Survive When Every Second Counts
Even when it seems like a situation is really bad and there’s no way out of it, our brain can actually do the trick. In critical situations, when the brain detects a risk or threat, it activates a survival system and gets ready to take immediate action.
We at Bright Side think that having some practical skills stockpiled in our minds can be quite useful in critical situations.
1. A venomous scorpion bite
Usually, scorpion bites on healthy adults are quite painful, but they’re not always life-threatening. However, there is a type called the bark scorpion in the United States, which is mainly found in the desert in the Southwest. It is light brown with a little darker back, measures at about 2-3 inches long, and has venom strong enough to cause severe symptoms. These side effects can consist of shallow and quick breathing, high blood pressure, a racing heart, weakness, and muscle twitches.
If you think you were bitten by this type of scorpion, immediately seek medical help. Also, try to carefully catch it or take a photo of it and bring it to a doctor with you so the right antivenom can be given to you.
2. Allergic reaction
Even the most innocent things like the sun or fruit can cause allergic reactions in some people. The most dangerous one among them is anaphylaxis, which can be fatal. Signs of anaphylaxis can be skin reactions, wheezing or having trouble breathing, lightheadedness, a weak and fast pulse, dizziness, facial swelling, and more.
This condition needs to be treated immediately, so if someone next to you is experiencing it, call 911 right away. In addition, you can also try to help with the following actions.
- See if they have epinephrine and use it.
- Keep the person calm.
- Help them lie on their back.
- Turn them on their side if they’re vomiting or bleeding.
3. Carbon monoxide poisoning
This gas has no smell or taste, so you may not even notice you’re actually breathing it in before you feel unwell. The symptoms of poisoning are not always obvious and can include a tension-type headache, dizziness, tiredness and confusion, shortness of breath, and difficulty breathing.
If you notice there was a leak of carbon monoxide gas in your home, do the following.
- Stop using all appliances and switch them off.
- Open the doors and windows to ventilate the space.
- Get out of your house or apartment immediately.
- Stay calm to avoid raising your heart rate.
- Visit a doctor.
Although the strongest violent tornadoes can cause serious destruction, they’re rare. Most tornadoes are much weaker, and it’s possible to survive one if you do the following.
- Find a basement or a room without windows on the lowest floor, like the bathroom.
- Stay away from windows.
- Get under something sturdy like a heavy table. Cover it with a blanket or mattress. Protect your head with anything available.
If you stayed outside in the cold for too long and some parts of your body feel cold and painful, you may be suffering from frostbite. If it’s more serious, you may also have signs of hypothermia, which can cause constant shivering or fast breathing. This condition should be treated immediately, and before seeking professional help, you need to take the following actions.
- Get to a warm place as soon as possible.
- Don’t put pressure on the damaged area.
- Put the frozen area in a bath of warm, not hot, water at 104ºF to 105.8ºF (40ºC to 41ºC).
6. Poisonous mushrooms
Everyone who wants to forage for mushrooms needs to learn how to distinguish safe ones from poisonous ones. This can be done by checking the visual characteristics.
- Check to see if the cap is shaped like an umbrella. If so, it’s toxic.
- Look for scales on the mushroom cap. Many toxic mushrooms have off-colored patches on the cap, like brown scales on white mushrooms or white warts on red mushrooms.
- Identify toxic mushrooms by a spore print. The safe mushrooms have a white spore print, while deadly ones have a rusty brown spore.
7. Severe bleeding
This condition is very serious and life-threatening, so before you get to the hospital, you should immediately do this:
- Remove any clothing from the wound and don’t attempt to clean it at this time.
- Place a sterile bandage on it.
- Press the bandage firmly with your palm until the bleeding stops.
- Cover the person with a blanket to prevent loss of body heat.
8. Snake attack
If you unluckily come across a snake in your house or somewhere else, do the following to try to prevent it from attacking you.
- Stay calm. Move quietly and slowly.
- Don’t try to touch or handle it.
- Try to cover it with a heavy blanket or a piece of cloth to limit its movements.
- Call a special service to come and catch it.
Have you ever happened to be in a real life-threatening situation? Tell us the story!