How to Save Your Own Life if You're Alone During an Emergency
There are steps you can take if you're alone when disaster strikes.
Sometimes emergency strikes when you're all alone. Luckily, there are steps you can take if no one's around to help you.
Inside Edition spoke to Dr. Mehmet Oz to get his tips on the lifesaving measures you can take. If you're having a meal by yourself and you suddenly start choking, first and foremost, don't panic. "You have minutes, not seconds," Oz said.
Grab a chair and use it as leverage.
"Get down by the edge of a chair, put your fist there and push yourself on it," Oz explained. "Make sure when you thrust yourself on the chair, you do it forcefully."
But what if you're having a heart attack? First, Oz said, call 911. Then take an aspirin, but don't swallow it.
"If you swallow the whole pill, it takes 15 to 20 minutes to work," said Oz. "If you crush it in your mouth or let it dissolve under your tongue, it's in your bloodstream immediately."
Aspirin acts as a blood thinner, slowing clotting and decreasing the size of the blockage forming during a heart attack. It can also help prevent a second heart attack.
Speaking of blood, let's say you've cut yourself. Don't waste precious time making a tourniquet, Oz said. Instead, apply pressure to the wound.
"Stopping a major blood vessel from getting to an extremity is really hard," he said. "Just put pressure on it. By putting that pressure on it you can usually stop the bleeding."
And whatever you do, don't try to check the injury to see if the bleeding's stopped.
"That actually causes huge problems and can ... start the bleeding again," Oz said.
Finally, and arguably the scariest experience to undergo alone, what if you go into labor by yourself?
Grab towels and warm water, Oz said. "You want to be sitting up a little bit because gravity helps you push the baby down," he said.
Once the baby comes, leave the umbilical cord alone, Oz said. That can wait until help arrives.
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