What is First Aid?
First aid is the immediate and temporary care given to the victim of an accident or sudden illness. Its purpose is to preserve life, assist recovery and prevent aggravation of the condition, until the services of a DOCTOR can be obtained, or during transport to hospital or to the casualty’s home.
The principles and practice of First Aid are based on the principles of practical medicine and surgery, a knowledge of which, in case of accident or sudden illness, enables trained persons to give such skilled help as will preserve life, promote recovery and prevent the injury or illness becoming worse until medical aid (i.e., treatment by a DOCTOR) has been obtained.
1.1 Qualities of a First Aider:
Observant: Noting the cause and signs of injury
Tactful: Avoiding thoughtless qualities learning the symptoms and history of the case
Resourceful: Using whatever is at hand to the best advantage, to prevent further damage.
Explicit: Giving explicit instructions to the patient and advice to the assistants.
Discriminating: That he may decide which of the several injuries should be given attention.
The First Aider’s responsibilities end as soon as medical aid is available, but he should stand by after reporting to the Doctor in case he can be of further assistance.
First aid is definitely limited to the assistance rendered at the time of emergency with the available material. It is not intended that the First aider should take the place of the Doctor and it must be clearly understood that the redressing of injuries and other such after-treatment are outside the scope of First aid.
• Be calm and quick. Be methodical. Patiently find out all major injuries and wounds and treat them suitably.
• In case, stoppage of breathing, start artificial respiration.
• Try to stop bleeding as early as possible.
• So not allow a patient to go with a shock. If it is not possible, transport the patient to a nearby hospital as quickly as possible.
• Keep the patient warm and do not move him unnecessarily. Keep him in a comfortable position.
• Do only what is necessary.
• Reassure the casualty by using encouraging words and obtain the help of his relatives.
• Do not allow people to crowd around the casualty. Allow fresh air.
• Be careful in removing his clothes. Do not cause injury. Keep him warm and avoid shock. Send the patient to a doctor or a hospital by the quickest means of transport. When serious accidents take place, inform the police.
• Some standard methods of treatment are given for several definite conditions, which may occur in different circumstances, but the First Aider will find that these conditions seldom conform to an exact pattern and that even in the same circumstances individuals may react in different ways. They must prepare him for Cold Emergencies.
Legal & to sum up any situation with which he may be faced and adapt himself to wide variation from the methods described here.
At the end of the training, the First Aider should be able to:-
• To determine the nature requiring attention so far as is necessary for intelligent and efficient treatment (diagnosis).
• To decide on the character and extent of the treatment to be given and to apply the treatment most suited to the circumstances until medical aid is available.
• To arrange for the disposal of the casualty by removal either to his home, or another suitable shelter or to hospital.
2.0 Basic Techniques to Handle Common Medical Emergencies
• Order of Treatment Priority
• Obstructed Airway
• Heart Attack
• Eye Injuries
• Nose injuries
• Animal & Insect Bites
• Fractures, Sprains & Strains
• Diabetic Emergencies
• Heat Emergencies
• Ethical Considerations
2.1 Order of Priority in an Emergency
In every emergency situation, there is a logical order to be followed. First, it is important to carefully assess the scene of an emergency before any further steps are taken. The purpose of this assessment is to assure it is safe to provide first aid care. For example, an unconscious victim might be lying on a live power line. If a rescuer were to touch the victim before the power could be shut off, the rescuer would become a victim as well! Always be sure it is safe before you attempt to help a victim!
Once you determine it is safe for you to help a victim, immediately determine if the victim has any life-threatening conditions.
Begin by checking to see if the victim is responsive. Kneel and ask, ” ARE YOU OK?” If there is no response, you must immediately summon an ambulance! Recent studies have conclusively shown that victims who are not breathing and do not have a heartbeat have a substantially greater chance for survival if they receive prompt advanced medical care in a hospital or by trained paramedics.
Only after a call is placed for emergency medical services does a volunteer attempt to further help an unconscious victim.
If there are bystanders on the scene, summon someone to your side to provide help.
If the victim is on his stomach, first place the victim’s arm closest to you above his head. Then turn him over by placing one hand on the victim’s hip and the other hand at the victim’s shoulder. Turn the body in a smooth, even straight line so as to not cause further injury in the event of an existing spinal cord injury.
With the victim now on his back, OPEN THE VICTIM’S AIRWAY by placing the heel of your hand on the victim’s forehead and the tips of your fingers under the bony part of the jaw.
Push down on the forehead while lifting up the chin until the jaw is pointing straight up. Now place your ear over the victim’s mouth and LOOK, LISTEN & FEEL for breathing for 3 to 5 seconds. LOOK at the chest to see if it is rising,
LISTEN for sounds of breathing and FEEL for air coming from the victim.
IF THE VICTIM IS NOT BREATHING, RESCUE BREATHING IS REQUIRED IMMEDIATELY!
IMPORTANT WHILE THIS TUTORIAL IDENTIFIES LIFE-THREATENING CONDITIONS REQUIRING RESCUE BREATHING OR CPR (CARDIOPULMONARY RESUSCITATION), THESE SKILLS REQUIRE INTENSIVE CLASSROOM SKILL DEVELOPMENT AND PRACTICE AND CANNOT BE EFFECTIVELY PRESENTED OR TAUGHT IN THIS TUTORIAL. THE AUTHOR STRONGLY ENCOURAGES EVERYONE TO ENROLL IN A CPR COURSE.
Rescue breathing will provide vital oxygen to a victim who cannot breathe on their own. After giving a victim two breaths, the pulse is checked at the Carotid Artery to ascertain if the victim has a heartbeat. This artery is located on the side of the neck and is found by first positioning the fingers on the victim’s Adam’s Apple, then sliding the fingers down into the soft groove on the side of the neck. The pulse is checked for 5 to 10 seconds.
If the victim has a heartbeat but is not breathing, RESCUE BREATHING is required. If the victim is NOT breathing AND does NOT have a HEARTBEAT, it requires CPR without delay!
These initial steps of checking the AIRWAY, BREATHING, and CIRCULATION (pulse), together with a check for major BLEEDING, constitute THE PRIMARY SURVEY, which looks for life-threatening conditions!
In every instance where first aid is to be provided, it is important to always ask a conscious victim for permission to help them. If a victim is unconscious, it is presumed they have provided consent for you to assist them.