In this article, we have explained what is first aid, its aim, principle, ABC, first aid kit and tutorial for the various accidental situation.
What is First Aid? (Definition & Introduction)
First aid is the initial and immediate aid given to anyone suffering from a minor or severe illness or injury, with care provided to preserve life, to prevent the condition from worsening, or recovery to encourage.
It includes early intervention in a critical condition before professional medical support is available. These supports are such as performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) while staying for an ambulance.
The complete treatment of trivial conditions includes medication such as plastering a cut. A person usually does first aid with primary medical education.
Mental health first aid is an augmentation of the concept of first aid to cover mental health, while psychological first aid used as the initial treatment for those who are at risk for developing PTSD.
Conflict First Aid, which focuses on the well-being and protection of an individual’s social or relationships, is being conducted in Canada.
Many circumstances may require first aid, and many countries have legislation, regulation, or guidance that requires a bare minimum level of first aid provision in certain circumstances.
It may include specific training or equipment to be available in the workplace (such as an automated external defibrillator), specialist first aid cover in public ceremonies, or the provision of compulsory first aid training within schools.
However, first aid does not require any special equipment or prior knowledge, and improvisation can be incorporated by untrained people with materials available at the time.
First aid can be performed on almost all animals, such as first aid for pets, although this article deals with the care of human patients.
Aim of First Aid
The initial goal of first aid is to prevent death or severe injury from worsening. The primary objectives of first aid summarized as ‘three P’s:
1. Preserve life
The overriding aim of all medical care that includes first aid is to save lives and reduce the risk of death.
Ease the pain – First aid has done correctly so that the patient’s pain levels reduced, and they can calm during the evaluation and treatment process.
2. Prevent further losses
Prevention of further damage involves addressing both external factors, such as taking a patient away from any cause of suffering and applying first aid techniques to prevent the condition from worsening, such as avoiding bleeding. It has become dangerous to apply pressure.
3. Promote recovery
First aid also involves trying to begin the process of recovering from illness or injury, and in some cases, may include completing treatment, such as in the case of plastering over a small injury.
It is crucial to note that first aid is not a medical treatment and cannot be compared to a comparison done by a trained medical professional. First aid involves making frequent sense decisions in the best interests of the injured person.
Another set of goals to keep a severely injured person alive is sometimes called “ABC.”
Principles of First Aid
Protocols like ATLS, BATLS, SAFE-POINT based on the principle of defining priorities and the process where the correct execution of individual steps achieves the objective necessary to save human life. The essential points of these protocols include:
- Catastrophic bleeding (massive external bleeding)
- Airway (clearing the airway)
- Inhalation (ensure respiration)
- Circulation (internal bleeding)
- Disability (a neurological condition)
- Environment (Overall Examination, Environment)
A significant advantage of these protocols is that they require minimal resources, time, and skills, with a higher level of success in saving lives in adverse conditions for first aid.
ABC of First Aid
Some skills are considered essential to the provision of first aid and taught ubiquitously. In particular, the “ABC” of first aid, which focuses on severe life-saving interventions, should be provided before treatment for less severe injuries.
ABC means airway, breathing, and circulation. Emergency health professionals use the same epidemic. Attention must initial be brought to the airway to ensure this. The obstruction (knee) is a fatal emergency. After airway assessment, a first aid attendant will determine the adequacy of breathing and provide rescue breathing if necessary.
Circulation is no longer commonly assessed for patients who are not breathing, with first aid now trained to perform direct chest contractions (and thus provide artificial flow) but less severe. The pulse can be checked on patients.
The priorities of first aid are:
A – Airway
B – Breathing
C – Circulation (And Bleeding)
Only then look at broken bones & burns.
1. A – Airway
The airway of an unconscious person can be blocked or narrowed, that might make breathing impossible, noisy or hard.
It happens because the tongue drops back, thereby preventing the throat. Tilting the head back and lifting the chin lifts the tongue away from the entrance to the air passage.
Here, one needs to place two fingers under the point of person’s chin, & raise the jaw while placing the other hand over the forehead and tilting the head back. In case the head is injured, you should tilt the head very carefully, and open the airway.
2. B – Breathing
Check for breathing by putting your hear near the person’s mouth and nose. Feel for breath on your cheek or moisture on the back of your hand.
In case of emergency, you can seek for attention. You shouldn’t do everything at once because it will let you be distracted from the key factors. Therefore, on arriving at the scene, you should do the following things:
- Assess the situation Make the area safe
- Look for dangers to yourself and the casualty
- Take in quickly what has happened.
- Assess casualties
- The unconscious person will take priority and required quick help to ensure they can breathe. Only then you should begin to assess the injury.
If a person has stopped breathing, you can use mouth to mouth ventilation. Also, ensure that the airway is opened and the head is tilted back. So, pinch the nostrils, take a deep breath and blow into the mouth.
Then firmly seal your lips around the mouth so that air is not lost. Then, you’ll see the chest rise.
Remove your lips and let the chest fall. Continue this by giving about 10 breathes every min until breathing begins or help arrives.
3. C – Circulation
Here, you need to check for circulation and see whether the heart is beating by feeling Adam’s apple with two fingers.
Slide the fingers to the side of the windpipe and feel the pulse. In case the heart has stopped beating, use chest compression and try to restart the heart.
Place your hand flat right above the point whether the rib meets the breastbone and bring the other hand on top of it and lock your fingers together. Then, with your arms straight, press down on the breast bone pushing it down by 4 to 5 cm.
Then release the pressure and repeat the compression at a rate of about 80/min. If the person is still not breathing, alternate 15 compressions with two breathe until help arrives.
Stop bleeding by applying firm pressure to the wound for around 15 mins and never use any tourniquet.
First Aid Kit and Medicines
Everyone these days must use a first aid kit at some time. So, make time to prepare home & travel kits for you and your family’s safety. First aid kits may be comprehensive or essential.
What you require depends on the medical training and your distance from the expert’s therapeutic help.
Further, the readymade first aid kits are commercially available from outdoor retailers to chain stores. However, it is easy to make inexpensive and smart first aid kits yourself.
1. Pain medication for back pain, ankle sprain and headache
If you’re allowed only one thing in your first aid kit, then medication to combat pain would have to be it. So, most injuries and conditions cause pain, and you will want to find yourself reaching for them several times a year, if not more.
Here, Acetaminophen is the most basic pain medication. It has specific interactions, barely any side effects and is usually safe for many to take. So, ensure to choose just the recommended dose, as too much can be toxic to the liver.
Anti-inflammatory medications like Naproxen and Ibuprofen treats pain and have a bonus to calm down inflammation.
2. Relief from Heartburn, Dyspepsia or Indigestion
Spicy, greasy or fatty foods can play havoc with your digestion. So, can overeating food, too fast. It is the reason you need to keep a packet of Tums or bottle of Maalox in your kit for occasional indigestion relief.
But, any symptoms of stomach discomfort, bloating, or heartburn that occur regularly, no matter what you eat, needs checking out by a doctor. Indigestion is a symptom of many conditions, some even more severe than others.
3. Keep a cough suppressant
If you are suffering from uncontrollable coughing, mostly at night, it can be exasperating for your whole household.
So, endless praise will be reaped upon you if you have a cough suppressant such as Dextromethorphan right there in your medicine kit to place and stop the cough.
Here, you need to ensure that with a dry cough, does not have any other worrying symptoms. If they’re short of breath, have a fever, a young child, it is good to seek medical attention right away.
Now, coughs that expectorants like Guaifenesin (Mucinex) best soothe sound chestier. It will help make it easy to cough up.
First Aid in Various Situations
(In Injury or bleeding, in fracture, Electric shock, in burn, snake bite, dog bite)
1. First Aid For Bleeding
If someone is bleeding heavily, the first thing to consider is to prevent further blood loss and minimize the effects of shock.
You must dial the ambulance number as soon as possible. If you have disposable gloves, use them to reduce the risk of any infection being passed on. Check that there is nothing embedded in the wound.
In case there is, ensure not to press down on the object. Instead, press firmly on either side of the object and build up padding around it before bandaging, to avoid putting pressure on the object.
If nothing is embedded, apply & maintain pressure to the wound with your gloved hand, using a clean pad or dressing if possible. You should still apply pressure until the bleeding stops.
Use a fresh dressing to bandage the wound firmly and if bleeding continues through the pad, apply pressure to the wound until the bleeding stops and then apply another one on the top and bandage it in place.
Do not remove the dressing or pad, but check that the bleeding has stopped. In case a body part like finger has been severed, put it in a plastic bag and wrap it in cling film, ensuring that it goes with the casualty to the hospital.
2. First Aid For Electric Shock (domestic)
If someone has an electric shock, first switch off the electrical current at the mains to break the contact between the electrical supply and person.
In case you can’t reach the main supply, don’t go near or touch the person until you’re sure that the supply has been switched off. After the power supply has been switched off, and the person isn’t breathing, dial the ambulance number for an ambulance.
Thereafter, seek for medical help, unless the electric shock is very minor.
3. First Aid For Burn
Immediately hold the injury under cold running water or apply a cold wet towel until the pain subsides. Cover any small blister with a tape, gauge or loose bandage.
Call a doctor as soon as possible if burns are on the hands, face or genitals, or if they are more significant than 1/4th inch anywhere on the body. In case the injury seems rooted, go to the emergency room.
For a burn covering a tenth of the body or more, do not use cold compresses. Call the ambulance and cover up with a clean sheet or a blanket to prevent hypothermia until help arrives. Do not pop any blister yourself.
If the skin breaks, apply antibiotic cream and cover the area with gauge or bandage until it is healed. Watch for any discharge, tenderness, swelling, redness for these are all signs of infection.
4. First Aid For Snake Bite
There is any chance that the snake is venomous. Here, if a snake bites a person, the person has difficulty breathing, and there is a loss of consciousness. If you know that snake is not venomous, then treat as a puncture wound.
Firstly, you need to note the snake’s appearance, be ready to describe the snake to the emergency staff. Then protect the person while waiting for medical help, or move the person beyond striking distance of snake and lie him down with wound below the heart.
Further, keep the person calm, at rest, to keep the venom from spreading. Cover the wound with a loose and sterile bandage. Remove and jewelry from the area that was bitten and remove shoes if the foot or leg was bitten.
- Give the person alcohol or caffeinated drinks or any other medications
- Apply tourniquet, ice, or water
- Attempt to suck out the venom
- Cut a bite wound
Finally, contact a health care provider. At the hospital, treatment will depend on the type of snake; if the snake were venomous, the person would be given anti-venom. Also, a tetanus shot is given as per the date of the last injection.
5. First Aid For Fractures
Fractures are broken bones and can occur as a result of falls or other harsh impacts. When this happens, the affected part must be immobilized, and manipulation of the area must be avoided.
It is to remember, that a fracture could sever a nerve or a blood vessel if not immobilized, resulting in a much more severe injury. So, it is advisable to immobilize the injured part & transport the patient to a medical clinic or nearest hospital as soon as possible.
To Save Lives First Aid is Essential
To conserve a person’s life, you need to have an open airway so that it creates a clear passage where air can pass through the pharynx through the mouth or nose and into the lungs without interruption.
Conscious people will automatically maintain their airways, but those who are unwitting (with a GCS of little than 8) may be unable to provide a patented airway because the part of the brain that breathes under normal conditions automatically controls what it cannot perform.
If the patient were breathing, an aider would regularly present them again in the recovery position, the patient would bend over, which would also have the effect of cleaning the dialect from the pharynx. It also avoids a frequent cause of death in unconscious patients, which is reabsorbing the contents of the stomach.
The airway can also be blocked through a foreign object that lodged in the pharynx or larynx, commonly called choking. First, Eider will teach to deal with it through a combination of ‘back slaps’ and ‘belly thrusts.’
Once the airway is opened, the first castor will evaluate to see if the patient is breathing. If someone is not breathing, or the patient is not breathing normally, such as agonal breathing, the first Eider will do what is possibly the most recognized first-aid procedure – CPR, which includes breathing for the patient. And manually massage the heart to promote blood flow around the body.
If the kneeling person is an infant, the aide will make five-strong blows by placing the baby’s face downward in the infant’s upper back. If the baby can cry or cough, the aide will be taught not to provide first aid.
Cough and crying indicate that the airway is open, and foreign force will be likely to come out from the coughing or crying force.
Training in First Aid
Fundamental values, such as knowing the use of adhesive bandage or applying direct pressure on bleeding, are often achieved passively through life experiences.
However, delivering effective, life-saving first aid interventions requires instruction and practical training. It mainly corrects where it relates to potentially fatal diseases and injuries, such as those requiring CPR.
These procedures can be invasive and risk further harm to the patient and provider. As with any instruction, it is more useful when it occurs before an actual emergency, and in many countries, emergency ambulance dispatchers can give basic first aid instructions over the phone. In contrast, the ambulance is on the way.
Training is typically provided by attending a course, usually prominent to certification. Due to regular changes in processes and protocols based on up-to-date clinical knowledge, attendance at regular revision courses or re-certification is often required.
First aid training is usually available through neighborhood organizations such as the Red Cross and St. John Ambulance or commercial providers, who will train people for a fee.
This vocational training is most common for training employees to operate first aid in their office. Many community associations also provide a commercial service, which caters to their community programs.
Types of First Aid that Require Training
There are numerous types of first aid (and first aider) that need specific additional training. These usually done to meet the demands of the work or activity performed.
Aquatic / Marine first aid commonly practiced by professionals such as lifeguards, professional mariners, or diver rescues. It covers specific problems that may be encountered after a water-based rescue or a delayed medivac.
Warring First Aid takes into account the specific needs of treating wounded combatants and non-combatants during armed conflict.
Hyperbaric first aid can be practiced by underwater diving professionals who need to treat conditions such as decomposition disease.
Oxygen first aid is meant to provide oxygen to those who suffer from conditions resulting from hypoxia. It is also a necessary first-aid procedure for underwater diving events where it is possible to form a gas bubble in tissues.
Jungle first aid is the provision of first aid under conditions where emergency evacuation or removal of a wounded person may get delayed due to the terrain, weather, and lack of available equipment of persons. It may be required to care for an injured person for several hours or days.
Mental health first aid is taught separately of physical first aid. It includes how to support someone experiencing an emotional health problem or crisis. Also, to identify the early symptoms of someone developing mental ill health and guide people to appropriate help.
First Aid Services
Some undergo specific training to provide first aid at public or private events, during filming, or at other locations where people gather.
They may be named as first eiders, or use some other title. This role may be initiated voluntarily, with organizations such as the Red Cross and St. John Ambulance, or as paid engagement with a medical contractor.
People performing first aid roles, whether in a professional or voluntary capacity, are often expected to have high levels of first aid training and are often homogenous.