The definition of first aid is "the immediate care of the injured or ill". This could be a stranger, a family member or even yourself. To administer first aide one must know what to do and also just as important one must know what not to do. The whole object of first aide is to aid the injured or ill without ever doing harm.
The first and most important thing in first aide is to always prevent harm to yourself. Do not jump into a automobile without first making sure that there is no danger of fire or of the auto moving and causing you or another rescuer injury.
Remember these "ABCs" of first aid
A) Be sure that the person has an open Airway.
B) Secondly be sure that the person is Breathing. An open airway does not mean that the person is breathing. Everyone from young children to elderly adults should be trained in CPR. This training is given free of charge. Check with your local fire department for a location near you.
C) Check for proper Circulation. Check for signs of bleeding. Check for open wounds and for blood soaked clothes. Most bleeding can be temporarily controlled by applying direct pressure to the area. Once you have applied pressure to the area using a clean cloth or gauze pads or whatever you have at hand, do not remove the cloth or gauze from the wound. If it becomes blood soaked apply another pad over the soaked one and continue to apply pressure. In this day and age I would also advise any first aide person to wear gloves. There are a number of infections that can be transported via body fluids. These include AIDS as well as Hepatitis. Your welfare is to be considered before your patient's.
If you are coming to the aid of a victim of a fall or trauma type accident where the person has a deformity due to a broken bone(s), do not move the appendage that is involved. If you must splint the appendage, do so in the position found. Check for a pulse distal to the injury before splinting and check for a pulse after splinting. Distal is further from the heart than the fracture.
If the fracture is open and bleeding or bone is visible do not apply direct pressure. Cover the area with a clean dressing. Call 911 at once.
Anytime that a person is injured from a fall or a trauma, remember to keep the person still and hold the head in place. Do not allow the head to rotate. This one simple step may save the person’s life. Crouch or lay at the top of the patient and place your hands on both sides of the head. Hold firmly but gently. If the person is awake, talk to him (her) in a soft, even voice. Assure the patient that you are there to help until an ambulance arrives. Assure the patient that you will not leave him (her) alone. Comfort the patient with your voice. Have someone call 911 or yell for assistance. Do not release the head until trained help arrives.
Medical emergencies are not in the realm of most first aid rescuers. If you come on to a person that is unconscious or their level of consciousness is low, call 911. Assure that the person has an open airway and is breathing. Check for bleeding (circulation). What may have started out as a medical problem may turn into a trauma situation due to a fall or other accident brought on by a low level of consciousness. Look at the whole picture, not just what is obvious at first glance.
This is a very simple overview of only two types of situations that call for first aid intervention. Many courses can be taken through the Red Cross as well as other agencies. Learn what you can before the incident happens. The life you save maybe your loved one or even yourself. Don't wait. Learn first aid and CPR today.
First Aid Quiz