FIRST AID: An essential guide that we should all know by heart

First Aid – Noun: help given to a sick or injured person until full medical treatment is available.

You can make a huge difference to the outcome of an injury or illness by knowing the correct methods to preserve, and even help to save, a life.

To remember how to administer the correct first aid steps in the presented conditions is difficult so it is paramount to have a certain level of training. Some situations rely on common sense, logic and using initiative to analyse the criteria involved. A knowledge of basic First Aid will give you the confidence you need to be able to provide assistance.

Here is a simple step by step guide created by the Red Cross in case of an emergency. Keep it on you at all times, or better still, learn it by heart. Even better would be to get some training if you can. We run a diploma First Aid Course here at the School of Natural Health Sciences – please see the information at the end of this article.

Five first aid steps to keep closer:

first aid1. Before administering care to an ill or injured person, check the scene and the person. Size up the scene and form an initial impression.

Pause and look at the scene and the person before responding. Answer the following questions:

  • Is the scene safe to enter?
  • What happened?
  • How many people are involved?
  • What is my initial impression about the nature of the person’s illness or injury? Does the person have any life-threatening conditions, such as severe, life-threatening bleeding?
  • Is anyone else available to help?

2. If the person is awake and responsive and there is no severe life-threatening bleeding:

  • Obtain consent: Tell the person your name, describe the type and level of training, state what you think is wrong and what you plan to do, and ask permission to provide care.
  • Tell a bystander to get the AED (automated external defibrillator) and first aid kit: point to a bystander and speak out loud.
  • Use appropriate personal protective equipment: put on gloves, if available.
  • Interview the person: use SAMPLE questions to gather more information about signs and symptoms, allergies, medications, pertinent medical history, last food or drink and events leading up to the incident.
  • Conduct a head-to-toe check: check head and neck, shoulders, chest and abdomen, hips, legs and feet, arms and hands for signs of injury.
  • Provide care consistent with knowledge and training according to the conditions you find.

3. If the person appears unresponsive:

Shout to get the person’s attention, using the person’s name if it is known. If there is no response, tap the person’s shoulder (if the person is an adult or child) or the bottom of the person’s foot (if the person is an infant) and shout again, while checking for normal breathing. Check for responsiveness and breathing for no more than 5-10 seconds.

4. If the person is breathing:

  • Send someone to call the designated emergency number and obtain an AED and first aid kit.
  • Proceed with gathering information from bystanders using the SAMPLE questions
  • Conduct a head-to-toe check.
  • Roll the person onto his or her side into a recovery position if there are no obvious signs of injury.

5. If the person is NOT breathing:

  • Send someone to call the designated emergency number and obtain an AED and first aid kit.
  • Ensure that the person is face-up on a firm, flat surface such as the floor or ground.
  • Begin CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) – starting with compressions – or use an AED if one is immediately available, if you are trained in giving CPR and using an AED.
  • Continue administering CPR until the person exhibits signs of life, such as breathing, an AED becomes available, or emergency services or trained medical responders arrive on scene.

Note: End CPR if the scene becomes unsafe or you cannot continue due to exhaustion.

Learn First Aid with our diploma course

Our First Aid course provides all the information needed to identify emergency situations, assess a casualty, manage an incident and take applicable actions. For more information and to enrol, visit our First Aid Course page.

Here at the School of Natural Health Sciences we offer diploma-correspondent courses in over 60 subjects, which are accredited in 26 countries worldwide – check out our accreditation page. Whatever you choose here with us at The School of Natural Health Sciences, you can be sure that your CV, spectrum of knowledge, and outlook on life will be forever enriched.

This content was originally published here.

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