First aid is the provision of immediate care to a victim with an injury of illness, usually effected by a lay person, and performed within a limited skill range. First aid is normally performed until the injury or illness is satisfactorily dealt with (such as in the case of small cuts, minor bruises, and blisters) or until the next level of care, such as an ambulance or doctor, arrives.
How is injury treated?
Anything that can damage the body can cause an injury: blunt or sharp objects, impact at high speed, falls, animal or insect bites, fire or extreme heat, and exposure to chemicals and toxins.
Treatment of injury depends upon its type and severity. Some injuries can be treated with basic first aid techniques such as wound cleansing, wound dressings, rest, application of ice, compression, and elevation. More severe injuries may require cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and other resuscitation procedures or surgery.
The key guiding principles and purpose of first aid, is often given in the mnemonic "3 Ps". These three points govern all the actions undertaken by a first aider.
Key skills of first aid
Certain skills are considered essential to the provision of first aid to injured persons and apply before all others if indicated. Particularly the "ABC“s of first aid, which focus on critical lifesaving intervention, must be rendered before treatment of less serious injuries.
ABC stands for Airway, Breathing, and Circulation.
First aid kit
A first aid kit consists of a strong, durable bag or transparent plastic box. They are commonly identified with a white cross on a green background.
Many first aid situations take place without a first aid kit readily to hand and it may be the case that a first aider has to improvise materials and equipment. As a general rule, some help is better than no help, especially in critical situations, so a key first aid skill is the ability to adapt to the situation, and use available materials until more help arrives.
Some common improvisations include:
First aid is needed in daily life at any situation. So every citizen shares a responsibility of having basic first aid knowledge and practices. First aider should be able to assess, provide care and direct to appropriate medical care. Unfortunately, most of us will find ourselves, at one time or another, in a situation that requires first aid care. Would you be prepared to help yourself or others?
Here are basic guidelines for some common injuries and illnesses:
Dehydration and gastrointestinal distress
Sprains & Strains
A sprain is an injury to a joint in which the ligaments and other tissues are damaged by violent stretching or twisting. Sprains usually occur when people twist their knee, fall on an outstretched arm, or land on the side of their foot. Symptoms include pain, swelling, bruising, and the inability to use the joint.
A strain occurs when a muscle is stretched beyond its normal range of motion, and tears. This can happen by prolonged, repetitive movement, improper lifting of heavy objects, or overstressing the muscles. Symptoms include pain, stiffness, tenderness when touched, muscle weakness and loss of muscle function.
The RICE formula can be used for the first 24 to 48 hours after the injury to reduce swelling for both sprains and strains. Avoid using the injured body part and apply an ice pack for 20 to 30 minutes, every 2 to 3 hours. Use an elastic bandage to compress the injury and keep the body part elevated above heart level, if possible.
Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR)
CPR is as easy as ABC. Remember: Airway, Breathing, and Circulation:
If circulation is needed, perform cardiac compressions. Adults require cycles of 15 chest compressions for every two rescue breaths.
Remember that in any emergency where a victim is unconscious and not breathing on their own, call emergency services immediately.
First aid in snakebite effective first aid should always be given to snakebite victims. It will prevent or minimize spread of venom that may have been introduced into the tissues, as well as complications resulting from the bite. Incorrect first aid may cause harm. The following simple, practical, effective and safe measures are recommended:
A dislocation is when two connected bones slip out of position in a joint. Dislocations are caused by falls and hard impacts, such as in sports injuries, and are more common in teens than young children. These injuries require emergency medical care to avoid further damage.
Heather or not a blister needs any treatment is debatable. If the blister is small, unbroken and not very painful, it is probably best to leave it alone. Cover it to prevent continued rubbing and pressure on it that can cause it to swell more and possibly burst on its own.
If the blister is large or painful especially if the activity isn’t finished (such as you are in the middle of a hike) follow steps to drain and dress a blister.
Use a sterilized needle and make small punctures at the edge of the blister and express the fluid. Then apply antibiotic ointment and cover it to protect it from further rubbing and pressure.
All extremity injuries need to be treated as broken bones (fractures) until an X-ray can be obtained.
There are all kinds of broken bone myths, such as not being able to walk on a broken leg or whether there's a difference between a fracture and a break. If you don't have Superman's X-ray eyes, treat it like it's broken. Take these steps for a suspected fracture:
Basic First Aid for Bee Stings
Bee stings are either annoyingly painful or deadly, depending on if the victim is allergic to the venom. Use these bee sting first aid tips:
The following measures need to be taken in giving first aid to a victim of an open wound:
– Minor cuts and scrapes usually stop bleeding on their own.
– If they don't, apply gentle pressure with a clean cloth or bandage. Hold the pressure continuously for 20 to 30 minutes and if possible elevate the wound
– Rinse out the wound with clear water. Soap can irritate the wound, so try to keep it out of the actual wound.
– If dirt or debris remains in the wound after washing, use tweezers cleaned with alcohol to remove the particles.
– To clean the area around the wound, use soap and a washcloth.
– There's no need to use hydrogen peroxide, iodine or an iodine-containing cleanser.
– If the bleeding slows, cover the wound with a clean dressing and bandage.
– Dressings and bandages can help keep the wound clean and keep harmful bacteria out. A dressing is a sterile pad or compress (usually made of gauze or cotton wrapped in gauze) used to cover wounds, to control bleeding and/or prevent further contamination. A dressing should be large enough to totally cover the wound, with a safety margin of about 2.5 cm on all sides beyond the wound. A bandage is used to secure a dressing in place and to apply pressure to bleeding wounds.
The following measures need to be taken in giving first aid to a victim of a closed wound:
First aid for bleeding
Bleeding is the loss of blood escaping from the circulatory system. It arises due to either traumatic injury, underlying medical condition, or a combination and can occur internally, where blood leaks from blood vessels inside the body, or externally, either through a natural opening such as the mouth, nose, ear, urethra, vagina or anus, or through a break in the skin.
External bleeding is generally described in terms of the origin of the blood flow by vessel type.
Internal Bleeding is one of the most serious consequences of trauma. It may occur after any significant physical injury.
Symptoms of bleeding are:
– Confusion or decreasing alertness
– Clammy skin
– Dizziness or light-headedness after an injury
– Low blood pressure
– Paleness (pallor)
– Rapid pulse, increased heart rate
– Shortness of breath
If the injured has internal bleeding, the aforementioned symptoms are joined by the following symptoms:
– Blood in the stool (appears black, maroon, or bright red)
– Blood in the urine (appears red, pink, or tea-colored)
– Blood in the vomit (looks bright red, or brown like coffee-grounds)
– Vaginal bleeding (heavier than usual or after menopause)
The following measures need to be taken in giving first aid to a victim of an external bleeding:
– Don't remove any large or more deeply embedded objects.
– Your principal concern is to stop the bleeding.
– Use a sterile bandage or clean cloth and hold continuous pressure for at least 20 minutes without looking to see if the bleeding has stopped.
– Maintain pressure by binding the wound tight adhesive tape.
– Use your hands if nothing else is available.
– If the bleeding continues and seeps through the gauze or other material you are holding on the wound, don't remove it. Instead, add more of it
– If the bleeding doesn't stop with direct pressure, apply pressure to the artery delivering blood to the area.
– Squeeze the main artery in these areas against the bone. Keep your fingers flat.
– With your other hand, continue to exert pressure on the wound itself.
For more information https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Llq0-upWb8