First aid is the provision of initial care for an illness or injury. It is usually performed by non-expert, but trained personnel to a sick or injured person until definitive medical treatment can be accessed. Certain self-limiting illnesses or minor injuries may not require further medical care past the first aid intervention. It generally consists of a series of simple and in some cases, potentially life-saving techniques that an individual can be trained to perform with minimal equipment. What is the aim for first aid?
The key aims of first aid can be summarized in three key points: * Preserve life: the overriding aim of all medical care, including first aid, is to save lives * Prevent further harm: also sometimes called prevent the condition from worsening, or danger of further injury, this covers both external factors, such as moving a patient away from any cause of harm, and applying first aid techniques to prevent worsening of the condition, such as applying pressure to stop a bleed becoming dangerous. * Promote recovery: first aid also involves trying to start the recovery process from the illness or injury, and in some cases might involve completing a treatment, such as in the case of applying a plaster to a small wound First aid training also involves the prevention of initial injury and responder safety, and the treatment phases. What should we do when a person gets a fracture?
A fracture is a broken bone. It requires medical attention. If the broken bone is the result of major trauma or injury,call your local emergency number. Also call for emergency help if: * The person is unresponsive, isn’t breathing or isn’t moving
* There is heavy bleeding.
* Even gentle pressure or movement causes pain.
* The limb or joint appears deformed.
* The bone has pierced the skin.
* The extremity of the injured arm or leg, such as a toe or finger, is numb or bluish at the tip. * You suspect a bone is broken in the neck, head or back. * You suspect a bone is broken in the hip, pelvis or upper leg (for example, the leg and foot turn outward abnormally). Don’t move the person except if necessary to avoid further injury. Take these actions immediately while waiting for medical help: * Stop any bleeding. Apply pressure to the wound with a sterile bandage, a clean cloth or a clean piece of clothing.
* Immobilize the injured area. Don’t try to realign the bone or push a bone that’s sticking out back in. If you’ve been trained in how to splint and professional help isn’t readily available, apply a splint to the area above and below the fracture sites. Padding the splints can help reduce discomfort. * Apply ice packs to limit swelling and help relieve pain until emergency personnel arrive. Don’t apply ice directly to the skin — wrap the ice in a towel, piece of cloth or some other material. * Treat for shock. If the person feels faint or is breathing in short, rapid breaths, lay the person down with the head slightly lower than the trunk and, if possible, elevate the legs. What to do if a person gets poisoning?
* Poisons are substances that cause injury, illness or death
* These events are caused by a chemical activity in the cells
* Poisons can be injected, inhaled or swallowed
* Poisoning should be suspected if a person is sick for unknown reason
* Poor ventilation can aggravate Inhalation poisoning
* First aid is critical in saving the life of victims
Certain household plants, animals
Food poisoning (Botulism)
Difficulty in breathing
Seek immediate medical help
Try and identify the poison if possible
Check for signs like burns
around mouth, breathing difficulty or vomiting
Induce vomiting if poison swallowed
If the vomit falls on the skin, wash it thoroughly
For inhalation poisoning
Seek immediate emergency help
Hold a wet cloth to cover your nose and mouth
Open all the doors and windows
Take deep breaths before you begin the rescue
Avoid lighting a match
Check the patient’s breathing
Steps to Avoid
Avoid giving an unconscious victim anything orally
Do not induce vomiting unless told by a medical personnel
Do not give any medication to the victim unless directed by a doctor Prevention
Store medicines, cleaning detergents, mosquito repellants and paints carefully Label the poisons in your house
Avoid keeping poisonous plants in or around house
What to do in case of cuts or burns?
The following steps must be undertaken in case of a cut
1. Stopping the bleeding – In case of a cut, if the bleeding of the wound does not stop itself in a few minutes, then gentle pressure with a piece of clean cloth or bandage, must be applied. 2. Cleaning – The wound must be cleaned with fresh water. If available, a Antiseptic Liquid Disinfectant must be used to clean the wound. Debris and dirt should be carefully removed without troubling the injured. The hands of the cleaner must be sterilized or gloves should be used. 3. Antibiotic or Ointment – After cleaning the wound, a thin layer of antibiotic or ointment like Neosporin must be applied. 4. Bandaging– After cleaning and applying ointment on the wound, a sterile bandage must be used to cover the wound, carefully.
5. Stitches – For deep wounds, the first aid provider must seek help and get the deep wounds stitched if possible. 6. Tetanus – If one suspects that the cut has been caused by some dangerous, rusted thing, then the injured person must be given a tetanus shot or tetanus injection too. Basic principles, such as knowing to use an adhesive bandage or applying direct pressure on a bleed, are often acquired passively through life experiences. However, to provide effective, life-saving first aid interventions requires instruction and practical training. This is especially true where it relates to potentially fatal illnesses and injuries, such as those that require cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR); these procedures may be invasive, and carry a risk of further injury to the patient and the provider.
As with any training, it is more useful if it occurs before an actual emergency, and in many countries, emergency ambulance dispatchers may give basic first aid instructions over the phone while the ambulance is on the way. Training is generally provided by attending a course, typically leading to certification. Due to regular changes in procedures and protocols, based on updated clinical knowledge, and to maintain skill, attendance at regular refresher courses or re-certification is often necessary. First aid training is often available through community organizations such as the Red Cross and St. John Ambulance, or through commercial providers, who will train people for a fee. This commercial training is most common for training of employees to perform first aid in their workplace. Many community organizations also provide a commercial service, which complements their community programmes.
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