Basic First Aid

First aid is defined as providing initial care to an injured person before medical help arrives. It is usually a layperson with some first aid training that provides this help. However, most people just rush to give help without first assessing the situation. It is important to keep your own safety uppermost in your mind by being ware of your surroundings and any conditions that could cause you harm.

When you do reach the victim, the first thing you have to do is ascertain whether or not he/she is conscious. Then you can start using the ABC’s of first Aid. A is for airways. If the victim is conscious get him/her to speak to you. When a victim can speak this tells you there is no obstruction to the airways. If the victim is unconscious, put your ear close to the nose to see if he/she is breathing. If you do not see or hear any normal breathing, start CPR right away. If the victim is breathing normally, place him/her in the recovery position.

The victim may be confused. There are any number of reasons that can cause this confusion, such as:

After you ensure the victim is breathing, then you check for bleeding. Assess the injuries and take steps to control the bleeding by placing pressure on the wound. Cloths and towels work well when you don’t have any gauze handy. Keep layering the cloths on the wound, but never take any off. Try to keep the wound elevated above the heart.

Talk to the victim while you are waiting for medical help to arrive. Try to assure him/her that everything will be all right so that the victim doesn’t start to panic and make the situation worse.