Basic First aid
Every year in the UK, thousands of people die or suffer a serious injury in accidents and other incidents.
However, that figure could be lower if first aid had been given before the emergency services arrived.
For that reason, knowledge of basic first aid is so important.
Imagine if you were at the scene of an incident, and had the skills to be able to and help. How empowering that would be?
By acquiring some know-how and learning introductory techniques, you could save someone’s life.
When someone is injured you need to:
Ensure that you and the casualty aren’t in any danger, and, if possible, make the situation safe
Dial 999 or 112 for an ambulance when it’s safe to do so
Carry out basic first aid
Learn your ABC
This refers to the three things you need to prioritise when you find yourself in a first aid situation.
They stand for:
- Breathing and
If someone is unconscious and not breathing
If a person isn’t breathing normally after an incident, call an ambulance and start CPR straight away. Use hands-only CPR if you aren’t trained to perform rescue breaths.
If someone is unconscious and breathing
If they are breathing and have no other injuries that would prevent them from being moved, place them in the recovery position until help arrives.
Air circulation is paramount, so whatever you do; keep the casualty’s air circulation systems working.
They need to be kept under observation to ensure they continue to breathe normally, and don’t obstruct their airway.
Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is an important emergency procedure that combines chest compressions, often with artificial ventilation, in an effort to manually preserve intact brain function until further measures are taken to restore spontaneous blood circulation and breathing in a person who is in cardiac arrest.
If a person is in cardiac arrest (the heart is no longer pumping blood) and CPR is not performed, that person will die.
- When someone is having a heart attack, is drowning, any situation where the heart has stopped working.
An automated external defibrillator (AED) is a lightweight, portable device that you use to deliver an electric shock through the chest to the heart. The shock can potentially stop an irregular heart beat (arrhythmia) and allow a normal rhythm to resume following sudden cardiac arrest.
- When someone is in cardiac arrest
Bandages can be used to hold dressings in place, to relieve pain, and generally to make the patient comfortable.
It is important to do the proper bandaging technique when using and administering first aid on a wound or injury. The main goal of placing a bandage on an injury is for immobilization, protection, support or compression. If the bandaging technique is not done properly, it could exacerbate the damage.
- For protecting wounds; promoting healing; and providing, retaining, or removing moisture.
The Heimlich Manoeuvre
Every year, many people die from choking on objects that obstruct their airways and cause suffocation. Choking is in fact the fourth leading cause of unintentional death. However, there is a simple technique you can use to help expel a trapped object from another person’s airway.
It’s called the Heimlich Manoeuvre, or abdominal thrusts. Abdominal thrusts lift your diaphragm and expel air from your lungs. This causes the foreign object to be expelled from your airway.
Regardless of whom you perform the manoeuvre on, that person should still get medical help afterward. This is to ensure no physical damage has occurred to their throat and airways.
- When someone is choking
The Recovery Position
The recovery position involves rolling an unconscious patient onto their side in order to protect the airway.
- When a person is unconscious but is breathing and has no other life-threatening conditions.
How to use an adrenaline auto injector
Anaphylaxis is a medical emergency that requires immediate treatment. People prone to extreme auto immune reactions will usually carry an adrenaline auto injector of which there are three main types. These are: the EpiPen, Jext and Emerade.
- For someone suffering anaphylaxis. They should be used as soon as a serious reaction is suspected.
The 10 first aid essentials that you can use to treat a broad array of injuries:
- Remember the three Ps. These are:
- Preserve life
- Prevent further injury
- Promote recovery
- Check the scene for danger before you begin to help the patient.
- Perform CPR if a person stops breathing.
- Treat cuts by applying gentle pressure, disinfectant and bandages.
- To treat sprains, apply ice and compression and keep the affected limb elevated.
- Treat heat exhaustion by using cool cloths, shade and cool fluids.
- Hypothermia is treated by using warm fluids and warm coverings.
- Burns are treated first by determining how severe they are and their cause.
- An EpiPen is used to treat extreme allergic reactions
- To treat fractures keep the limb stable and immobilized applying only a cold pack until emergency services arrive.