Health & Lifestyle

Importance of First Aid: Skills, Kit and Recovery

At any moment in life, you or someone around (friend, family) could experience an injury or illness. You can stop a minor mishap from getting worse by using the basic first aid. In some serious medical emergencies you may even save a life. That’s why it’s so important to learn some basic first aid skills.

First aid – It is the first aid or help given to any person suffering from a minor or serious injury with care to preserve life, prevent the condition from being worse.

Aim of first aid

To save life: Saving lives is the main aim of first aid.

To prevent further harm: The person who has experienced an injury must be kept stable, before medical services arrive. Which may include moving the individual away from accident spot, applying first aid, keeping them dry and warm and applying pressure to wounds to stop any bleeding or placing wound under running tap to stop bleeding.

To Promote recovery: Applying a bandage to a wound may promote.

Steps for emergency situations

If you come across an emergency situation, follow these basic steps:-

Check the scene for danger :- Look out if there is anything dangerous  like fire, falling debris or violent people. If find yourself  in a risky situation, first of all remove yourself from the area and then call for help.

If the situation is safe, look at the condition of the sick or injured person. Don’t move them out unless you must do so to protect them from danger.

If needed, Call for medical help :- If you see that a sick or injured person needs emergency medical care, tell a someone to call 112 or the local number for emergency medical services. If you’re alone out there, make the call yourself.

Provide care :- If you can do something do safely, be with the sick or injured person until medical team arrives. Cover them with warm blanket, comfort them, and try to keep them calm. If you have knowledge of basic first aid skills, try to treat them you may save a life.

First aid kit list

A basic first aid kit should include:

  • Adhesive bandages

  • Roller bandages

  • Absorbent compress dressings

  • Sterile gauze pads

  • Adhesive cloth tape

  • Triangular bandages

  • Antiseptic wipes

  • Aspirin

  • Acetaminophen or ibuprofen

  • Antibiotic ointment

  • Hydrocortisone cream

  • Calamine lotion

  • Nitrile or vinyl gloves

  • Safety pins

  • Scissors

  • Tweezers

  • Thermometer

  • Breathing barrier

  • Instant cold pack

  • Blanket

  • First aid manual

Also, a list of your healthcare providers, emergency contact numbers, and prescribed medications in your first aid kits.

How to practice first aid

The most common term in first aid is ABC. Which stands for airway, breathing, and circulation.

Airway: Make sure Airway is clear. Sometimes Choking, which results from the snag of airways, can be fatal.

Breathing: Once you confirm  airways are clear, now look whether the person can breathe properly, and if necessary provide rescue breathing.

Circulation: If the person is not breathing properly, the first aider is that you should go straight for chest compressions and rescue breathing. The chest compressions will promote circulation and this saves valuable time. In emergency situation that are not life-threatening, the first aider needs to check the pulse of the patient.

Evaluating ABC of patient depends on the training and experience of first aider. As soon as ABC has been determined, the first aider can then focus on any additional treatments.

This ABC process should be carried out in the order.

Recovery position

If the individual is breathing but is unconscious, there is still a risk of airway obstruction. The recovery position to reduce the risk to the patient is :

  • Remove the glasses.

  • Kneel in front of the person, and place the arm nearest to you at a right angle to the body.

  • Bring the other arm across the chest. Hold the back portion of your hand against their cheek.

  • Now, with other hand hold the thigh furthest from you and pull up the knee. Make sure the foot is flat touching the ground.

  • Slowly pull down on the knee which is raised, and roll the body towards you.

  • Move the upper leg, in such a way that hip and knee are bent at right angles. Make sure that they do not roll onto their face.

  • Gently tilt the head back and look at the airway and it should be kept opened.

Cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR)

If the person is not breathing, you will need to perform CPR.

There are two main steps in CPR :-

  1. Applying chest compressions.

  2. Providing breaths.

Apply 30 chest compressions : kneel next to the person who is injured and patient should be lying on their back.

For adults, place one hand in the middle of the chest. Place your other hand on top of the first hand and interlace the fingers. Push the chest down about 1.5 to 2 inches with a force.
 For child aged between 1 and 8 years, compress to 1.5 inches with one hand only and compress gently. Wait for the chest to come back to normal position before repeating.          Your elbows must remain straight throughout.

Also, Push the breastbone up and down about 5 cm for 30 times, at a pulse rate of 100 beats per minute.

Provide two breaths:

  • Make sure that the airway is open, and pinch the nose so it closes.

  • Gently raise chin upwards with two fingers of your other hand.

  • Now, Take a deep breath, seal your mouth over that of the person and exhale into the airway.

  • Also, see the chest rise and fall.

To get another breath, lift your head and breathe in deeply and perform above steps again.

Repeat the above 30 chest compressions and the two breaths about five times, and then check for normal breathing. If they are not breathing properly, carry on performing CPR. If they start breathing normally, stay with the injured person until medical help arrives.

It can alone be lifesaver, important thing is time. Make sure you respond quickly and you can respond quickly if you had practiced it.

NOTE :- You might hear some pops and snaps during chest compressions. These are normal so do not stop.



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Krishi Jagran