First aid ranges from cleaning a small wound and covering it with sticking plaster, to dealing with serious injuries at a major disasters. But its main aim are the same: to safe life, prevent the casualty’s condition from worsening, promote healing and recovery, and arrange for expert help at the earliest opportunity. Recently, first aid has advanced greatly due to a better understanding of the body’s needs in serious injury or disease, improved medical equipment, and mobile communication. It now plays and even more vital role in saving lives, and speeding a casualty’s recovery.
ABC OF FIRST AID
ABC stands for the body’s three vital needs.
- “A” stands for Airways.
- “B” stands for Breathing.
- “C” stands for Circulation.
Inhaled foreign bodies or fluid can block the airway. By tipping the head back and straightening the airway, a first aider can look for blockages.
If breathing stops, the first aider may blow air at regular intervals through the casualty’s mouth into their lungs. This is called artificial ventilation.
If a pulse is absent, the first aider may carry out heart massage (external chest compression) to try to stimulation the heart into action.
Life of an accident victim can be saved by administering timely medical aid. This timely care prior to the arrival of the medical help means the difference between life and death. However, improper handling to victims sometime worsens the situation. Though providing proper first aid to an accident victim is not so complicated but one should be aware of the procedures and precautions.
PRIORITIES OF TREATMENT AN ACCIDENT VICTIM:
- Asphyxia (loss of oxygen).
- Cardiac arrest.
- Severe Haemorrhage (Bleeding).
- Other injuries/illnesses.
FOR LABOURING BREATHING
- Put the victim on ground very gently and carefully to prevent further injury.
- Turn the victim to one side.
- Loosen clothing at neck, chest and waist.
- Tilt the head back, point the face slightly down so the tongue can fall forward allowing blood and vomit to drain out.
- Remove dirt, blood, vomit or loose teeth from mouth.
- Uncover bleeding wound. Stop bleeding by direct pressure on the wound with thick pad of bandage or cloth.
- Bleeding limbs should be elevated to prevent bleeding.
- Do not remove foreign objects from bleeding wound.
- Apply pads and bandage them around the wound. Do the same if broken bones are visible.
CHECKING OUT CONSCIOUSNESS
- Check the pulse to see whether the person is breathing.
- Keep talking to the person to keep him/her in conscious until medical help arrives.
- You can ask questions to that person to keep them in conscious.
- If the pulse is not working, consider starting External Air Resuscitation (EAR).
- Depending on the condition of the person, you may need to try a mouth-to-mouth, a mouth-to-mask or a mouth-to-nose EAR
TRY TO STOP BLEEDING:
- Excessive bleeding from head or mouth could be a sign of danger.
- You can use clean cloths as an alternative to a usual bandage for dressing the wounds to stop the bleeding.
- Make sure the victim is in a comfortable position.
- Turn the victim to his side and keep his neck straight.
- It is not good idea to pour water in the victim’s mouth, especially when he is unconscious, it may choking.
Tissues damage caused by fires or prolonged exposure to sunlight or any other kind of radiation, as well as contact with hot surface or chemical.
One of the most painful injuries that one can ever experience is a burn injury. When a burn occurs to the skin, never endings are damaged causing intense feeling of pain.
Burns are classified in two ways:
- First degree burns.
- Second degree burns.
- Third degree burns.
TREATMENT FOR CHILDREN:
- Remove clothing from the burned areas, expect clothing stuck to the skin.
- Run cool (not cold) water over the burn until the pain eases.
- Lightly apply a gauze bandage or a clean, soft cloth or towel.
- Do not put any ointments, butter, or other treatments on the burn-these can make it worse.
- Do not break any blisters that have formed.
TREATING BURNS AND SCALDS:
- Immediately get the person away from the heat source to stop the burning.
- Cool the burn with cool water for 20 minutes- don’t use ice, iced water, or any creams or greasy substances such as butter.
- Make sure the person keeps warm-by using a blanket, for example, but take care not to rub it against the burnt area.
- Cover the burn by placing a layer of cling film over it-a clean plastic bag could also be used for burns on your hand.
- If the face or eyes are burnt, sit up as must as possible, rather than lying down-this helps to reduce swelling.