Basic First Aid Procedures For Common Injuries
First aid refers to the immediate medical assistance provided to individuals experiencing minor or serious medical emergencies. Its primary goal is to safeguard lives and prevent deterioration of the patient's condition until professional help arrives or the patient reaches a hospital.
Why is First Aid Important?
The significance of first aid cannot be overstated, as it serves several critical purposes, including:
Saves Lives: Timely intervention can make the difference between life and death by stabilizing the patient's condition.
Provides Instant Relief: First aid offers immediate relief to the patient, alleviating pain and discomfort.
Prevents Infection: Proper first aid can help prevent infections in wounds, reducing the risk of complications.
Reduces Recovery Time: Early intervention can minimize the patient's recovery time, enabling a quicker return to health.
Cases that Need First Aid
Several medical emergencies require urgent first aid. Here are some cases in which immediate first aid can reduce lifelong anomalies:
● Cuts and scrapes ● Burns ● Choking ● Heart attacks ● Fractures ● Seizures ● Allergies ● Severe injuries during professional fights ● Bleeding due to an accident or from wounds
The ABC of First Aid Procedures
The acronym ABC in first aid medical care stands for Airway, Breathing, and Circulation:
Airway: Ensure the person's airway is open; if not, clear it through compressions or head tilting.
Breathing: After ensuring the airway is open, check for breathing and respond accordingly. Perform CPR if necessary.
Circulation: After addressing the airway and breathing, assess circulation by monitoring pulse or signs of a heartbeat. Administer CPR as needed.
Specific First Aid Methods
The primary step to managing any accident or emergency is to call an ambulance or a general physician nearby immediately.
Immediately control bleeding
In case of severe bleeding and bruising,
Use Gloves: Before touching the wound, wear gloves to maintain cleanliness and avoid the spread of infection.
Debris Removal: Remove visible debris from the wound, but avoid aggressive cleaning or touching.
Pressure Application: Have the injured person lie down and apply pressure to the wound with a clean cloth, tightly enough to stop bleeding.
Responding to Choking
To deal with choking;
Encourage coughing: Encourage the choking patient to cough to clear the airway.
Abdominal Thrusts or Chest Compressions: Administer abdominal thrusts or chest compressions to dislodge the blockage.
Rub the back: Rub the back of the choked patient to clear the airway.
Continued Action: Continue these measures until the obstruction is removed or professional assistance arrives.
First Aid for Heart Attack
If you need to give first aid to anybody experiencing a heart attack, use the following techniques;
Aspirin Administration: Give aspirin to the patient to help prevent clotting.
Nitroglycerin Use: Administer nitroglycerin if prescribed by a healthcare provider.
CPR (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation): Initiate CPR if the individual is not breathing.
Monitor and Support: Continuously monitor pulse and breathing until professional help arrives.
First Aid for Eye Emergencies
To prevent permanent vision loss or eye damage, the first aid steps include;
Chemical Exposure: Flush the eye immediately if exposed to a dangerous chemical and seek prompt medical attention.
No Bandaging: Do not attempt to bandage the eye; instead, apply a cold compress without pressure.
Object in Eye: Avoid trying to remove an object lodged in the eye and seek expert medical care.
First Aid in Case of Poisoning
The primary steps to deal with chemical intoxication include;
Check Condition: Assess the patient's condition and, if possible, determine the type or severity of the poison.
Protect Yourself: Avoid exposure to the toxic material and move the patient away from the poison source.
CPR: Perform CPR if the affected person is not breathing and you are trained to do so. ● Avoid Induced Vomiting: Do not try to induce vomiting without the guidance of a trained physician. ● Provide Information: Give details about the patient's age, weight, and exposure time to assist in treatment.
Components of a First Aid Kit
Keeping a first aid kit is recommended at home or in all public places to deal with emergencies. A well-prepared first-aid kit should contain the following:
● Plasters of various sizes and shapes ● Dressings in multiple sizes ● Sterile eye dressings ● Dettol solution for disinfection ● Sterile gloves for infection control ● Blood thinners for specific situations ● Paracetamol for pain relief ● Thermometer for assessing body temperature ● Alcohol wipes for cleanliness ● Anti-inflammatory creams for injuries ● Aspirin for specific medical conditions ● Inhalers for respiratory distress ● A basic first aid book for guidance
It is recommended to seek first aid training to deal with emergencies and prevent lifetime immobility or death.
First aid plays a critical role in preserving human lives during emergencies. Many institutions provide training in first aid, and some dedicated volunteers practice first aid to save precious lives. It’s essential to contact a nearby general physician or emergency services as soon as possible and provide first-hand care according to the situation.