First aid is the immediate assistance or treatment given to someone injured or suddenly taken ill before the arrival of an ambulance, doctor, or other appropriate qualified persons. It is a skill, based on knowledge, training and experience. First aid training is important as it is relevant at home, work place or industries and any other place. The term “FIRST AIDER” is usually applied to someone who has completed a theoretical and practical instruction course, and passed a professionally supervised examination.
The standard first aid certificate awarded by St John Ambulance, St Andrews Ambulance Association and the British Red Cross is proof of all round competence. First aid must be administered as soon as possible. In case of critical injury, a few minutes can make the difference between complete recovery and loss of life. First aid requires rapid assessment of victims to determine whether life threatening conditions exists. First aid measures depend on the victims need and the provider’s level of knowledge and skill. Knowing what not to do in an emergency is as important as knowing what to do.
DEFINITION OF TERMS FIRST AIDER: someone who has completed a theoretical and practical instruction course, and passed a professionally supervised examination. EMERGENCY: A serious, unexpected and potentially dangerous situation requiring immediate action or an unexpected event that must be dealt with urgently. CASUALTY: somebody who has a fatal accident, or receives a serious injury or suddenly falls ill. ACCIDENT: An unpleasant incident that happens unexpectedly. INCIDENT: An event, the occurrence of dangerous or exciting event. AMBULANCE: A vehicle for taking sick or injured people to and from hospital.
HOSPITAL: An institution providing medical treatment and nursing care for sick or injured people. IMMOBILIZE: Prevent from moving or operating as normal. SIGN: What you see on the casualty. SYMPTOMS: What the casualty feels and tells you. FIRST AID DEFINITION: – immediate assistance or treatment given to an injured person or someone who suddenly falls ill before the arrival of an ambulance, doctor, or other appropriate qualified persons. It is also the first care given to a casualty or someone who suddenly falls ill before the arrival of a doctor or before taking the person to the hospital.
AIMS AND OBJECTIVE OF FIRST AID •To save life. •To promote quick recovery. •To prevent the situation from getting worse •To save time. •To save cost. PRINCIPLES OF FIRST AID The golden rule is ‘’ first do no harm’’ while applying the principle of calculated risk. You should use treatment that is most likely to be beneficial to a casualty but do not use a doubtful treatment just for the sake of doing something. Assess the situation ?Observe what has happened quickly and calmly. ?Look for dangers to yourself and to the casualty. ?Never put yourself at risk. Make area safe.
?Protect the casualty from danger. ?Be aware of your limitations. Assess all casualties and give emergency aid ?Assess each casualty to determine treatment priorities, and treat those with life-threatening conditions first. Get help ?Quickly ensure that any necessary specialist has been summoned and is on the way QUALITIES OF A GOOD FIRST AIDER •Be resourceful at all times. •Be sympathetic and empathetic to your casualty. •Be smart and confident. •Be observant. •Be bold. •Be gentle SCOPE OF FIRST AID This is the systematic way of administering first aid;- DIAGNOSIS:- •History.
•Signs •Symptoms CARE:- This should be given in order of priority i. e. breathing, bleeding, burns and broken bones Transportation- Arrange to convey the casualty without delay to his home, suitable shelter, hospital and or summon a doctor in any serious case.
EMERGENCY RESPONSE This is another procedure taken to ensure that appropriate first aid and safety is observed while assisting a casualty. When to use it depends on the situation you find yourself. D – Danger. R – Response (A. V. P. U. i. e. Alert, voice, pain, unresponsive). A – Airway. B –Breathing (L. L. F i. e.look, listen and feel).
C -circulation THE RESUSCITATION SEQUENCE To assess and treat a casualty who has collapse use the resuscitation techniques, obtained on the following pages. If breathing and pulse return at any points place the casualty in a recovery position. The resuscitation sequence Check response ? Open airway and check breathing ? Breathe for the casualty ? Assess for circulation ? commence CPR. CHECKING RESPONSE On discovering a casualty, you should first establish whether the casualty is conscious or unconscious. Ask a simple question such as ‘’hello can you hear me’’.
‘’What has happened to you’’. or give a command such as’’ open your eyes’’. Speak loudly and clearly, close to the casualty’s ear. OPEN THE AIRWAY An unconscious casualty’s airway may become narrowed or blocked. This makes breathing difficult and noisy or completely impossible. The main reason for this is that muscular control in the throat is lost, which allows the tongue to fall back and block the airway. Lifting the chin and tilting the head back lifts the tongue away from the entrance to the air passage, allowing the casualty to breathe.
To open the airway – Place two fingers under the point of the casualty’s chin lift the jaw. At the same time, place your other hand on the casualty’s forehead and gently tilt the head well back. CHECKING BREATHING ?Kneel besides the casualty and put your face close to his mouth. ?Look, listen and feel for breathing. ?Look along the chest to see if the chest rises and falls, indicating breathing. ?Listen for sounds of breathing. ?Feel for breath on your cheek. ?Do these checks for up to ten seconds before deciding that breathing is absent.
BREATHE FOR THE CASUALTY
1)Look into the mouth and remove any obvious obstruction including broken or displaced dentures from the mouth. Leave well fitted dentures in place. 2)Open the airway by tilting the head and using two fingers to lift the chin. 3)Close the casualty’s nose by pinching it with your index finger and thumbs. Take a full breathe and place your lips around his mouth, making a good seal. 4)Blow into your casualty’s mouth until you see the chest rise. Take about two seconds for full inflation. 5)Remove your lips and allow the chest to fall fully, which takes about four seconds.
Repeat this once and then assess for signs of circulation. If pulse is absent and there are no sign of recovery such as any movement, swallowing, coughing or breathing, begin cardio pulmonary resuscitation. If breathing returns, place the casualty in the recovery position. ASSESSING FOR CIRCULATION Check the pulse for up to ten seconds, during which, look for other signs of recovery such as movement, breathing, swallowing and coughing. If you cannot find the pulse or there are no other signs of circulation, Begin chest compressions immediately.
CARDIOPULMONARY RESUSCITATION (CPR)
If there is no pulse, this means that the heart has stopped beating and you will have to provide an artificial circulation by means of chest compression. To be of any use, this process must always be combined with artificial ventilation. This procedure is known as Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation or CPR for short. If both you and your helper have been trained to administer C. P. R, you can do so together.
GIVING CHEST COMPRESSIONS ?Kneel beside the casualty locate one of his lowermost ribs with the index and middle finger. Slide your finger along the ribs to the point where lowermost ribs meet at the breast bone.?
Place the heel of your other hand on the breast bone and slide it down until it reaches your index finger. This is the point at which you should apply pressure. ?Place the heel of your first hand on top of the other hand and inter lock your fingers. ?Leaning well over the casualty with your arms straight, press vertically down and depress the breast bone approximately 4-5cm, release the pressure without removing your hands. Compress the chest 30 times aiming for a rate of about 100 compressions per minute. Then give two artificial ventilations.
Continue this cycle of alternating 30 chest compressions with two breaths of artificial ventilation until help arrives.
CPR FOR A CHILD AND A BABY The same resuscitation sequence is applicable for a child but alternate five chest compressions with one breath of artificial ventilation. For one minute before calling an ambulance. Position your hand as you would for an adult but use heel of one hand only. For a baby under one year, place the tip of finger on the lower breast bone. Do this five times at a rate of 100 per minute Give one full breath of artificial ventilation, by breathing into the baby’s mouth and nose.