First Aid

First Aid Home

First Aid is the immediate and temporary proper aid provided to a sick or injured person or animal until medical treatment can be provided. It generally consists of series of simple, life-saving medical techniques that an individual without formal medical training can be trained to perform with minimal equipment.

The 3 main aims of first aid, commonly referred to as the “3 P’s” are:

Preserve life
Prevent further injury
Promote recovery
Conditions that often require first aid
Altitude sickness, which can begin in susceptible people at altitudes as low as 5,000 feet, can cause potentially fatal swelling of the brain or lungs.
Anaphylaxis, a life-threatening condition in which the airway can become constricted and the patient may go into shock. The reaction can be caused by a systemic allergic reaction to allergens such as insect bites or peanuts. Anaphylaxis is initially treated with injection of epinephrine.
Battlefield First aid – After the 9-11 terrorist attack, this protocol refers to treating shrapnel, gunshot wounds, burns, bone fractures, etc. as seen either in the battlefield or in the affected area resulting from a terrorist attack.
Bone fracture, a break in a bone initially treated by stabilizing the fracture with a splint.
Burns, which can result in damage to tissues and loss of body fluids through the burn site.
Choking, blockage of the airway which can quickly result in death due to lack of oxygen if the patient’s trachea is not cleared, for example by the Heimlich maneuver.
Cramps in muscles due to lactic acid buildup caused either by inadequate oxygenation of muscle or lack of water or salt.
Diving disorders resulting from too much pressure.
Gastrointestinal bleeding.
Gender specific conditions, such as Dysmenorrhea and Testicular torsion.
Heart attack, or inadequate blood flow to the blood vessels supplying the heart muscle.
Heat stroke, also known as sunstroke or hyperthermia, which tends to occur during heavy exercise in high humidity, or with inadequate water, though it may occur spontaneously in some chronically ill persons. Sunstroke, especially when the victim has been unconscious, often causes major damage to body systems such as brain, kidney, liver, gastric tract. Unconsciousness for more than two hours usually leads to permanent disability. Emergency treatment involves rapid cooling of the patient.
Heat syncope, another stage in the same process as heat stroke, occurs under similar conditions as heat stroke and is not distinguished from the latter by some authorities.
Hemorrhage, or heavy bleeding, treated by applying pressure (manually and later with a pressure bandage) to the wound site and elevating the limb if possible.
Hyperglycemia, or diabetic coma.
Hypoglycemia, or insulin shock.
Hypothermia, or exposure, occurs when a person’s core body temperature falls below 33.7�C (92.6�F). First aid for a mildly hypothermic patient includes rewarming, but rewarming a severely hypothermic person could result in a fatal arrhythmia, an irregular heart rhythm.
Insect and animal bites and stings.
Muscle strain.
Poisoning, which can occur by injection, inhalation, absorption, or ingestion.
Sprain, a temporary dislocation of a joint that immediately reduces automatically but may result in ligament damage.
Stroke, a temporary loss of blood supply to the brain.
Sucking chest wound, a life threatening hole in the chest which can cause the chest cavity to fill with air and prevent the lung from filling, treated by covering with an occlusive dressing to let air out but not in.
Toothache, which can result in severe pain and loss of the tooth but is rarely life threatening.
Wounds and bleeding, including laceration, incision and abrasion, and avulsion.