Introduction to First Aid
An injury or illness could strike you or someone close to you at any time. You may be able to prevent a minor incident from worsening by using basic first aid. You may even save a life in the event of a serious medical emergency.
What is First Aid?
First aid is when you give basic medical care to someone who has suffered a sudden injury or illness.
In some cases, first aid refers to the initial assistance given to someone who is in the midst of a medical emergency. This assistance may help them survive until professional assistance arrives. In other cases, first aid entails providing care to someone who has sustained a minor injury. First aid, for example, is frequently all that is required to treat minor burns, cuts, and insect stings.
First aid bandage
In most circumstances, an adhesive bandage can be used to cover small cuts, scrapes, or burns. To cover and protect larger wounds, you may need to use a clean gauze pad or roller bandage.
Follow these instructions to apply a roller bandage to a wound:
- Maintain firm control over the injured area.
- Wrap the bandage around the injured limb or body part gently but firmly, covering the wound.
- Sticky tape or safety pins should be used to secure the bandage.
- The bandage should be wrapped tightly enough to stay in place, but not so tightly that it cuts off blood flow.
First aid for burns
Call 911 if you suspect someone has a third-degree burn. Seek professional medical treatment if you have any burns that:
- cover a large area of skin
- occur on the person’s face, groin, buttocks, hands, or feet
- were caused by chemical or electrical contact
Run cool water over the affected area for up to 15 minutes to treat a minor burn. If that is not an option, apply a cool compress to the affected area instead. Applying ice to burned tissue should be avoided. It has the potential to cause even more harm.
First aid CPR
Call 911 if you see someone collapse or find someone unconscious. Approach the unconscious person and begin CPR if the area around them appears safe. Even if you lack formal training, you can perform hands-only CPR to keep someone alive until help arrives.
Here’s how to perform hands-only CPR on an adult:,
- Place both hands on their chest, one on top of the other.
- Press straight down to repeatedly compress the chest at a rate of 100 to 120 compressions per minute.
- Continue to perform chest compressions until professional assistance arrives.
First aid for nosebleed
To help someone with a nosebleed, ask them to do the following:
- They take a seat and lean forward.
- Close the nostrils by pressing or pinching them shut with your thumb and index finger.
- Continue to apply constant pressure for five minutes.
- Repeat until the bleeding has stopped.
Seek emergency treatment if the nosebleed lasts more than 20 minutes. If the nosebleed was caused by an injury, the person should also receive follow-up care.
First aid for heatstroke
Heat exhaustion can occur when your body overheats. Heat exhaustion can progress to heatstroke if left untreated. This is a potentially fatal condition and a medical emergency. Encourage someone who is overheated to rest in a cool place. Remove excess clothing layers and attempt to cool their body down by doing the following:
- A cool, damp sheet should be used to cover them.
- Cloth the back of their neck with a cool, damp towel.
- Using cool water, sponge them.
If they acquire any of the following signs or symptoms of heatstroke, they should call 911:
- vomiting or nausea
- mental perplexity
- a fever of at least 104°F (40°C)
Encourage them to drink cool water if they aren’t vomiting or unconscious.
First aid kit list
You never know when basic first aid will be required. Consider keeping a well-stocked first-aid kit in your home and car to prepare for the unexpected. It’s also a good idea to keep a first-aid kit on hand at the office. A standard first-aid kit should comprise the following items:
- adhesive bandages
- sterile gauze pads
- adhesive cloth tape
- calamine lotion
- roller bandages
- instant cold pack
- breathing barrier
- triangular bandages
- antiseptic wipes
- ibuprofen or acetaminophen
- antibiotic ointment
- hydrocortisone cream
- nitrile or vinyl gloves
- safety pins
- first aid manual
A list of your healthcare providers, emergency contact numbers, and recommended drugs should also be included in your first aid packs.