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10 Fundamental first aid procedures

First aid is the emergency care given to an ill or injured individual. In some circumstances, it may be the only care someone requires, while in others, it may be enough to keep them alive until paramedics arrive or they are transferred to the hospital.

The best way to prepare for these incidents is to acquire certified first aid training, but you can learn some fundamental life-saving procedures in the meanwhile.

This article will walk you through the procedures of first aid for a variety of circumstances. It will also provide first aid examples and explain when additional care may be required.


First Aid ABCs

When someone is unconscious or unresponsive, a basic first aid premise is ABC:

Clear someone’s airway if they aren’t breathing. Provide rescue breathing if the airway is clean but they are still not breathing.

Circulation: Use chest compressions and rescue breathing to keep blood circulating. Check the person’s pulse if they are breathing but not responding. Provide chest compressions if their heart has stopped.

The ABCs are simplified as follows:

  • Awake? If not, attempt to rouse them. If they don’t wake up, make sure someone dials 911 and go to step B.

  • Breathing? If this is not the case, begin rescue breathing and chest compressions. If so, proceed to C.

  • Follow the directions given by 911, or continue treatment until an ambulance arrives.

  • D and E are also included in some courses;

  • D can stand for disability assessment, lethal bleeding, or automated external defibrillator (AED), a device that shocks the heart into beating.

Once you know they’re breathing and their heart is beating, you can examine them for symptoms of injuries, bleeding, allergies, or other concerns.

CPR, or cardiopulmonary resuscitation, is one of the most critical emergency medical procedures. A person may die if their heart stops beating while they are in cardiac arrest. CPR or the use of an AED could save their life. 2

AEDs are offered in a variety of public places and companies. Even if you have never been trained, these devices are simple to use.


What should you do?

When you suspect someone is in cardiac arrest, take the following steps:


Request that someone dial 911

Begin chest compressions right away. Push down hard and rapidly in the center of the chest with both hands, allowing the chest to rise freely between compressions. Continue until someone with greater experience arrives.


Use chest compressions and rescue breathing

If one is available, use it. However, do not postpone chest compressions in order to locate the device. If at all feasible, have someone else look for it. A proper CPR program will teach you how to perform chest compressions, rescue breathing, and utilize an AED.