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The basics of first aid

Accidents or illnesses might happen to you or someone close to you at any time. By using basic first aid, you may be able to prevent a minor mishap from worsening. You may even save a life in the event of a catastrophic medical emergency.

That is why it is critical to master basic first aid skills. Consider taking a first aid course to supplement what you’ve learned here.

First aid definition

First aid is when you give basic medical care to someone who has suffered a sudden accident or illness.

In certain circumstances, first aid refers to the initial assistance given to someone in the midst of a medical emergency. This assistance may help them survive until expert assistance arrives.

In other circumstances, first aid is defined as the treatment of a small injury. For example, small burns, cuts, and insect stings are frequently treated using first aid.

Three measures to take in an emergency

If you find yourself in an emergency situation, follow these three simple steps:

1. Examine the scene for potential hazards.

Look for any signals of danger, such as fire, falling debris, or violent people. If your safety is jeopardized, leave the place and seek assistance.

Assess the condition of the sick or injured person if the scene is safe. Move them only if necessary to protect them from harm.

2. If necessary, seek medical attention.

If you feel the sick or injured person needs emergency medical treatment, instruct a nearby individual to dial 911 or the local emergency medical services number.

3. Provide assistance

If it is safe to do so, stay with the sick or injured individual until expert help arrives. Wrap a warm blanket around them, comfort them, and attempt to keep them calm. If you have basic first aid skills, try to address any potentially life-threatening injuries they may have.

Remove yourself from danger if you believe your safety is at jeopardy at any moment during the situation.

Bandage for first aid

In many circumstances, an adhesive bandage can be used to cover small cuts, scrapes, or burns. A clean gauze pad or roller bandage may be required to cover and protect bigger wounds.

Follow these instructions to apply a roller bandage:

  • Maintain a firm grip on the afflicted region.

  • Wrap the bandage around the damaged limb or body part, covering the wound gently yet tightly.

  • Sticky tape or safety pins can be used to secure the bandage.

The bandage should be stretched tightly enough to stay in place, but not so tightly that blood flow is cut off.

Pinch one of the person’s fingernails or toenails until the color drains from the nail to check the circulation in a bandaged limb. If the color does not return after two seconds of releasing the bandage, it is excessively tight and should be changed.

CPR for first aid

Call 911 if you observe someone collapse or find someone unconscious. Approach the unconscious person and perform CPR if the area surrounding them is safe.

Even if you lack formal training, you can perform hands-only CPR to keep someone alive until expert aid arrives.

Here’s how to administer hands-only CPR:

  • Place both hands on top of each other at the center of their chest.

  • Press straight down to repeatedly squeeze their chest at a rate of 100 to 120 compressions per minute.

  • Counting at the correct rate can be aided by compressing the chest to the beat of “Staying Alive” by the Bee Gees or “Crazy in Love” by Beyonc√©.

Continue to administer chest compressions until professional assistance arrives.