What is First Aid?
First Aid is the term used for assistance given to any individual who is suffering from an injury or develops a sudden illness/reaction. The name "First Aid" itself means the initial (first) help (aid) given to the patient with care to prevent the patient's condition from worsening, to preserve the patient's life, and/or to promote the patient's recovery till professional medical help arrives.
There are many types of injuries which one has to be aware of. This includes some massive forms of injuries which can be open and require first aid IMMEDIATELY; in the absence of which, there can be serious consequences for the injured person. One has to look for restricting the blood flow in that particular injured area to prevent heavy blood loss.
First Aid Techniques in Various Injuries
Specific injury and emergency situation has relative ways to deal with it, this guide talks about the injuries and First Aid treatments that should be applied in order to make a patient suffer the least and recover the fastest. Have a look below on specific injuries, accidents and related First Aid measures:
First Aid for Burns, Bites & Cuts
In case of insect bites and burn injuries, you need to be very quick in your first aid and apply the required ointment immediately. First aid for burns consists of application of some soothing ointment. If you don't have that, then application of toothpaste can be done, which is always handy in our homes and is an excellent first aid item in such cases. First step in First Aid for burns includes keeping the burnt surface under running water to drive out the heat and sting from the skin. If burns are minor or moderate, then this First Aid trick applies well, but in case of severe burn injuries, you need to visit a doctor as early as possible.
First Aid for insect bites consists of washing that area and wiping it with clean cotton. Apply some antibiotic ointment on the insect bite to prevent the itching from spreading.
First Aid for cuts consists of wiping the area with cotton dipped in antiseptic. If there is profuse blood flow from the cut, then keep the injured part upside and place it under running water. This First Aid technique prevents the blood flow from going out of control and helps in halting the blood loss. After the bleeding stops, first aid steps consist of applying some ointment and bandaging it appropriately.
First Aid for Accident Related Injuries
One has to be very careful while driving, especially two-wheelers, but many times one ends up skidding or falling from the vehicle. If a body part swells after a similar accidental injury and a person is unable to move, for instance their feet, then the first step of first aid is not moving the patient at all. First wipe the injured area with cotton to clean it from dust and germs and apply an antiseptic ointment. Next step in first aid in accidents is applying the bandage, which makes the feet immobile thus preventing any kind of strain to the legs and feet. This is an effective first aid technique as it makes the injured feet undergo less strain.
First Aid for Nosebleeds
During summers, nosebleed is the most common ailment which troubles many people. First Aid for nosebleeds consists of pressing the bridge of the nose, where cartilage and bones meet, for 15 minutes. Next in first aid for nosebleed is applying ice back to soothe the area. If blood from the nose still doesn't stop, then seek immediate medical help to prevent massive blood loss. Make sure that the patient is lying down on bed to prevent dizziness and blurred vision.
First Aid for Speck in the Eye
Any dust particle in your eye can be harmful in many ways. In such a situation; the initial first aid is avoiding rubbing of the eyes to protect your cornea. Instead, roll your eyes clockwise and remove the particle from corner of the eye with the help of a corner of a clean cloth.
First Aid for Glass Prick
A glass prick injury can be quite problematic if not treated properly. In case of glass prick, the glass speck needs to be removed carefully from the wound. First aid consists of washing the injury carefully in running water and disinfecting it by using some ointment. With the help of tweezers, carefully remove the glass fragments to ease the pain. If wound is moderate, then dress it yourself and after every dressing, apply ointment to keep it protected.
First Aid for Head Injury
First Aid for Head Injury consists of washing the area with soap and water and using pressure to stop the bleeding with a clean cloth. Ice packs can be used to help reduce the swelling in the injured area and also to alleviate the pain as well. Keep applying the ice pack on a regular basis to a head injury to ward off any possibility of severity in the wound till medical help arrives.
First Aid for Heat Stroke
Heat exhaustion can be very severe if not treated immediately. First Aid for Heat Stroke consists of giving the patient plenty of fluids and if possible, mixing sugar and salt together in water and giving this to the patient suffering from a heat stroke. Another first aid technique for heat stroke is application of cold water compress on the forehead of the patient. This first aid helps in removing away the excess heat from the body. Next step is to loosen the clothes and make the patient sit in a cool room with fans and keep the ice towel handy which removes the severity of the heat stroke.
More first aid for heat stroke consists of sprinkling water on the face and eating salads to ward off the effects of heat stroke. Fruits have high water content which balances the electrolyte in the body and helps in recovering from a heat stroke. Things to avoid in a heat stroke include hot drinks and caffeine as they increase heat in the body.
Heat stroke can also cause dizziness in the patient; therefore make the patient sit in a cool place with proper ventilation. Keep giving water to the patient on a regular basis; this helps in significantly cutting down the effects of heat stroke and is an important first aid technique in heat stroke. Also, one can keep an ice towel on forehead to make the body cool and free from more problems from heat stroke.
First Aid for Dog Bite
First Aid for a dog bite consists of stopping the bleeding from the wound and washing it thoroughly with soap. After this, the dog bite wound should be lightly bandaged and the site of injured dog bite area should be kept elevated. Next step in first aid of dog bite consists of application of topical antibiotics to the wound. With every change in the dressing, apply the antibiotic ointment to the dog bite so it can heal in a proper way. Consult your doctor immediately also after you have administered first aid for dog bite.
Debriefing or Counseling after First Aid
Debriefing becomes the first thing that you have to keep in mind to come out of the mental stress and agony which a person suffers from after giving first aid. The person giving the first aid in serious cases can suffer from either immediate or a delayed emotional response to the situation. For such individuals, it is important that they seek counseling to overcome the mental trauma of giving first aid, especially in serious injuries or upon giving first aid to patients with serious illness.
To ensure effective first aid, one has to be very careful in stopping bleeding from the wound. First aid requires taking the right steps in keeping the problem at bay in case of aforesaid situations of injuries and accidents. One needs to be very careful while taking the right steps in providing first aid to patient to avoid any mishap or preventing the problem from worsening.
What Does First Aid Training Involve?
First Aid training involves providing fool proof and basic protection to the injured person to lessen or decrease the impact of that injury till the ambulance arrives or till the injured person or the patient gets professional medical assistance. First aid is also meant to make a person recover in a better way so that he/she heals in a faster and better manner.
What Should You Keep in Your First Aid Box?
Your First Aid box has to be equipped with following:
- Calamine lotion.
- Alcohol wipes.
- Bottled water.
- Breathing barrier.
- Hand sanitizer.
- Instant cold compress.
- Non-latex gloves.
- Oral antihistamine.
- Triple-antibiotic ointment.