First aid is the basic yet the first care given to an injured or ill person to stabilize the health condition until proper medical attention is provided to them. It is administered as a first precautionary measure to save a life.
First aid training and basic knowledge imparted to individuals can still make it difficult for some to provide proper first aid in emergency situations if not administered correctly. For minor injuries or illness, first aid may be enough. Severe headache, cuts, small wounds, fever and other health conditions that require an OPD care can benefit from first aid. For serious illness and health conditions where first aid may only buy some time to delay emergency situations, a person may need to be shifted to a medical care unit where the situation has to be analyzed properly due to its severity.
First aid is important for all those who are suffering and survival in any accidental or ill condition is difficult. It is important to provide first aid to save lives and help those in need. As humane as it sounds, the feeling of helping someone in need is as satisfactory as it can be.
First Aid Basics
The main aim of the treatment is to preserve a life for as long as possible, or prevent further illness or injury from happening again or getting worse, until proper medical care is provided to eradicate the emergency situation. Basics and initial knowledge of providing first aid treatment are important to know for everyone as no one knows when and where the need of first aid may arise.
However, if a person is not equipped with first aid knowledge, the best thing to do in emergency situations is to call a medical service/911 or any emergency situation handling help line available to perform first aid through indications received on the phone until medical health services are available.
In Pakistan, most of the emergency situations that need first aid are as follows:
Health conditions like heart attack, heart seizure, brain injuries, mental breakdown, and chronic illness triggers activating worse form of illness like tremors, fits, asthma, etc.
Accidental conditions like bleeding, heavy and severe wounds, conditions needing CPR, breathing issues etc.
Natural calamities also occur where people fall from buildings, drown in water or get burnt/hurt from uncontrollable ways.
Steps to Follow for First Aid and CPR
After an accident or an illness takes place, usually people are more interested in knowing about the situation rather than helping the victim. The basic first aid is to clear the way from people to reach out to the victim and try to analyze the situation as to what is needed as first step. One should also make sure that the scene is safe for them as well as the helper should not be led to the same accident or emergency situation as the victim. Following steps can be taken into account for first aid help in all emergency situations:
Call an ambulance or 911 for emergency backup
See the condition of the victim and analyze in shortest possible time what is needed.
If the person in conscious, ask them what they feel and where it hurts the most.
If there is any bleeding or wound, tie the surrounding of the wound in opposite direction of bleeding. For example, if there is a wound on the arm, tie above where the wound bleeds. Try to wipe off blood and dress the wound if it is not too severe.
CPR: If the person is unconscious, the first step is to provide CPR. To administer correct CPR procedure, either call a doctor/healthcare individual to help you perform CPR or start pushing the middle of chest down to 2-2.5 inches 30 times. If the breathing doesn’t start or is still faulty, the process should be repeated with lesser time gap and the chest should be pumped a 100 times in one go. Tilt back the head of the victim and lift the chin to blow in the person’s mouth while pinching the nose. Blow for 1 second and blow two breaths in one time until chest rises every time. Continue with 2 breaths with less time gap until help arrives. Constantly check pulse or heart beat for improvement or otherwise.
First Aid Kit
A first aid kit can act as a better helping hand in emergency situations aiding to buying more time in preserving a life, helping the victim of any calamity or accident. A basic first aid kit should be a normal part of the regular things anyone carries. It not only is helpful for the carrier, but also for anyone who may need help in the surroundings. A first aid kit should comprise of:
Protective gears like gloves.
A small water bottle
Large piece of cloth
Sterile a.k.a gauze
A pair of small scissors
Burn and wound creams/ointments
Any antibiotic cream
Breathing mask for CPR
Eye wash or eye drops
A telephonic guide to local emergency calling numbers and healthcare providers
Ambulance service contacts
It is very easy to keep the kit in your bag, car or bag pack. Readymade kits are also available in the market for purchasing. Also, following and reading different health articles, blogs, and keeping health tips in mind can help a lot during any emergency situation.
What is needed from the Patient?
It is not necessary that everyone may fall a victim to illness or accident and may need first aid but it is helpful in any case if everyone had the following available in their pockets or bags all the time:
Their own name and contact details of anyone who can be available in accidental or emergency situations like next to kin, close friend, etc.
Blood group type
Any recurrent illness, family diseases or allergies one may have
Intolerance to any medication
This information can help the attendant/helper/first aid provider to be better equipped in helping the victim.