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Delivering First Aid

What Is First Aid?

A First Aid kit is a collection of supplies and equipment for use in giving first aid, which is the provision of intermediate medical care. It is also a provision of initial care for an illness or injury. It is usually performed by a non- expert person to sick or injured person until definitive medical treatment can be assessed. Certain self- limiting illness or minor injuries may not require further medical care past the first aid intervention.

It generally consists of a series of simple and in some cases, potentially life saving techniques that on individual can be trained to perform with minimal equipment.

Key aims of first aid can be summarised in three key points:

Preserve life: the overriding aim of all medical care, including first aid, is to save life.

Prevent further harm: also sometimes called prevent the condition from worsening, these covers both external factors, such as moving a patient from any cause of harm, and applying first aid technique to prevent worsening of the condition, such as applying pressure to stop a bleed becoming dangerous.

Promote recovery: First aid also involves trying to start the recovery process from the illness or injury, and in some cases might involve completing a treatment, such as in the case of applying a plaster to a small wound.

Key skills:

A = Airway

B =Breathing

C= Circulation

The ABC of first aid is focused on critical life saving intervention and must be rendered before treatment of less serious injuries. The same mnemonic is used by all emergency health professionals.

Air way: Attention must first be brought to the airway to ensure it is clear; obstruction (choking) is a life threatening emergency.

Breathing: Following evaluation of the airway, first aid attendant would determine adequacy of breathing and provide rescue breathing (“kiss of life”) if necessary.

Circulation: Assessment of circulation is not usually carried out for patients who are not breathing, with first aiders now trained to go straight to chest compressions and thus providing artificial circulation but pulse check must be done on less serious patients.

Some Organisations add a fourth step of” D” for deadly bleeding or defibrillation.

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