Focus Area: First Aid
Post date: Sep 8, 2010 5:38:09 AM
ISO First Aid Symbol
First aid is the provision of initial care for an illness or injury. It is usually performed by a non-expert person to a sick or injured person until definitive medical treatment can be accessed. Certain self-limiting illnesses 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 an individual can be trained to perform with minimal equipment.
While first aid can also be performed on animals, the term generally refers to care of human patients.
The key aims of first aid can be summarized in three key points:
- Preserve life - the overriding aim of all medical care, including first aid, is to save lives
- Prevent further harm - also sometimes called prevent the condition from worsening, this covers both external factors, such as moving a patient away from any cause of harm, and applying first aid techniques 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
First aid training also involves the prevention of initial injury and responder safety, and the treatment phases.
The instances of recorded first aid were provided by religious knights, such as the Knights Hospitaller, formed in the 11th century, providing care to pilgrims and knights, and training other knights in how to treat common battlefield injuries. The practice of first aid fell largely in to disuse during the High Middle Ages, and organized societies were not seen again until in 1859 Henry Dunant organized local villagers to help victims of the Battle of Solferino, including the provision of first aid. Four years later, four nations met in Geneva and formed the organization which has grown into the Red Cross, with a key stated aim of "aid to sick and wounded soldiers in the field". This was followed by the formation of St. John Ambulance in 1877, based on the principles of the Knights Hospitaller, to teach first aid, and numerous other organization joined them with the term first aid first coined in 1878 as civilian ambulance services spread as a combination of 'first treatment' and 'national aid' in large railway centres and mining districts as well as with police forces. First aid training began to spread through the empire through organisations such as St John, often starting, as in the UK, with high risk activities such as ports and railways.
There are several types of first aid (and first aider) which require specific additional training. These are usually undertaken to fulfill the demands of the work or activity undertaken.
- Aquatic/Marine first aid - Usually practiced by professionals such as lifeguards, professional mariners or in diver rescue, and covers the specific problems which may be faced after water-based rescue and/or delayed MedEvac.
- Battlefield first aid - This takes in to account the specific needs of treating wounded combatants and non-combatants during armed conflict.
- Hyperbaric first aid - Which may be practiced by SCUBA diving professionals, who need to treat conditions such as the bends.
- Oxygen first aid - Providing oxygen to casualties who suffer from conditions resulting in hypoxia.
- Wilderness first aid is the provision of first aid under conditions where the arrival of emergency responders or the evacuation of an injured person may be delayed due to constraints of terrain, weather, and available persons or equipment. It may be necessary to care for an injured person for several hours or days.
- Hydrofluoric Acid first aid - taught to first aiders in the chemical industry where hydrofluoric acid may be used. Instructs the first aider how to initially treat (with calcium gluconate) any skin that has been splashed with the acid.
Conditions that often require first aid
- Altitude sickness, which can begin in susceptible people at altitudes as low as 5,000 feet, can cause potentially fatal swelling of the brainor lungs.
- Anaphylaxis, a life-threatening condition in which the airway can become constricted and the patient may go into shock.
- Bone fracture, a break in a bone initially treated by stabilizing the fracture with a splint.
- Burns, which can result in damage to tissues and loss of body fluids through the burn site.
- Choking, blockage of the airway which can quickly result in death due to lack of oxygen if the patient’s trachea is not cleared.
- Diving disorders, drowning.
- Heart attack, or inadequate blood flow to the blood vessels supplying the heart muscle.
- Heat stroke, also known as sunstroke or hyperthermia, which tends to occur during heavy exercise in high humidity, or with inadequate water, though it may occur spontaneously in some chronically ill persons.
- Heavy bleeding.
- Hyperglycemia (diabetic coma) and Hypoglycemia (insulin shock).
- Hypothermia, or Exposure, occurs when a person’s core body temperature falls below 33.7°C (92.6°F).
- Insect and animal bites and stings. .
- Poisoning, which can occur by injection, inhalation, absorption, or ingestion.
- Seizures, or a malfunction in the electrical activity in the brain.
- Muscle strains and Sprains, a temporary dislocation of a joint that immediately reduces automatically but may result in ligament damage.
- Stroke, a temporary loss of blood supply to the brain.
- Wounds and bleeding.
Noted first aid associations
Symbol of the Red Cross Maltese or Amalfi Cross Star of life
For first Aid training one may kindly contact above agencies.
EMERGENCY SERVICE FOR INDIA (Some states)
Drogaria Raicar, Stocks various First Aid Box kits for Home, Institution, Industries.