Introduction to basic first aid and CPR
Assessing the Scene and Calling for Help
Assess the Situation: Before providing any first aid, ensure that the scene is safe for both you and the injured person. Check for any potential hazards or dangers.
Call for Help: If the injury or illness seems severe, or if you’re unsure about what to do, call the local emergency services or ask someone nearby to call for you.
Maintain Personal Safety: Put on disposable gloves if available, especially when dealing with bodily fluids or open wounds, to protect yourself from potential infections.
B. Basic First Aid Techniques
Treat for shock
If the person shows signs of shock (pale skin, rapid breathing, weak pulse), help them lie down and elevate their legs about 12 inches unless they have a head, neck, or back injury.
For conscious adults or children, perform the Heimlich maneuver by standing behind them, placing your arms around their waist, making a fist with one hand, and placing it just above the navel. Grasp your fist with the other hand and pull inward and upward with a quick thrust.
For infants, support their head and face down with your forearm and thigh, providing five back blows between the shoulder blades. If the obstruction persists, turn the infant over and perform five chest thrusts using two fingers on the breastbone.
Bleeding and Wounds:
Apply direct pressure to the wound with a sterile cloth or your gloved hand to control bleeding.
Elevate the injured limb, if possible, to help reduce blood flow.
Use a clean cloth or sterile dressing to cover the wound and maintain pressure until medical help arrives.
If an object is impaled in the wound, do not remove it. Stabilize the object and seek medical assistance.
Allergic reaction treatment:
a. Identify the allergen: Determine what triggered the allergic reaction and try to remove the person from its presence.
b. Call for medical help: If the allergic reaction is severe or the person has a known history of anaphylaxis, call emergency services immediately.
c. Administer epinephrine (if available): If the person has been prescribed an epinephrine auto-injector (such as an EpiPen) and knows how to use it, assist them in administering it according to the instructions.
d. Help the person into a comfortable position: If they are experiencing difficulty breathing, have them sit upright and lean slightly forward to aid their breathing.
e. Monitor their vital signs: Keep a close eye on their breathing, pulse, and level of consciousness. Be prepared to perform CPR if necessary.
f. Comfort and reassure: Offer support and reassurance while waiting for medical help to arrive.
C. Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR)
CPR (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation):
If a person is unconscious and not breathing, check for responsiveness by tapping their shoulders and asking loudly if they’re okay.
If there’s no response, open the airway by tilting their head back gently and lifting the chin.
Check for breathing. If they’re not breathing normally, begin CPR by giving chest compressions. Place the heel of your hand on the center of their chest and interlock the other hand on top. Push hard and fast, aiming for a rate of about 100-120 compressions per minute.
After 30 compressions, give two rescue breaths by pinching their nose, making a tight seal over their mouth with yours, and blowing until you see their chest rise. Only do this if you know the person as to avoid infecting yourself with possible illnesses or drugs that could be transferred orally.
Continue CPR until medical professionals arrive or the person shows signs of life.
Remember, this is a brief overview, and it’s important to seek professional medical help as soon as possible after providing initial first aid. First aid should always be administered within your level of training and expertise.