What is First Aid

What is First Aid?

First aid is the initial care given to an ill or injured person prior to the arrival of professional medical assistance. The treatment administered by a first aider in the first 5 to 10 minutes of an incident can have a direct impact on the outcome for the casualty.

If the casualty is seriously ill or injured it is advisable to always call emergency services on 000/112 and request that an ambulance attends the scene. DO NOT attempt to transport the casualty to hospital yourself.


What are the aims of First Aid?

Protect the casualty from further harm – ensure the scene is safe.
Provide pain relief – in the form of first aid management i.e. cold/hot packs, apply a sling.
Prevent the injury or condition from getting worse – first aid treatment should not cause further harm.
Provide reassurance.
Preserve life – including the casualty, bystanders and first aider.
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Although the role of a first aider may be vital to saving a casualty’s life, always remember that first aid care is limited and cannot take the place of professional medical assistance.

Triage – The Priority of Treatment

Triage is the process of evaluating and prioritising casualties for the purpose of treatment. It consists of the immediate sorting of casualties according to type and seriousness of illness or injury and the likelihood of survival.

Triage must be done by the most experienced first aider at the scene of an incident, if it is possible, recruit the “walking wounded” to help with managing tasks like traffic control.

Remember!

When there is more than one casualty the unconscious casualty always takes priority.

If a casualty can call out for help their needs are less urgent as there is clear evidence that they can breathe.