There are three steps that should be taken immediately as first aid measures:
i. Assess the accident scene for hazards to the victim, and if necessary take the patient to a safe place immediately for protection.
ii. Assess the patients’ condition.
iii. Call for help and start providing first aid treatment. If you have no prior training, look for someone who can provide immediate help. Assure a clear airway, continued breathing and blood circulation and cover bleeding cuts. Some first aid techniques are given as follows:
Severe bleeding due to deep injury may lead to acute loss of blood, low blood pressure and even death.
To Stop Bleeding:
i. Make the victim lie down and slightly raise the bleeding part above the rest of the body so as to minimize flow of blood.
ii. If possible wash the cut surface with clean water.
iii. Press directly on the wound with the hand or thumb. Use sterilised dressing or clean cloth such as handkerchief.
iv. Once bleeding is controlled, keep victim warm by covering with a blanket and continue to monitor his condition till medical help arrive.
i. Make the victim sit up and lean forward to minimise blood flow from that part.
ii. With the fingers gently press nostrils for only a short while.
iii. Place an ice pack around the victim’s nasal area.
iv. Consult a doctor if bleeding does not stop.
Cleaning and Bandaging Wounds:
i. Wash your hands and cleanse the injured area with antiseptic soap and water, then blot dry.
ii. Apply antibiotic ointment to minor wound and cover the wound with a sterile gauze dressing or bandage
In case someone falls unconscious or faints,
i. Immediately make the person lie down.
ii. Loosen the clothing and raise the feet slightly up. Let the fresh air come. Blood will flow back in the head and consciousness will be regained.
Often water is lost from body cells that lead to dehydration. Dehydration may be caused due to extreme heat, excessive physical activity and inability to drink water, frequent vomiting and diarrhoea. Early symptoms include severe headache and dizziness. Acute dehydration may cause death.
i. Patient should be made to drink Oral Rehydration Solution (ORS) at frequent intervals. ORS can be made by adding one teaspoonful of sugar and a pinch of salt in a glass of (about 200 mL) water.
Animal bite can result in serious infections and diseases if left untreated. In case of animal bite,
i. Rinse the bite area thoroughly, holding it under running water. Cleanse with antiseptic soap and water and hold under water again for five minutes.
ii. In case of dog bite, the dog should be kept under observation to determine if it has rabies (aversion from water or hydrophobia).
iii. Get an anti-rabies treatment.
The first aid treatment of burns depends upon the severity of the injury. To treat the burns:
i. Submerge burn area immediately in cool water until pain stops. If affected area is large, cover with cool wet cotton cloth. Do not break blisters if they are present. If the burn is minor, apply medicated first aid cream or gel and cover with sterile dressing.
ii. If burn is major like third or fourth degree bum, which also destroys the deepest layer of skin, it should not be treated with water. It should be immediately covered with thick dressing, clean towel or cotton cloth sheet. A doctor should be consulted immediately.
For Chemical Burns Caused by Acids or Alkalis:
i. Splash the affected area with cool running water for at least 15 minutes.
ii. Remove all the clothes that has been contaminated.
iii. If chemical burn is in the eyes, splash continuously with water and seek medical attention immediately.
Avoid any further exposure to direct sunlight. Drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration. Do not apply cold water or ice to a severe burn. If burn is severe and blisters develop, seek medical attention.
i. In case someone has swallowed some poisonous substance, make the victim drink as much water as possible and make him vomit it out. Call for immediate medical help.
ii. If the poison is on the skin, splash skin with water for 15 minutes, then wash and rinse with soap and water.
iii. If poison gets into the eye, splash with lukewarm water for 15 minutes and consult doctor.
i. If possible, pull out sting by scraping it off with a blunt edge. If sting is still inside, squeeze out some blood to force out venom.
ii. Clean wound and apply cold cream or some alkali like baking soda to reduce swelling and pain.
iii. Watch for allergic reaction. Signs include swelling or itching at the wound site, dizziness, nausea or difficulty in breathing. Seek medical attention immediately if any of these signs occur.
Fractures and Dislocations:
A fracture is a break/crack in the bone and a dislocation occurs when the end of the bone is forced out of its normal position in a joint. This may happen when someone falls while playing, driving or working, etc. In case of fractures,
i. Lay the victim comfortably and do not move him until the medical help arrives. Improper handling may cause more damage.
ii. Apply a splint in the affected area if victim has to be taken for further treatment. Splint is a support given to the injured area that prevents movement of the bones. Things, such as a stick, big scale, rod, etc. can be used as a splint. Splint can be padded and tied to remain in place.
iii. Do not tie it very tight, as this may block the blood circulation.
iv. Do not move a person who has suffered neck or spinal injury.
i. Remove person from hot area into the cooler area.
ii. Remove excess clothing.
iii. Bathe person in cool water, or use a cool shower and then wrap the person in a wet towel and use a fan. (Do NOT use freezing water or water too cold.)
iv. Do NOT give anything orally to person who is unconscious because he could choke.
v. Do NOT give the victim anything orally (even water) until the condition has been stabilized
vi. Because it can be fatal even after first aid treatment; the affected person should be provided medical treatment.
vii. Continue first aid to lower temperature until medical help takes over.
viii. Do NOT give any medication to lower fever because it may cause further harm.