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Basic First Aid Intervention: What to Do in Emergency Situations

Basic First Aid Intervention: What to Do in Emergency Situations

Basic first aid intervention is a set of skills and know-how that is beneficial for all individuals to learn, as these can be used for emergencies. These may even one day be used to save the life of someone you care about. Though when it comes to emergencies, it is best to allow trained personnel and medical first responders to take care of the patients. However, if the situation necessitates, you can do your part to alleviate injury and risk while waiting for the emergency medical team to arrive.

Currently, it is difficult for untrained individuals to acquire first aid training and certification in light of COVID-19. However, it is still possible to learn the basics of first aid by utilizing online resources and getting in touch with Red Cross, which provides first aid courses online.

What is Basic First Aid Intervention?

What is basic first aid intervention? First aid is defined as a form of emergency care given to an injured person with the primary purpose of minimizing injury and future disability. In serious and dangerous cases, first aid may be the deciding factor in keeping a victim alive.

To go into detail and to provide examples, here is a non-comprehensive list of injuries and first aid procedures that may be applied:

Bleeding

Regardless of severity, bleeding must always be considered a serious injury. Each case should be addressed as if when left uncontrolled, the injury will rapidly develop for the worst.

Steps for first aid for bleeding are as follows:

  • Cover the wound with a cloth or gauze and apply pressure.
  • Maintain pressure to stop blood from flowing out.
  • Add more layers if needed to maintain pressure and coverage. Do not remove the layers so that blood clots may form to help stop blood flow.
  • After application of pressure bandages, bring the affected person to the nearest clinic or hospital for proper evaluation and treatment.

Cardiac Arrest

Of all the basic first aid interventions, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is one of the most important. It is crucial to remember that if CPR is not administered while the victim is experiencing cardiac arrest, that person will die.

Steps for first aid for cardiac arrest are as follows:

  • Survey the scene first for any dangers or threats to life.
  • If the scene is safe, call 911 emergency services as professional medical care will be needed by the time CPR is administered.
  • Immediately begin to conduct chest compression. Compress hard and fast in the center of the chest, allowing intervals between compressions. If you are trained, continue compressions and attempt to rescue breathing.
  • If possible, ask someone to find and apply an automated external defibrillator (AED) while chest compressions are ongoing.
  • Continue chest compressions and check for a pulse every 2 minutes. A return of pulse indicates successful CPR. Wait for emergency services to come for the appropriate necessary interventions. Place the affected person on their left side in a recovery position.

basic first aid intervention

Burns

Burns require quick treatment by stopping the burning process. This can happen by cooling down the heat by running the affected area under cold water. But remember that ice is not supposed to be applied on burns. The most important step is to stop and remove the cause of the burn.

First aid steps for burns:

  • Flush and run the burned area under cool water for several minutes, without ice.
  • Apply a light gauze or bandageto prevent further evaporation of the burn wound.
  • Refrain from applying ointments, remedies that are oily in nature, or items like butter.
  • Give medicines for pain relief like ibuprofen and acetaminophen if required.
  • If blisters have formed, refrain from touching or breaking them.

Fractures

All injuries that involve the extremities should be treated as fractures, while professional medical assessment and care are pending.

First aid steps for fractures:

  • Do not attempt to straighten or move the fracture in such a manner.
  • Stabilize the limb using padding or a splint (if available) to keep the fractured area immobile. It is best to apply the splint so that it covers the affected limb as well as the joints immediately surrounding it.
  • Apply a cold pack on the injured area indirectly. Avoid placing ice directly on the injury.
  • Elevate the suspected fracture.
  • Provide anti-inflammatory medicine if necessary, examples include naproxen and ibuprofen.

Sprains

Sprains, sometimes confused with bone injuries, refers to the stretching or tearing of ligaments that connect bones together in the joints. Treatment for a suspected sprain is identical to the treatment of a suspected fracture, given that the symptoms are almost identical.

Choking

Choking occurs when an object becomes lodged in a person’s throat or windpipe. This is a serious condition because choking can cut off the air supply to the brain. Most often, when adults choke, it is because of a piece of food.

First aid steps for choking:

  • Stand behind the person and wrap your arms around their waist.
  • Make a fist with one hand, thumb side pointed back toward yourself.
  • Place your fist below the chest but above the navel and grab your fist with the other hand.
  • Press up on the abdomen in a sharp motion.
  • Repeat the move until the foreign object is ejected.
  • Take the patient to the doctor once the blockage is removed, as there may be a possibility that part of the object is still in the lung.
  • If the patient is a child, make sure to inform emergency personnel if the child had lost consciousness.

Key Takeaways

It’s beneficial to learn basic first aid intervention as circumstances may arise in which you may be needed to alleviate pain and prevent further injury. Check out available materials online, but it is highly recommended to get proper training and certification from reputable institutions.

Learn more about First Aid here.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Sources

Knowledge of first aid skills among students of a medical college in Mangalore City of South India
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3991933/
Accessed November 22, 2020

Best practices guide: fundamentals of a workplace first-aid program
https://www.osha.gov/Publications/OSHA3317first-aid.pdf
Accessed November 22, 2020

First aid needs
https://www.education.vic.gov.au/school/principals/spag/health/Pages/firstaidneeds.aspx
Accessed November 22, 2020

First aid training: prepare for the unexpected
https://www.redcross.org/take-a-class/first-aid
Accessed November 22, 2020

First aid education for all
https://www.redcross.org.uk/about-us/what-we-do/we-speak-up-for-change/first-aid-education-for-all
Accessed November 22, 2020

First aid basics
https://www.ars.usda.gov/northeast-area/docs/safety-health-and-environmental-training/first-aid-basics/
Accessed November 22, 2020

First aid- general
https://www.ccohs.ca/oshanswers/hsprograms/firstaid_general.html#:~:text=First%20aid%20is%20emergency%20care,to%20keep%20the%20victim%20alive.
Accessed November 22, 2020

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Written by Kip Soliva Updated May 19
Medically reviewed by Mike-Kenneth Go Doratan, M.D.
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