Categories: General

First aid: Description, Importance and Principles

First aid


  • First aid can be anything from putting on plaster to saving someone’s life.
  • The immediate care is given to an injured or suddenly ill person:
  • Without proper medical equipment
  • Temporary assistance until_arrival of complete medical care.

Importance of first aid

  • Preserve life
  • To prevent suffering
  • Promotes recovery
  • Prevents worsening of the condition
  • To prevent secondary complications

Seven essential first aid interventions

  • Call for ambulance
  • Do not move and do not allow movement unnecessarily of traumatic casualty
  • Perform chin lift or head till chin lift
  • Mouth to mouth breathing of willing especially children, drowning or poisoning
  • Chest compression
  • Operate and automated external defibrillator
  • Stop any bleeding

Role of the first aider

  • Managing the incident and ensuring the continuing safety of themselves, bystander and casualty
  • Assess casualties and find out nature and cause of their injuries
  • If trained, prioritize casualties based on medical need
  • Provide appropriate first aid treatment as trained
  • If able, make notes/observations of casualties
  • Fill out any paperwork as required

Basic first aid kits

  • Small, medium and large size sterile gauze dressing
  • At least two sterile eye dressings
  • Triangular bandages
  • Crepe rolled bandages
  • Safety pins
  • Disposable sterile gloves
  • Tweezers
  • Scissors
  • Alcohol -free cleansing wipes
  • Sticky tapes
  • Thermometer
  • Skin rash cream( hydrocortisone)
  • Cream and spray for insects bites and stings
  • Antiseptic cream
  • Cough medicine
  • Antihistamine tablets
  • Painkillers like paracetamol, ibuprofen, aspirin
  • Eyewash and eye bath
  • Distilled water for cleaning wounds

Action plans

  • Assessing the situation
  • Asses the casualty
  • Safety of yourself and casualty
  • Arrange the removal of casualty to a hospital or safe area
  • Write a report /communicate the states

Principles of first aid

  • Call for help
  • Cal my take the charge
  • Check the scene and casualty
  • Carefully apply first aid

First aid in fainting

  • The medical term for fainting is syncope.
  • sudden loss of consciousness, usually temporary and typically due to a lack of oxygen in the brain like hypo tension.

The symptoms of syncope include

Blurred vision, feeling of heaviness in the legs, confusion,  nausea, feeling of warm, sweating, vomiting, yawning, etc

Fainting is a medical emergency which requires immediate first aid intervention

  • When someone is faint, they lose muscle tone, they go floppy
  • The tongue can block their airway when it loses its muscle tone
  • Loss of control over stomach muscles can cause stomach contents (vomit)to travel back up to throat resulting in a block of an airway.

First aid in syncope

  • Use mnemonic DRABC to remember what to do.
  • It provides a structural way to think about how to asses the situation


  • Check to see if there are any dangers actual or potential to your self or casualty like electrical cables, moving traffic, other people, etc
  • Try to make a scene as safe as possible

R: response

  • Attempt to wake the person by shouting in both ears and tapping them on the shoulders
  • The person is unconscious, If you do not get a response,
  • ius is medical emergency , try to attract the attention of others by shouting

A: airway

Open the airway by tilting the head backward and lifting the chin with fingers

B: breathing

  • Keep your hands on the persons head and chin
  • Check breathing for 10 sec
  • If the person is not breathing, commence cardiopulmonary resuscitation(CPR)
  • If the person is breathing, then place him in the recovery position to protect the casualty.
  • The recovery position involves rolling the casualty into his side with his head tilted back.

C: call an ambulance

  • Check the casualty ‘s airway and breathing every few minutes, until the ambulance arrives
  • Keep the casualty warm and dry if you can.


  • Get your sugar and salt levels up
  • Control your breathing
  • Avoid your triggers
  • Keep cool
  • Get hydrated with just plain water

What you should avoid

  • Pouring water on the head of a faint person
  • Putting the victims head on a pillow may obstruct breathing
  • Do not give food or drink to a faint person.

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