4 Essential Tips for Performing Basic First Aid

Basic first aid covers preliminary procedures for treating a person who has suffered an injury or is experiencing a serious acute condition such as an allergic reaction, heart attack or a drug overdose. With basic first aid techniques, you’ll be able to act fast to determine what someone is suffering from and what sort of immediate medical attention they need.

If you haven’t done so already, we highly recommend that you enrol yourself in a professional first aid training course. A hands-on course will allow you to truly practice some important basic medical skills, which may come in handy one day. Until then, you should at least know the following essential tips for performing basic first aid:

Deal with The Immediate Danger

Before you perform any sort of treatment, you need to assess the current situation. Is there a fire nearby that could spread to you and the victim? Are you inside an unstable building or threatened by dangerous fumes or live wires? If that is the case, then your first course of action might be to move yourself and the victim to a safer location.

If you’re unable to do approach the victim without putting yourself in danger as well, the best thing to do is to call an emergency service and wait for help to arrive.

Call for Help

Before you perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation or any other procedure, you should first call for help (in Australia, the emergency hotline is 000). Once you’re through to a dispatcher, be specific and descriptive when relaying details of the situation. Give the dispatcher the exact location and what you can observe about the victim: are they unconscious, do they appear to breathing…etc.

It can help to keep the dispatcher on speaker phone while you’re performing basic first-aid. He/she can give you instruction on what exactly needs to be done and the professional guidance will help you keep calm throughout the process.

Stay Calm

If you want to help someone during an acute medical condition, you need to be able to stay calm and level-headed. Take several seconds to first collect yourself and figure out what you must do. If the person is conscious, then perhaps the best thing to do is merely reassure them while professional help arrives. It always helps let them know that help is on the way and to distract them from the current situation, especially if you’re dealing with a child.

Check for Responsiveness

If a person appears to be unconscious don’t try to perform CPR right away. Instead, you must start by checking for responsiveness.

First and foremost, try gently tapping on their shoulder and asking loudly whether they’re okay. If they respond, then CPR isn’t necessary. If not, try pinching their earlobe and rubbing their sternum. If the victim is still not responsive, check their pulse, either on the neck or wrist.

If you’ve established a pulse, check for breathing next. Bring your ear close to the nose and mouth and listen for breathing sounds. Afterwards, tilt their head back and gently pry their mouth open to see if there are any objects blocking the airways.

Basic first-aid is a serious responsibility. If you haven’t had the proper training, then you should at least familiarize yourself with the above essential tips.

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