World First Aid Day is commemorated annually on the second Saturday of the month of September to spread awareness about the practice and importance of first aid so as to provide basic first aid for common emergency conditions and help save lives.
The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) believe that basic first aid should be accessible to all and also be a quintessential part of a wider developmental approach. The IFRC launched the World First Aid Day in 2000, and since then we have been celebrating World First Aid Day not only to raise awareness of first aid but also to encourage first aid training for all community members and even introducing curriculums with accredited first aid courses. Also Read: World First Aid Day: Keeping First Aid Essentials Handy Can Save Lives
What Is First Aid?
Well, the term first aid means the initial help or emergency medical assistance provided to an unwell person or a victim in case of a sudden accident, cut, burn, or injury. It chiefly includes simple procedures carried out by a normal person with basic knowledge regarding first aid. These simple procedures usually act as a kind of support to stop the immediate pain or bleeding until taken over by a trained medical personnel or doctor. Also Read: 8 Golden Rules Of First Aid
In general, the first aid steps are guided by the Three P’s, which are:
- Preservation of life
- Preventing injury deterioration
- Promoting recovery
Knowing about the basic first step procedures, and administering it appropriately in a well-timed manner hold high significance in not only preventing the victim's condition from aggravating but also extending the golden hour time for emergency cases. In cases, where the number of injured people is high like that of a major road accident, well-trained first aid personnels can be of great help for the victims and even the doctors or medical personnels as they can actively take part in providing first aid if the doctor is busy with another victim. Additionally, in crucial situations, a proper training or grasp regarding first aid can also rescue one's own life.
So instead of fretting, know how to do first aid to preserve life of oneself and of others. Since bleeding is a common condition and most people have knowledge regarding it, this article highlights some common and uncommon injuries that require first aid and what one can do when an accident like this occurs.
Cardiac arrest occurs when the heart fails to pump blood throughout the body. In such chronic situations, immediately start chest compressions regardless of any training, keeping it hard and fast in the center of the chest, while allowing recoil between compressions. And if you are trained enough, try giving CPR (i.e. Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation) to prevent deterioration before any medical help arrives.
Sometimes, a small blister can heal up fast enough if it is kept covered. But in major cases, with the formation of a large painful one, try draining the fluid by puncturing it with a sterilized needle followed by cleaning the wound, applying some antiseptic ointment and then bandaging the affected area.
Fractures are referred to as broken bones, and they can occur as a result of falls or other harsh impacts. In this type of accident, until an X-ray is done to confirm, the affected part should be immobilized instantly, since disturbing or moving it can sometimes sever a blood vessel or a nerve resulting in a severe complication. Try using a thick cloth to wrap around the area to immobilize the affected part and transport the patient to the nearest medical facility for further treatment.
Nose bleeds are quite common and have been experienced by most of us during childhood. To stop a nosebleed, donot make the person tilt their head back rather keep the person upright with the head tilted slightly forward. Pinch the lower half of their nose (the soft part), just below the bridge and hold it firmly for 5 -10 minutes. Loosen up any cloth around the neck and apply an ice pack alongside the pinching of the nose. If the bleeding doesn’t stop even after 10 minutes, repeat the procedure until the bleeding stops completely.
This condition is rather common in the sweltering summer months due to overexposure to extremely hot conditions without drinking any water or staying outdoors under direct sunlight or undertaking some physical exertion for a long time. To resuscitate someone from a heat stroke, trying bringing the person under the shade, ensure you provide water to avoid dehydration. Place a wet cloth on the forehead or softly apply some water on the face and neck to bring down the body temperature.
Insect Bite/ Sting
A bite or sting from an insect can be extremely painful to bear and sometimes can even cause fever or headache. In such conditions, to help out someone, gently scrape the skin with your fingernail to remove it without breaking it. Refrain from using tweezers because that can squeeze more venom out of the stinger, causing further injury and inflammation. Apply some topical anti-inflammatory ointment and get it checked by a medical professional.
Frost Bite is a kind of skin injury that occurs due to the freezing of the skin and underlying tissues on exposure to extremely low temperatures. Although, it is immensely necessary to contact medical personnel at the earliest, but before going to the hospital as first aid, try warming the affected area gradually by dipping the part in warm water. In some situations, even skin to skin contact can be helpful but ensure that the affected part is not rubbed or placed near a heating source.
Although, the above-mentioned procedures are quite simple to carry out at home or outdoors, do take the patient to the doctor or a medical professional right away to carry out further treatment to avoid any complications.