World First Aid Day is an annual awareness campaign aimed at educating the general public on the need and urgency of administering a proper first aid in case of emergencies including trauma, accident, fall and stroke. This day that was introduced by The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), in the year 2000, is observed on the Second Saturday of September and this year, it falls on September 11.
The theme for World First Aid Day 2021 is First Aid and Road Safety. Every year, this event is organized by various NGOs for not only raising awareness on first aid but also for encouraging, training community members towards saving lives in case of a crisis situations and in unforeseen circumstances.
Also Read: World First Aid Day 2020: A 101 Guide On How To Provide First Aid In Common Cases
In India, road accidents are a major cause of concern and according to statistics, an average of 414 or 17 deaths an hour are reported in our country, daily. In many cases, lives are lost due to lack of immediate first aid or medical care.
What Is First Aid?
First aid is nothing but emergency medical assistance that needs to be provided to the victim, in case of an accident, injury, burns or sudden occurrence like a stroke. Few simple, easy procedures serve as lifesavers, arrest the loss of blood and ease the pain. In other words, this is an efficient support system that would prevent further damage to the victim before a trained medical doctor attends the patient, in hospital or at the spot of event.
First aid steps are guided by Three Ps.
- Preservation of life
- Preventing injury deterioration
- Promoting recovery
Major road, train or other accidents would require well-trained first aid personnel, as their support in assisting medical professionals help in saving lives.
Also Read: World First Aid Day: Keeping First Aid Essentials Handy Can Save Lives
What Should You Do In Case of An Accident?
An accident is an unfortunate occurrence and the first thing one should do is to check for physical injuries. Sometimes, injuries could be internal and one should practice utmost care in handling the victim. Remember internal spinal or head injuries are quite common, demanding immediate medical attention.
Check For These Signs:
Make sure the victim is able to breathe properly. Traumatic asphyxia is a common occurrence where severe difficulty in breathing can cause intense suffocation or even death. In case of troubled breathing, administer mouth-to-mouth breathing or seek for emergency supply of oxygen. Remember, it may take less than 4 minutes for a blocked airway to cause death, so restoration of oxygen supply is highly critical.
Assess The Injuries:
Accidents are of different types and one would require a great presence of mind in attending the victims. In case of wounds caused due to splinters, thorns or other external objects, remove it very gently for avoiding infection. Make sure that the place is cleaned properly before seeking professional medical help.
If you notice profuse bleeding try applying pressure directly on the wound. This can be done with the heel of the hand or thickly folded clean cloth. Call for immediate medical help to arrest the bleeding and to check on internal injuries.
Suspecting a fracture? Be gentle. Do not apply any pressure and make sure to shift the victim into the ambulance at the earliest. Do not give any water or food as it may cause vomiting, especially in case of a head or spinal injury.
Deeper cuts on the abdomen or chest need to be dealt very carefully. Cover the area with a wet cloth and rush victim to nearby hospital.
Eye, Nose and Ear Injuries:
Eye injuries should not be touched or cleaned. Make sure to cover with a soft, clean cloth and do not apply any external pressure.
Bleeding from nose is often a sign of head injury. Ask the patient to sit up, talk and lean forward gently. If the victim is unconscious, turn him or her to one side to prevent choking.
If you notice bleeding from ears, do not apply any external pressure. Seek medical help immediately.
How To Shift Victim To Hospital?
Go for the nearest medical centre. Remember, every second counts
Carry the victim on firm stretcher and provide enough support to the spine
In case of unconscious patients, given enough support under the neck region
Make sure to provide enough oxygen supply during transportation
Keep monitoring vitals in the ambulance. Alert doctor immediately if you notice any change in the numbers for advice