First aid basics
First aid experts stress that knowing what to do for an injured victim until a doctor or other trained person gets to the accident scene can save a life, especially in cases of stoppage of breathing, sever bleeding and shock.
This section is to equip readers to handle emergency situations effectively or rather sensibly.
What to do first?
1 Call out for someone to get help.
2 Check breathing...if stopped, give mouth to mouth resuscitation.
3 Check for a pulse...if the heart is not beating, perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR)
4 Stop bleeding by applying pressure directly over the wound
5 If something has been swallowed, ask the victim what it was
6 Keep the victim warm to avoid shock
7 Perform Heimlich maneuver for chocking
8 Try to remain calm and keep the victim calm
The basic contents of your home First Aid Kit (FAK)
Dressings: Adhesive bandages, assorted sizes; adhesive tape and thin adhesive stripe, cotton-tripped swabs; elastic bandages; gauze bandages, assorted rolled sizes; sterile gauze pads, assorted sizes.
(Diapers, sanitary napkins, towels, scarf, handkerchief - as compress or bandage)
Equipment: Eye Cup; Hot water bottle; Ice pack; Thermometer; safety pins; scissors;
[Magazine, newspaper, cane, umbrella, broomstick, pillow - as splint]
Medications: Antihistamines; Antacid; Antiseptic ointment; ibuprofen; Sterile eye wash; Toothache gel
Others: Unscented soap; disposable gloves, blankets to keep warm. It is important to get medical assistance as soon as possible.
First Aid Actions on emergencies (In alphabetic order)
Warning: Before giving pills/tablets like ibuprofen, ask the victim if he/she is allergic to any drug! Allergy can be deadly at the time of an emergency.
Drowning: Call for emergency medical help; if the victim is near a pool, give rope to pull safely; Always maintain an open air passage, restore breathing and circulation; if the victim is breathing, place him on his side with head extended backward so fluids will drain; keep the victim warm.
Electric Shock: Don't touch the victim until electricity is turned off or need be remove the victim from the live wire standing on non-conductive surface like dry cloth, rubber mat, newspaper, etc. or push the victim away with a dry board, stick from the wire.; Call electricity dept to cut off the line and also call for medical help; Maintain open air passage; restore breathing by resuscitation method and circulation.
Animal Bite: Wash wound with soap under running water and apply antibiotic ointment and dressing. When possible, the animal should be captured alive for rabies testing.
Asphyxiation (chocking from smoke etc): Start rescue breathing immediately after getting patient to fresh air.
Bleeding: Elevate the wound above the heart if possible. Press hard on wound with sterile compress until bleeding stops. Send for doctor if bleeding is severe.
Burn: If mild, with skin unbroken and no blisters, put into ice water until pain subsides. Apply a dry dressing if necessary.
. If severe, send for doctor. Apply sterile compress and keep patient comfortably warm until doctor's arrival. Do not try to clean burn or break blisters.
Chemical in eye: With patient lying down, pour cupful of water immediately into corner of eye. Letting it run to other side to remove chemicals thoroughly. Cover with sterile compress. Get medical attention immediately.
Cut (Minor): Apply mild antiseptic and sterile compress after washing with soap under warm running water.
Fainting: If victim feels faint, lower head to knees. Lay patient down on back with head turned to side if he / she become unconscious. Elevate the legs 20 to 25 centimeters. Loosen clothing and open windows. Keep patient lying quietly for at least 15 minutes after he/she regains consciousness. Call doctor if faint lasts for more than a few minutes.
Foreign body in eye: If it can be seen touch the object with moistened corner of handkerchief. If it cannot be seen or does not comes out after a few attempts, take patient to doctor. Do not rub the eye.
Frostbite: Handle frostbitten area gently. Do not rub. Soak affected area in water no warmer then 40.5� C. Do not allow frostbitten area to touch the container. Soak until frostbitten part looks red and feels warm. Loosely bandage. If finders or toes are frostbitten, put gauze between them.
Heat Stroke and Heat Exhaustion (In India, "Loo"): Remove the patient from the heat. Loosen any tight clothing and apply cool, wet cloths to the skin. Give the victim cool water, to drink slowly. Call an ambulance if the victim refuses water, vomits, or experience changes in consciousness.
Loss of Limb (Cut off any part like finger/toe etc): If a limb is severed, it is important to properly protect the limb so that it can be reattached. After the patient is cared for, the limb should be wrapped in a sterile gauze or clean material and placed in a clean plastic bag, garbage can, or other suitable container. Pack ice around the limb on the OUTSIDE of the bag to keep the limb cold. Call ahead to the hospital to alert staff there of the situation.
Poisoning: Call doctor. Use antidote listed on the label if the container is found. DO NOT GIVE the victim any food or drink or induce vomiting, unless specified on the label or by a medical professional.
Shock (Injury-related): Keep the victim lying down. If uncertain as to his or her injuries, keep the patient flat on the back. Maintain normal body temperature, if the weather is cold or damp, place blankets or extra clothing over and under the victim; If weather is hot, provide shade.
Snakebite: Wash off the injury. Keep the area still and at a lower level than the heart. Keep the victim quite. Rush to the hospital.
Sprains and fractures: Apply ice to reduce swelling and pain. Do not try to straighten or move broken limbs. Apply a splint to immobilize the injured area if the victim must be transported.
Sting from insect: If possible, remove stinger. Wash the area with soap and water; cover it to keep it clean. Apply a cold pack to reduce pain and swelling. Call physician immediately if body swells or patient collapses.
Unconsciousness: Send for doctor and place person on his or her back. Start rescue breathing if victim stops breathing. Never give food or liquids.