First aid is an important part of everyday life, both at home, work or at play. Everyone should learn first aid and be willing to administer basic care until emergency assistance arrives. Not every incident requiring first aid is a life-and-death situation. First aid knowledge is commonly used to manage minor injuries at home or work. |
The main aims of first aid are to:
1. Preserve life - This includes the life of the casualty, bystander and rescuer.
2. Protect the casualty from further harm - Ensure the scene is safe.
3. Provide pain relief - This could include the use of ice packs or simply applying a sling.
4. Prevent the injury or illness from becoming worse - Ensure that the treatment you provide does not make the condition worse.
5. Provide reassurance
It is important to understand that first aid has its limitations and does not take the place of professional medical treatment.
Taking immediate action is the essential principle in first aid. Bystanders or relatives may not recognise the basic symptoms of an injury or illness and may wait hours before calling for help. Often people are worried about "doing the wrong thing", so don't attempt any first aid at all. If a person is sick or injured, then they need help, and they need it immediately.
A casualty who is not breathing effectively, or is bleeding heavily, requires immediate aid. Prompt effective first aid gives the casualty a much better chance of a good recovery.