How to Provide Basic First Aid
A person never knows when he encounters another individual who needs medical attention. Whether it be a simple knee scrape or a concussion, it’s a good idea for anybody who wants to know first aid to understand some basic principles. The main rule for providing basic first aid to an individual is for the person administering first aid not to panic. The second rule is don’t cause harm to the person needing medical attention, if you don’t know what you are doing.
Ask the person what kind of medical attention he needs. If the person can talk, he may be able to tell you what is wrong with him. If he needs something, help him out. Ask him if he is taking any medications that you need to be aware of for your administering of basic first aid. Find out if the person has been sick recently. Call for emergency help, if the person is in severe condition.
Determine what appears to be the issue with your first aid patient. Look for blood on the outside of the person’s body and watch the person to see if she is shaking. Find the area that is cut or that needs attention.
Place the injured part of the person’s body on a board or a piece of wood gently. The goal is to keep the body part still and available for you to look at. This also can serve as a splint, if the body part may be fractured. Do not move the person at all if his hip area is the injured part. If a leg, foot, arm or hand is injured, tape or tie down the limb so it can remain still. Use caution not to tape or tie the actual wound and only the areas around the wound.
Clean any cuts or scrapes on the person’s body with a clean cotton swap and some rubbing alcohol from the first aid kit. Cleaning the wound prohibits dirt from entering the body through the abrasion. Choose a gauze pad or bandage that is slightly bigger than the wound you are covering. Open the package of this gauze or bandage and don’t touch one of the sides at all, so it does not become contaminated with germs. Place the non-contaminated side onto the wound. Cut a piece of gauze tape longer than each of the sides of the bandage with the scissors in the kit. Tape all sides of the bandage.
Apply an ice pack to any parts of the person that appear swollen. Cold temperatures can reduce swelling.
Press your fingers onto the person’s skin to check his blood circulation level. Release your fingers. The skin should turn back to its original color within two seconds of releasing your fingertips. If it does not, the person may have a blood circulation problem. In this case, call for emergency help immediately.