First Aid Top Tips
First Aid is of paramount importance to assist someone with injuries and illnesses, minor or serious. First Aid is the very first assistance given to someone in the hope to, for example, preserve life, stop bleeding and choking, deal with cuts and burns and to prevent conditions from worsening.
Below are our Top Ten Tips to give you the confidence you need to deliver First Aid successfully:
1. A First Aid Kit
Cotton wool, plasters and bandages of mixed sizes, tweezers, sterile gloves and safety pins to name a few. For an exhaustive list and how to use these supplies, follow our First Aid Kit specific blog here.
Place the scalded area under a cold running tap for around 15-20 minutes or until the pain is relieved. If required phone 999 or seek medical assistance. Use cling film loosely to wrap up the burn, DO NOT use creams or sprays.
3. Heart Attacks
Heart Attacks are the most common heart condition in the UK. If you suspect someone is having (or has had) a Heart Attack, phone 999 immediately. Then make sure the patient is sitting down as comfortable as possible, their airway is clear and they can breathe. You may need to perform CPR.
4. Severe Choking
This is when the individual can’t speak, breathe or cough so they are unable to clear the passage themselves. The following steps are to be followed for adults and children 1+ only:
- a) Stand to the side but behind the individual whilst having one hand on their chest. Ensure they are leaning forward so the object causing the obstruction is facing the direction of coming out the mouth and onto the floor.
- b) With the heel of your hand (the area between your wrist and palm) give 5 hard and quick blows between the individual’s shoulder blades. If this doesn’t work, move onto abdominal thrusts (except children under 1 or pregnant women).
If someone is bleeding the predominant objective is to prevent as much blood leaving the body as possible. If you have a cloth or bandage available use these to apply pressure on the wound for at least 20 minutes, seek medical assistance as soon as possible and cover the wound to avoid contaminants from affecting the area.
CPR is to be used when breathing isn’t normal / the individual is unconscious. There are two types of CPR; Hands-only CPR and CPR with rescue breaths. If you’re not confident with your skills, use Hands-Only CPR as below:
- • Take the heel of one of your hands (with the other hand on top in an interlocking position) and place on the individual’s breastbone (centre of the chest).
- • Ensure your body is positioned so your shoulders are over and above your hands.
- • Press down on their chest using your body weight (around 5cm deep), then release but keep your hands still on the chest.
- • Continue to do this until an ambulance arrives if you can. 100-120 per minute is the expected pace of the above motion.
The safest way to treat a fracture is to treat as if the part is broken as it is hard to tell before being examined. Therefore, if the casualty is breathing ok and not bleeding, keep the injured place as still as possible.
However, if the casualty is unconscious and/or bleeding heavily these take priority over keeping the fracture/broken bone still.
It is essential strokes are dealt with straight away in order to have a more successful recovery. The best guide on how to care for a person you suspect has had a stroke is the FAST method.
F – Face: look for signs of the face dropping, the individual not being able to smile or one of the eyes drooping.
A – Arms: check the individual’s arms. Can they lift them both? And hold them for a period of time? There is likely to be weakness or numbness in one of the arms.
S – Speech: it is common with strokes that the individual can’t speak or their speech is very slurred.
T – Time: if you notice any one of these signs you must call 999 immediately.
Once the casualty is on land and if they are not breathing we need to be performing CPR. BEFORE commencing CPR, open their airway and give 5 “rescue breaths” then continue with CPR.
If the casualty is unconscious but you can hear/feel they are breathing move them into the recovery position. (Picture of recovery position) Observe the individual ensuring they are still breathing.
Most importantly call for an ambulance.
Do you know the number to phone when outside the UK? Commonly 999 is the number to call for emergency help when in the UK but you can also phone 112. 112 is the emergency number for the entire EU. A handy tip to know when you’re on your holidays!
Get In Touch
Interested in undertaking one of our First Aid Courses in Wirral? Call us today on 0151 343 0588 to learn more. You can also email us at [email protected] and a member of our team will get back to you as soon as possible. We run regular first aid courses in Wirral and across the surrounding areas.