Caring for others who have suffer sudden illness or injury is not just the concern of Doctors, Nurses or other medical professionals. It’s everybody concern. When someone in your work place or community has a life threatening emergency, there may not be time to summon a professional. You may be the only person available to save another's life. First Aid Administration is about simple procedures that any person can learn in order to recognize life- threatening situations and give immediate effective assistance in those circumstances. You do not need any special equipment to carry out the procedures, only a good head, trained hazards and a willing heart.
First Aid is the skilled application of accepted principles of treatment on the occurrence of any injury or sudden illness, using facilities or materials available to you at the time, it is the approved method of treating a casualty until places, if necessary in the care of a doctor or been moved to the hospital for proper treatment.
Aims And Objective Of First Aid
. To save or preserve life - By maintaining an open airway by positioning the casualty correctly. and begin Artificial respiration, if the casualty is not breathing and heart is not beating, thereby continuing treatment until skilled medical aid is available. and also by controlling bleeding if their is any.
. To prevent the condition from worsening, that is to prevent further injuries and complication - by dressing wounds, immobilize any fractures, place the casualty in the most comfortable position.
. To promote recovery - By relieving casualty of anxiety and encourage confidence, attempt to relieve the casualty of pain and discomfort. Handle the casualty gently and protect the casualty from cold and wet.
Scope Of First Aid
. Diagnosis - The first aider should be able to identify and say in simple terms what the problem of the victim is e.g. breathing, broken bones, unconsciousness e.t.c
. Treatment - Treatment here implies all measures taken to preserve the life of the victim, to prevent the condition from getting worse and to relieve pain. It does not involve the use of drugs.
. Evacuation - The first Aider should institute evacuation procedures as laid down by his organization and if communication contact is impossible, make arrangement to transport victim to the nearest hospital or clinic as quickly as possible.
Qualities Of A First Aider
In order to render skilled assistance to a victim, the first aider should possess the following qualities:
. Observant - He or she must be able to make quick survey of the entire scene of the emergency and quickly determine next action to take. He or she should consider the following
- Is the scene safe to him and the victim
- Are there by standers that can help
. Carefulness - The first aider must be careful in handling the victim so as not to worsen his condition or cause his death.
. Confidence - He must be sure of any procedure he is carrying out so as not to be confused by the by-standers.
. Resourceful - He must be able to improvise.
. Tactful - He must be able to secure the confidence of the victim and by- standers and assume control of the situation.
. Sympathetic - Re-assuring the casualty, be kind, tender to him. He must have the feelings that will attract him to help the victim. However, during the course of your treatment show empathy in order to render the best of treatment.
. Perseverance - He should continue to try in the face of all difficulties. He should not be discouraged with a little failure but will continue to try until success comes his way.
. Explicit - He should be able to give precise, detailed and accurate information about the casualty and treatment given, either when calling for help or when handling the person over to the medical crew.
General Rules Guiding First Aiders
. Stay calm. Do not panic, take charge.
. Use your common sense. Rules may be broken depending on the prevailing situation especially where first aide and victim may be exposed to further danger as in fire incidence.
. Do not attempt to do too much, if you are unsure of what to do. Note that it may be better not to do anything at all than to do something that will endanger the life of the victim.
. Re-assure the victim at all times.
. Do not move victim unless absolutely necessary.
. Do not allow people to crowd around you.
. Do not leave the victim unattended until a doctor takes charge
. Loosen any tight or restrictive clothing around the neck or waist of the victim to allow easy breathing and blood circulation.
Responsibilities Of The First Aider
Because of the frequency and serious nature of many accidents, the role of the first aider is very important. In the management of a casualty, your responsibility as a first aider is to:
i. Assess the situation
ii. Identify the disease or condition from which the casualty is suffering (diagnosis)
iii. Give immediate appropriate and adequate treatment bearing in mind that a casualty may have more than one injury and that some casualties will require more urgent attention than others.
iv. Arrange without delay, for the disposal of a casualty to a doctor, hospital or home according to the seriousness of the condition. Your responsibility ends when the casualty is handed over to the care of a professional doctor, nurse or other appropriate person.