There are many questions asked about First Aid, and many people are nervous when it comes to the subject, but it’s so important not only at work but in your everyday life.

So, I aim to write some blogs about First Aid to educate you about the responsibility of being a First Aider and what you could expect should you wish to become one. The First Aider aim is to do the three P’s:

  • Preserve Life
  • Prevent the situation worsening
  • Promote recovery

First Aid is giving a person who is sick or injured help and assistance until trained medics arrive to administer the relevant treatment.

Under the Health and Safety (First Aid) Regulations 1981, an employer is required to provide suitable first aid cover in the workplace.

It is always important to get consent from a casualty before giving them any first aid assistance, believe it or not, but just by touching without their permission can be classed as assault. This is the world we are living in nowadays! So, if they do not permit you then, you should not provide any first aid treatment, but if you think they need help urgently, then the only thing you can and should do is call the emergency services on 999/112 for help. If the casualty is unconscious, then the law allows you to assume you have their consent to help them.

The nominated First Aider in your place of work should follow a number of steps when arriving at the scene of an emergency or incident and whilst assessing the situation should make sure to protect themselves from any danger.

1- Asses for further threat

2- Do not put yourself at risk, protect yourself then others

3- Try to work out what has happened

4- Count the number of casualties, if more than one

5- Look for history, signs and symptoms

To detail these steps a bit further, the First Aider should assess what additional help is needed and then if there are any bystanders, ask them to call 999/112 for emergency help. If you are alone, then you should try making this call as soon as possible. However, it is beneficial to the emergency services to know what situation they should prepare for so, make sure to assess the situation to relay as much information to them about the situation and casualties.

A way to figure out what assistance the victim needs is to use the “DRABC” method, also known as a primary survey:

D – Danger. Make sure that you, the casualty and anyone about is safe.

R – Response. Don’t walk straight up to the casualty in case there is a threat which may not be visible then, call to the casualty to see if they are conscious. Call out: “Are you right? I am a First Aider.” If the casualty is unresponsive and once you have assessed the area is safe to approach, go up to the victim and gently shake or tap them on the shoulder to see if they respond. If still no response, pinch their earlobe to see if you get a response from them.

A – Airway. Are they breathing? Could there be an object obstructing their airway? If they are unconscious, tilt their head back gently to open their airway.

B – Breathing. Can you hear or see if the victim is breathing? If the casualty is unconscious and not breathing, CPR will need performing as long as you are confident and have the knowledge for doing so.

C – Circulation. Assess the casualty for any life-threatening circulatory problems, if none, then your primary survey is complete.

When you are in an emergency situation always try to remember these three things:

1 – Treat the most urgent thing first, such as any catastrophic bleeding

2 – Treat the most urgent person first, remember to check their airway and breathing

3 – Offer support and comfort to any victims if they have are minor injuries as they could be suffering or will suffer from shock

It should always be a priority of yours as a First Aider throughout any situation to minimise the risk of infection to you and others. This can be done by following these simple steps:

1 – Wash your hands before and after assisting anyone

2 – Wear disposable gloves, if possible

3 – Wear protective clothing if needed and if possible

4 – Cover any cuts you may have with a plaster before treating or assisting someone else

5 – Dispose of any contaminated waste carefully

6 – Where possible use sterile undamaged and in date dressings

Just by being a First Aider you could save a life one day.

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