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First Aid

Published on: 2/13/2013 4:18 PM
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Many times what we do in the immediate moments following an emergency will have a large impact on our recovery.  First and foremost is the use of First Aid.  Medical resources may be overwhelmed and roads may be hampered or destroyed.  Learn some basic skills that may one day save lives.

CHECK
Check the scene to make sure it is safe for you to approach.  Then check the victim for unconsciousness and life-threatening conditions.

CALL
Call, or have a by stander call, 911 for assistance.
 
CARE
  • Bleeding:
    • Cover the wound with a dressing, and press firmly against the wound (direct pressure).
    • Elevate the injured area above the level of the heart if you do not suspect that the victim has a broken bone.
    • Cover the dressing with a roller bandage.
    • If the bleeding does not stop:
      •  Apply additional dressings and bandages.
      • Use a pressure point to squeeze the artery against the bone.
    • Provide care for shock.
  • Shock
    • Keep the victim from getting chilled or overheated.
    • Elevate the legs about 12 inches (if broken bones are not suspected).
    • Do not give food or drink to the victim.
  • Burns
    • Cool the burn with a lot of water.
    • Cover the burn with dry, clean dressings.
  • Injuries to Muscles, Bones, and Joints
    • Rest the injured part.
    • Apply ice or a cold pack to control swelling and reduce pain.
    • Avoid any movement or activity that causes pain.
    • If you must move the victim because the scene is becoming unsafe, try to immobilize the injured part to keep it from moving.
NOTE:  Although the risk of getting a disease while giving first aid is extremely rare, you can reduce the risk even further:
    • Avoid direct contact with blood and other body fluids.
    • Use protective equipment, such as disposable gloves and breathing barriers.
    • Thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water immediately after giving care.
(Attribution:  American Red Cross)