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First aid

First aid is a combination of simple procedures and common sense. The most common term referred to in first aid is ABC. This stands for airway, breathing, and circulation. It is important to use a primary survey to make sure the scene is clear of threats before stepping in to help:

Danger: Check for dangers to the injured person and yourself. If there is danger, can it be cleared, or can the individual be moved away from further harm? If there is nothing you can do, stand clear, and call for professional help.

Response: Once it is clear that all danger has ceased, check if the patient is conscious and alert, ask questions, and see if you get a response. It is also important to find out whether they respond to your touch and are aware of their pain.

Airway: Make sure the airway is clear. Choking, which results from the obstruction of airways, can be fatal. Check whether the airway is clear and, if not, try to clear it. Have the injured person lying on their back, and then place one hand on the forehead and two fingers from the other hand on the chin. Gently tilt the head back while slightly raising the chin upwards. Any obstructions need to be removed from the mouth, including dentures. Only insert fingers into the mouth of the injured individual if an obstruction is present.

Breathing: Once the airways are confirmed to be clear, determine whether the person can breathe, and, if necessary, provide rescue breathing. Is the individual breathing effectively? The first aider should examine the chest for movement and the mouth for signs of breathing. Afterward, get close to the person to see if air can be felt on the cheek from breathing.

Circulation: If the person involved in the emergency situation is not breathing, the first aider should go straight for chest compressions and rescue breathing. The chest compressions will promote circulation. This saves valuable time. In emergencies that are not life-threatening, the first aider needs to check the pulse.

If the injured person is breathing safely, carry out a rapid whole-body check for the following:

open wounds, deformities, medical alert tags advising of underlying conditions, swellings

This is known as a secondary survey. As soon as this has been completed, place the individual in a recovery position. At this point, the first aider should call for an ambulance.