Accidents happen at home, on holiday, at work and various other places. People are involved in motor vehicle accidents and the chances of being present where people are injured and need assistance are great. Remember, in any real emergency situation, there are no instructors, no manuals, and no mentors. You only have the information gained from what you have learned. A life is precious, belongs to a family and children in most cases, and cannot be paid for.
The first aider is there to render basic life support in the golden hour - the first 60 minutes following an injury or sudden illness. This is the vital time in which correct first aid must be carried out while waiting for medical assistance. It is important to treat injuries immediately where the accident occurred, whether minor or major, by applying first aid methods. First aid can save lives and limbs.
The main aim of first aid is to:
- Preserve life
- Prevent further injuries
- Promote recovery
It is important to know some basic rules of First Aid as to avert the emergency situation getting worse and to circumvent mistakes. The objective of first aid treatment in an emergency is to make sure the condition of the patient does not deteriorate but to maintain or improve the patient's condition at all costs.
Start at a specific point in the case of an emergency, follow the guidelines as it consists of a logical sequence of events and it works like a recipe. By following the guidelines, the first aider gains confidence in dealing with the injured and ensures that the correct procedures are followed.
- Keep calm
- Think before you act
- Do not put yourself in danger
Emergency Scene Management & First Aid Procedures
The safety of the first aider, the area, the situation and the patient needs to be stabilized before any assistance or help can be rendered.
1. Personal Safety for the first aider
- Assess an emergency situation and apply personal safety, if the first aider is injured or killed he/she cannot render assistance!
- Wear latex gloves, if no gloves, use plastic bags
- Cover own cuts and sores with waterproof plaster
- Dispose of all body fluids and blood in a sealed plastic bag, arrange for it to be burnt
2. Safety of the Area
- The physical area where assistance is needed must be safe and secure
- Be aware of any danger in the area, learn to use your eyes, ears, and sense of smell, like gas, petrol
- importance of making the area safe cannot be stressed enough because the conditions or incident that caused the accident may often result in further danger to yourself, the casualty and bystanders
- Be careful not to become a casualty yourself
3. Safety of the Situation
- Your approach to the scene of the incident or accident should be quick but calm and controlled
- All hazards influencing the safety of the first aider and injured must be removed before assistance can be rendered
- Assess the situation as closely as possible. Observe and take note of as much information as possible from the scene
- Use this information to help you decide what cause of action you are going to take
- Identify which resources are available to assist you
- Remember that dead heroes can't save lives and injured heroes are a nuisance
4. Safety of the patient
- No injured person should be moved if his or her life is NOT in danger
- If a person is not breathing and has no pulse, then his life is in danger
- Life-threatening situations exist where there s a significant risk of loss of life, for example, people trapped in a burning car, a house burning, gas explosions, armed robberies, a child drowning, electric shock etc.
- If you cannot remove the danger itself, you should remove the patient from the danger
- Do not put yourself in danger when removing the casualty
- If there are any bystanders available make use of their help, delegate tasks
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Assessment of the patient