FIRST AID #1: The Tips for Protecting Yourself and Saving Lives.

in steemstem •  9 months ago 

Hello, guys. I'm here once again but today I'll be discussing generally on safety tips, how to give first aid to injured persons during emergency before medical personnel arrive.

There is a question for us before I delve into the matter at hand and the question is.......

"What do you do, when you nose bleed?"

The answer most of us would give is that you would raise your head for some time till the blood stop. Most especially from the part of my country, some can even go as far as saying he would put an ice on his forehead while raising up the head for the blood to stop.

"But are all these answers correct?"


Nosebleed aid
Author: TenarAiuola, CC BY-SA 3.0

No, they are not. They are all misconceptions and are part of those things we've learned knowingly or unknowingly that we need to unlearn. And the answer goes thus:

When you nosebleed, you don't raise your head in a backward position but lower it and pinch the soft part of the nose for at most 10 minutes.

The blood should stop by then and if it doesn't stop, the person should be taken to the hospital. Raising up of the head isn't advisable because it can lead to choking and another complications. source

Now going back to the matter at hand, in my country Nigeria, it's such a pity that a lot of people do die day in, day out as a result of accidents and at times it's not even the accident per se that leads to their death but the aftermath of it. How bystanders react to accident victims (the nonchalant attitude in giving rescue to the victims), lack of knowledge about giving an immediate care before emergency services arrive, the response of the accident and emergency unit and the attitude of accident victims themselves.

First aid is the immediate treatment that is meant to be given to victims before they are now taken to the hospital. But what is most common when we notice an emergency is that we either start to cry, panic or pray without doing some few necessary things as first aids before medical personnel arrives.


First aid sign
Author: MaxxL, public domain.

Most times, after a whole amount of time is already wasted and eventually the victim is being taken to the hospital and he dies on the way, we are usually fond of saying "Odake lona ninu moto ni" meaning that "he died inside the vehicle while on the way to the hospital" or "odake nigbati a de ile-iwosan ni" meaning, "he died exactly when he was taken to the hospital" which isn't meant to be because we could have prevented such an avoidable death if we are more conscious and knowledgeable enough of what to do at that instant the accident or emergency occurred.

Imagine an accident scenario my friend and I witnessed at 11 pm on 8th June of this year. It was multiple auto accidents on the third mainland bridge a very popular bridge in Lagos, Lagosians can relate wella.. lol. Although, we naijas (Nigerian) are very empathic but It's so appalling on that fateful night seeing majority of the people driving on the road parking their cars, not to help but to snap photos and make videos of the situation while some were just shouting words of pity while no one was even making an attempt to help. Everybody was waiting for who to go first to help, not until we got to the scene and fortunately enough my friend knows about first aid to some extent. He dialed 767, a shortcode for the state's Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA). And before the LASEMA could come to the rescue that'd just be a story for another time because it took forever.

Anyways, going back to the story at hand, my friend took his first aid kit and went to help the accident victims. One already had his leg broken, one was unconscious, one had a very terrible cut in the head, another had a deep puncture in the eye and one was already flung across the bridge struggling to breathe. He had to attend to the one that needed the most attention which was the victims that had severe cuts on the head and eye so as to stop the excessive bleeding. But, it was very funny to me when the victim that had his leg broken was shouting vehemently in yoruba dialect "e o mo ise yin n'ise oh" meaning "the friend doesn't know what he was doing" because he felt neglected and saw us attending to those that needed the most attention first.


A car accident.
Author: Dori, public domain

That's one of the points I highlighted above about the attitude of some of the accident victims, they don't help matters at times. Truly he was injured, he didn't even look at the fact that this my first aid friend and I was the only one helping them and even we weren't doctors nor LASEMA agents, he kept swearing and cursing us. lol. That's one of the incidents I've witnessed, some others are the nonchalant attitude of the emergency management in coming to accident rescue on time and even the hospitals receiving the accident victims, by not taking accident victims as part of those that need urgent attention and treatment.

That is a situation that's very common but it's very bad

I'm sure if we are all conversant about the first aid meant to be given to accident victims, it will go a long way in helping saving lives of victims before medical help arrives. They are skills that are very useful both at home and even in our working environment. If you know it, it's advisable you teach others too because you never can say a day might come you would be a victim that will be needing help.

So, here are the first aid tips for saving lives°°°


When you find yourself in an injury scene, you might tend to be shocked thinking the situation is bigger than what you can handle, it's normal but PERSONAL SAFETY COMES first. You have to protect yourself. You don't approach or rush into an accident scene without observing whether the scene is safe or not. So, observing the environment of the scene is paramount. It's not reasonable or advisable to put yourself in danger in a process of rescuing a victim. So, If a SCENE is UNSAFE, don't APPROACH but call for help. And also if where you are is becoming dangerous GET OUT and call for help.


Once you notice the scene is safe enough, then you prepare to help. As we know that the hands God gives us are a very essential part of the body and they are always used to access every part of the body. Then the hands have to be protected before approaching an accident victim (especially when the vicitim is bleeding) because if proper care isn't taken about them, diseases can be contacted through them. So, always put on a glove whenever you are assisting a bleeding victim, and if you can't get a pair of gloves then you can put on a celophane bag (or any covering to protect your hands). It is also very advisable to put on nose mask and face shield because of splashing while rescuing a victim. If while on the process of assisting a victim, the gloves got broken or torn, then it is advisable to change it.


Protective gloves
Author: Praewnaaaaaam, CC BY-SA 4.0

Removing the gloves used after assisting a bleeding victim requires skill. The external part of the gloves shouldn't touch the bare hand while removing it. You pinch the glove of the hand (let's say the right hand) at the middle using the left hand with the glove still on and drag it out. Once you have succeeded in removing the glove on the right hand, don't let it touch the right hand again. Then insert two fingers of the bare right hand into the glove of the left hand and force it out without allowing the glove to stain the hand. Then you go and wash your hands afterwards. This precaution is very crucial because every fluid coming from a person is assumed to be infected. Even the air we breathe is not free of bacteria. Many medical doctors died of Ebola when it first broke out in my country due to the contact they had with the body fluids of an infected person.


When you are in a scene where someone is injured and probably lying unconscious, the next thing to do after observing it's a safe environment and also after you might have protected yourself with gloves, nose mask and face shield is to seek the victim's permission or consent to offer assistance. However, If the victim isn't fit enough to reply probably due to being unconscious, then that means he or she has given consent, you can thereby proceed to help. Just like it happened in the incident at the Louisiana Memorial hospital in New Orleans during the Hurricane Katrina of 2006, whereby Dr. Anna Pou administered injections to some very sickly and aged patients without their consent. She did it to save the patients from pain and make them die peacefully rather than allowing them to experience undue pain as a result of the situation that followed the hurricane.source

After seeking the victim's permission (whether it was granted or there was no response), the next thing is to help the victim. But, in the process of helping, you shouldn't go beyond your training. You are to activate the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) immediately if the situation is beyond your power or control. Do only what you are sure of to help and don't leave the scene until you are either relieved or the EMS arrive.


Philippine health worker Euezer Ramos, above, demonstrates the proper steps for administering rescue breathing
Author: MC1 Chris Fahey, public domain


To save lives, each one of us must be able to practise first aid to injured victims before medical aid arrives. Also, we shouldn't be nonchalant and reluctant in attending to the victims. The government too has a role to play in ensuring the safety of the people by providing adequate health facilities and rapid emergency medical services that work round the clock. All this will minimize the rate at which people die during accidents or attacks.

In the next post of mine, I'll continue on this safety talk but extending it on how to give first aid to a person with CARDIAC ARREST, and also on people that is CHOKING or BLEEDING.

Thanks for reading!


Illnesses and conditions; nosebleed
Memorial Medical Center

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I think more people should know first aid, the idea of people gathering and taking only pictures of accident victims to post on social media on arriving on the scene of an accident is something that we should do away with. Most times, it is the difference between life and death. Boy scouts and girls guild used to be that group that teaches that, these days these groups are no longer functional in my country. Or have you seen one of late?


Hello @greenrun

It is very pathetic, bro. Imagine our people seeing a house on fire and instead of getting help if at all they can't go in to help; would be busy snapping and recording the incident and competing amongst themselves on who to first upload the pictures and videos on facebook. Could you believe that among those people that died in the fuel tanker accident which happened close to Berger some few weeks back were those filming the incident rather than to run for their safety?

You are right, many of us need to know more about first aid but it's a pity how things presently are in the country. I don't even think the Boy's scouts and Girls' Guild are still in existence and even if they are, I'm sure they are no more functioning.

Thanks for stopping by, I really like your insight into matters.


It keeps happening, I see people gather around dangerous gas/oil spill, all oblivious of the danger they are in. Many have died out of curiosity to investigate what was going on. Often they even impede the movement of those that could help by obstructing the way and blocking the emergency response team. All done for the likes the pictures would garner on instagram or Facebook!


I pray God helps this generation.

I read this post and could totally relate to it. The message in this post begs a question. Is first aid still taught in schools? I doubt. Even if it is taught I guess it may not just be theoretical but on a very basic level.

I know some of the groups going around commercialising first aid education and demanding exorbitant fees to teach first aid. This is not only discouraging but repulsive.

I'm currently serving in the NYSC, I think it would be a nice idea if the scheme introduces extensive first aid training as one of the compulsory activities done in camp not chasing us around for SAED. This way even Corps members can be of help when it takes LASEMA forever to arrive.

I've have shared this post on my Linkedin and twitter page to promote awareness.


I actually just completed my orientation program in lagos camp and this was one of the things we were taught in one of those lectures we have, i was impressed, though i doubt other camps in other states does the same


I doubt such lectures too in other camps, though I really wish it is implemented every where. Thanks for the comment, bro.


That's a nice one from the Lagos camp. I camped in Sokoto... The most important thing I was taught was the language... lol


@getencored, u're right and I really like your sincere comments. I also wish the first aid is being taught practically in all schools. Truly, first aid learning is being commercialized. A lot of money was paid for one of its seminar I had the opportunity to attend.

Thanks for sharing the post and also for coming around.


You're welcome bro. Thanks for sharing such an important topic.

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