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Principles of Providing First Aid


  • pg 1
									Principles of Providing First Aid

Immediate care that is provided to the victim of injury or
illness to minimize the adverse effects until experts take

Proper first aid can mean the difference between life
and death.

When you encounter an emergency:

                      REMAIN CALM

                       Avoid panic
                       Evaluate the situation
                       What you will do depends on
                        the type of injury, environment,
                        others present, etc. – so THINK
                        before you act

                        Summer 2000 G.1
The first step is to be alert to the signs of an

                                         Screams
                                         Calls for help
                                         Breaking glass
                                         Screeching tires
                                         Empty medicine
                                         Damaged electrical
                                         Smoke or fire
                                         Blood
                                         Spilled chemicals
                                         Difficulty
                                         Clutching chest or
                                         Abnormal skin
                                         Confusion
                                         Drowsiness
                                         Distress

                    Summer 2000 G.2
             Once you determine an emergency
             exists, take steps to help the victims:

1.   Check the scene and make sure it is safe to

2.   IF the scene is not safe, call for medical help – do
     not endanger yourself or others.

3.   IF the scene is safe, approach the victim and
     determine consciousness by gently tapping and
     calling to him/her.

4.   Never move an injured victim unless the victim is in

5.   Call the EMS as soon as possible – 911.

6.   Be prepared to describe location, telephone number
     (where you are calling from), assistance required, #
     of people involved, etc.

7.   Try to obtain victim’s permission before providing
     care. (If parent is present and victim a child, get
     parent’s permission.)

                         Summer 2000 G.3
8.   If person refuses care, do not proceed. If possible,
     have someone witness the refusal of care.

9.   Always attend to life threatening emergencies first.

10. If victim conscious, breathing and able to talk,
    reassure the victim and try to determine what

11. Check for injuries – examine the victim thoroughly
    and note any abnormal signs or symptoms.

12. Report abnormalities when EMS arrives.

13. Obtain as much information as possible regarding
    the incident and give the information to the correct

                        Summer 2000 G.4
General Principles of First Aid

 Obtain qualified assistance as soon as possible
 Report all
  obtained to
  proper authorities
 Avoid
  movement of the
 Reassure the victim
 If the victim is unconscious or vomiting, do not give
  him or her anything to eat or drink
 Protect the victim from cold or chilling, but avoid
  overheating the victim
 Work quickly, but in an organized and efficient
 Do not make a diagnosis or discuss the victim’s
  condition with observers at the scene
 It is essential to maintain confidentiality and protect
  the victim’s right to privacy while providing
 Make every attempt to avoid further injury

                        Summer 2000 G.5
Providing First Aid for
Bleeding and Wounds

 Injury to soft tissue
 Open: Break in the skin or
  mucous membrane
 Closed: No break in skin, injury to underlying tissues
 Opening wounds can result in bleeding, infection, or
 First aid directed toward controlling bleeding and
  preventing infection

Abrasion - skin scraped off, bleeding limited

Incision – cut with sharp object such as knife, scissors,
razor blade, etc., if cut is deep, bleeding can be heavy,
also can have damage to muscles and nerves.

Laceration – tearing of tissues from excessive force,
jagged edges, bleeding may be heavy. Deep lacerations
may become infected.

                        Summer 2000 G.6
Puncture – Caused by sharp object (pin, nail, etc.)
External bleeding minimal, may lead to infection or

Avulsion – Tissue torn or separated from the body,
bleeding is heavy, important to preserve the body part
because a surgeon may be able to reattach it.

Amputation – Body part cut off or separated from the
body, bleeding can be extensive, important to preserve
separated part for reattachment. Wrap part in cool, moist
dressing (sterile water or saline preferred) and place in
plastic bag. Keep bag cool or in ice water and transport
with the victim. (Don’t place
the body part in direct
contact with the ice.)

                       Summer 2000 G.7
Control Bleeding

        First Priority – Control the bleeding!

Arterial bleeding is bright red in color and life

Venous bleeding is slower and dark red.

Control bleeding by:
1. Direct pressure
2. Elevation
3. Pressure bandage
4. Pressure points

          Use protective barrier to control bleeding
          (gloves) or thick layers of dressings. Avoid
          direct contact with blood. Wash hands after
          providing first aid.

                         Summer 2000 G.8

Signs and symptoms of wound infection:

   Swelling
   Heat
   Redness
   Pain
   Fever
   Pus
   Red streaks

Tetanus – bacterial infection, most common in puncture
wounds, be sure to find out when victim last had tetanus
shot, advise to consult medical professional about tetanus

Object in wound? If on the surface, remove with
tweezers. If object embedded, let a physician remove it.

Closed wounds
 If a bruise, apply cold
 Signs of internal bleeding – pain, tenderness, swelling,
  deformity, cold and clammy skin, rapid and weak
  pulse, uncontrolled restlessness, excessive thirst,
  vomiting blood, blood or urine in feces.

                        Summer 2000 G.9

When caring for bleeding/wounds, or any other injury or
illness, be alert for signs of shock.

                  Clinical set of signs and symptoms
                  associated with inadequate supply of
                  blood to body organs, especially the
                  brain and heart.

If not treated, shock can lead to death, even when the
victim’s injuries or illness not life threatening.

Shock caused by:
 Hemorrhage
 Excessive pain
 Infection
 Heart attack
 Poisoning by chemicals, drugs or gases
 Lack of oxygen
 Psychological trauma
 Dehydration from burns, vomiting, or diarrhea

                       Summer 2000 G.10
 Skin pale or cyanotic
 Skin cool to touch
 Diaphoresis
 Pulse rapid and weak
 Respirations rapid and shallow
 Hypotension
 Victim weak, listless, confused and eventually
 Victim anxious and extremely restless
 Victim may complain of excessive thirst
 Victim may experience nausea and vomiting
 Victim may complain of blurred vision – as shock
  progresses, eyes may appear sunken and have vacant,
  confused expression, pupils dilate

Get medical help right away. If possible:
1. Eliminate the
   cause of shock
2. Improve
   circulation to the
   brain and heart
3. Provide oxygen
4. Maintain body

Positioning patient depends on injuries:

                       Summer 2000 G.11
– do not move the victim.

How would you position the following
victims when treating for shock?

 Victim has a broken arm, no other apparent

 Victim is vomiting and bleeding profusely
  from a lacerated tongue.

 Victim has broken rips and is dyspneic

Cover the patient with blankets or additional clothing.
Blankets may also be placed between the ground and the

Avoid giving the patient anything to eat or drink. A wet
cloth may be used to moisten the lips and mouth.

If help won’t arrive for more than an hour and
dehydration is evident, provide fluids.

                       Summer 2000 G.12
If poison ingested, call a poison control center (PCC) or
physician immediately. If not available, call the EMS.

Save the label or container of the substance taken.

It is helpful to know/estimate how much was taken and
the time the poisoning occurred.

If the victim vomits, save a sample.

breathing. Provide rescue breathing if the victim is not
breathing. If victim is breathing, turn victim on his/her

If the poison control center tells you to induce vomiting:
 Give syrup of ipecac.
 Tickle the back of the victim’s throat.
 Administer warm salt water.

DO NOT induce vomiting if:

 The victim is unconscious.
 The victim swallowed acid or alkali.

                        Summer 2000 G.13
 The victim swallowed petroleum.
 The victim is convulsing.
 The victim has burns on the lips or mouth.

Vomiting only removes ½ the poison, so
you may need to administer activated
charcoal to counteract the remaining

If poisoning is due to gas inhalation….remove victim
from area.

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
 Odorless and colorless gas
 Before entering the area, take a deep breath and don’t
  breathe the gas while removing the victim from the
 After the rescue, check for breathing and administer
  CPR if needed.
 Obtain medical help immediately.

Chemicals or Poisons that come in Contact with Skin
 Wash with large amounts of water
 Remove clothing or jewelry that contains the substance

                       Summer 2000 G.14
 If poisonous plant, wash with soap and water – use
  Calamine or Caladryl (or paste made from baking soda
  and water.)
 Obtain medical help

For insect bite, sting or snakebite…
 If possible, hold part below level of the heart
 Remove the stinger and wash the area with soap and
 Apply sterile dressing & cold pack
 Monitor the victim and give CPR if needed
 Watch for allergic reaction
 Treat for shock

                      Summer 2000 G.15
Providing First Aid for Burns

 Caused by fire, heat, chemicals, radiation or

First-degree (superficial)
 Involves only the epidermis
 Heals in 5-6 days
 No scarring
 Skin red, mild swelling
 Victim feels pain
 Usually caused by the sun, hot objects or steam, or
   exposure to weak acid/alkali

Second-degree (partial thickness)
 Epidermis and dermis
 Blister or vesicle forms
 Skin red and mottled with
 Surface appears wet
 Very painful
 Usually caused by sun, sunlamp,
   contact with hot or boiling liquids,
   contact with fire.

                        Summer 2000 G.16
Third-degree (full thickness)
 Injury to all layers and underlying tissue
 Area has white or charred appearance
 Can be extremely painful or painless (if nerve
   endings destroyed
 Usually caused by flames, prolonged contact with hot
   objects, contact with electricity, immersion in hot or
   boiling liquids.

                       Summer 2000 G.17
Treatment for burns:
 Remove source of heat
 Cool affected skin area
 Cover the burn
 Relieve pain
 Observe and treat for shock

Medical care should be obtained if more than 15% of
adult body burned. (10% of a child)

DO NOT apply cotton, tissues, ointment, powders, oils,
grease, butter, or other substances to the burned area
unless you are instructed to do so by a physician.

DO NOT break open blisters. (Why?)

Call for help immediately if 3rd-degree burns.

Dehydration can occur quickly with burns.
Be alert to signs of shock.
Remain calm and reassure burn victim.

                       Summer 2000 G.18
Bone and Joint Injuries

 Break in a bone
 Closed or simple – does not break the
 Compound or open – accompanied by
  open wound on skin

Main facts regarding fractures
1. Signs and symptoms vary
2. Common signs and symptoms include deformity,
   limited (loss of) motion, pain and tenderness at
   fracture site, swelling and discoloration, protrusion of
   bone ends
3. Victim may have heard a snap or feel a grating
                 4. Treatment includes immobilizing above
                    and below fracture, treat for shock

                        Summer 2000 G.19
 When the end of a bone moves out of the joint
 Usually accompanied by tearing/stretching of
 Signs and symptoms include deformity, limited or
  abnormal movement, swelling, discoloration, pain,
  tenderness, shortening or lengthening of affected arm
  or leg
 Treatment similar to fractures – immobilize affected
  area, do not attempt to reduce the dislocation

 Injury to tissues surrounding a joint when the part is
  forced beyond its normal ROM
 Ligaments, tendons and other tissues stretched or torn
 Usually ankle or wrist
 Symptoms similar to fracture and dislocation
 Treatment includes application of cold, elevation of
  affected part, and rest.

 Overstretching of muscle – frequently the back
 Signs/symptoms include sudden pain, swelling and/or
 Treatment aimed at resting affect muscle

                       Summer 2000 G.20
Providing First Aid for Sudden Illness

Heart Attack

 Also called coronary thrombosis, coronary occlusion,
  or myocardial infarction
 Blood supply to heart is
 If heart stops beating,
  CPR must be performed
 Signs and symptoms may
  include – chest pain or
  pressure, pain radiating to shoulders, arms, neck or
 Shortness of breath
 Cyanosis
 Victim weak and apprehensive
 May also have nausea, vomiting, diaphoresis, loss of
 Encourage the victim to relax, place him/her in a
  comfortable position, and obtain medical help

                      Summer 2000 G.21
Cerebrovascular Accident (Stroke)

 Also called CVA, apoplexy, or cerebral thrombosis
 Either a clot in a cerebral artery or hemorrhage of a
  blood vessel in the brain
 Signs/symptoms include numbness, paralysis, pupils
  unequal in size, mental confusion, slurred speech,
  nausea, vomiting, difficulty breathing and
  swallowing, and loss of consciousness.

     Always remember that although the
     patient may be unable to speak or may
     be unconscious, he/she may be able to
     hear and understand what is going on.

                      Summer 2000 G.22

 Temporary reduction of blood supply to the brain

 Victim regains consciousness after being in a supine
 Early signs – dizziness, extreme pallor, diaphoresis,
  coldness of the skin, nausea, numbness and tingling
  of hands and feet
 When symptoms noticed, help the victim sit with the
  head at the level of the knees
 If the victim loses consciousness, try to prevent
  injury, loosen clothing, maintain open airway

                       Summer 2000 G.23

 Seizure
 Occurs in conjunction with high body temperature,
  head injuries, brain disease, and brain disorders such
  as epilepsy
 Body muscles become rigid followed by jerking
 During the seizure, victim may stop breathing, bite
  their tongue, lose bladder and bowel control, and
  injure body parts
 Face and lips develop a bluish color
 Victim loses consciousness
 When victim regains consciousness, he/she may be
  confused, disoriented and complain of headache
 First aid directed toward preventing self injury –
  remove dangerous objects, provide pillow under the
 Do NOT place anything between the victims teeth
 Do NOT use force to restrain or stop muscle
 When the convulsion is over, allow the victim to rest
 Obtain medical help if seizure lasts more than one
  minute or injury occurs

Diabetic Coma
                       Summer 2000 G.24
 Caused by an increase in the level of glucose in the
 A result of an excess intake of
  sugar, failure to take insulin,
  or insufficient production of
 Signs: Confusion, weakness
  or dizziness, nausea or
  vomiting, rapid, deep
  respirations, flushed skin, and fruity smelling breath
 Victim will lose consciousness and die if not treated
 Obtain medical treatment as quickly as possible

Insulin Shock

 Caused by an excess amount of insulin (low level of
  glucose in bloodstream)
 A result of failure to eat or too much insulin
 Signs: Muscle weakness, mental confusion,
  restlessness or anxiety, diaphoresis, pale, moist skin,
  hunger pains, palpitations
 If victim conscious, give sweetened drink or sugar
 Avoid giving victim hard candy if confused
 If victim loses consciousness, get medical help

Dressings and

                        Summer 2000 G.25
Dressing = sterile covering over wound or injured part

Bandages = materials to hold dressing in place, secure
splints, and support body parts

 Roller gauze bandages
 Triangular bandage
 Elastic (Ace) bandages

After bandage applied,
check to be sure it is not
too tight
(Check circulation by
pressing lightly on
nailbeds to make them
turn white. Color
should return to nailbeds

                        Summer 2000 G.26

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