First Aid Training: Knowing the Basics

When emergency calls for quick action – and it sure does, it gets down to the basics. Knowing the basics of first aid is crucial to getting the action done.

The fundamentals of first aid are contained in A, B, C which stands for Airway, Breathing and Circulation. The ABC of first aid is the first important thing to consider before checking for responsiveness and calling for help.

A person’s airway is checked to determine whether the victim is conscious or unconscious. If a victim is conscious, request that he or she utter a word. This is because the ability of a person to speak directly correlates with an airway. A blocked airway suppresses a person’s ability to speak. Unconscious victims, quite the reverse, require a closer examination. Put your ear close to the victim’s mouth and listen for signs of breathing, or feel for air on your cheek. See if the chest or the abdomen is rising with each breath.

If you perceive that the victim is breathing normally, place him or her in the recovery position. However, at the instant that you do not feel of hear normal breathing immediately initiate the CPR.

Although you may to be able to, at once, determine the possible causes of a person’s unconsciousness, it may be due to any of the following: seizures, poisoning, alcohol or drug intoxication, dehydration, overdose, illness – such as diabetes, or infection.

After you have determined if the victim’s airway is clear and he or she is responding and breathing, determine if the victim has adequate circulation.

You can check if the victim has signs of circulation by looking at the victim’s skin color and feeling his or her skin temperature. If you notice that circulation is absent and the victim is not responding at all, start the CPR immediately. If the victim sustained injuries and bleeding, follow the steps to control bleeding and call the assistance of an ambulance.

If the victim remains unconscious and you have tried your best to rouse the person, but to no avail, consider it as an indicator of a serious medical emergency. Do not delay calling your area’s Emergency Line or the medics for an ambulance response. If you happen to be out of the house, make sure that you mobile phone can directly connect a call to an Emergency Line.

While waiting for the rescue team to arrive, continue to gather the victim’s personal medical information. Make sure that the area and the immediate surroundings where the victim is located are passable and clear from obstructions and distractions. This way the emergency crews and their equipments can move without restraint. Move cars and furniture out of the way to allow access with a gurney. If the location is inside the house, you should lock up the dogs or other pets and turn on the lights especially in the porch area. Have someone assist you in meeting the emergency crews and guide them to the location of the victim. While doing all the preparations, do not forget to keep an eye on the victim.

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