The principles of First Aid are based on the principles of practice of medicine and surgery. The aim of first aid is to preserve life, promote recovery and prevent injury or illness until medical aid is obtained. The responsibilities of First Aider end as soon as medical aid is available. But he must be prepared for further assistance to the doctor if required.
Scope of First Aid
1. Diagnosis: It is determining the nature of the case for intelligent and efficient treatment.
2. Treatment: It is to decide the type of treatment and to apply it suitably to the situation concerned.
3. Disposal: It is arranging for removal of the injured person without further damage or injury to his home or hospital.
In deciding the nature of the case, the First Aider must consider its history, symptoms and signs.
It is the information about how the accident or illness occurred. It may be obtained from the injured person or from witnesses. Sometimes the objects at the surroundings by themselves suggest the cause e.g. a broken bicycle or a damaged car.
They are the sensations such as pain, cold, thirst etc. experienced by the injured. The victim can describe them if he is conscious. Pain is a very important diagnostic point and it draws attention to the part which is in trouble. So it saves a great deal of time of First Aider spent in examination.
They are variations from normal conditions such as pallor, congestion, swelling and deformity. These are reliable indications for diagnosis.
Treatment: The line of treatment in First Aid is:
1. Removal of the cause e.g. removal of log of wood on leg, removal of the victim from gas filled room.
2. First attention is then paid to failure of breathing, bleeding and shock.
3. If it is sure that the victim is alive, treatment is continued until medical treatment is obtained.
The victim should be taken to his home, to the hospital or to a suitable shelter. This should be done as quickly as possible and in a manner suitable to the circumstance. Recovery depends on the quickness with which the victim is brought under medical care. In the meantime message must be sent to the victim’s home or relatives.
Management of a case:
It consists of
1. Quick response:
The First Aider should respond quickly and call for assistance. A prompt action is helpful in the saving of life.
2. Calm and confidence:
The victim must be approached calmly and methodically. Also he must be examined and treated confidently and quickly.
3. Treating injuries:
Obvious injuries and dangerous conditions like failure of breathing, bleeding and shock must be treated first.
4. First aid material:
The first aid material immediately available is used. If a standard material is not available, the available material is improvised to suit the condition
Crowds must be tactfully controlled. Overcrowding deprives the victim of air and also light required for examination. As much as possible, the by standers must be utilized for assistance. If any one in the crowed has a knowledge of first aid his services may be utilized.
The victim must be reassured by speaking to him encouragingly. He must be advised to lie still with minimum movements.