Updated: May 16
World First Aid day is marked on the second Saturday of September each year.
Being able to provide correct first aid to someone who is suddenly sick or injured can make an enormous difference. Not only does timely and correct first often keeps the person alive, it can have other impacts as well such as their quality of life after the incident. It can also affect the healing process and scarring.
First aid is not medicine. It can be done by anyone before medical help is available.
When prompt medical care is not available, millions of people are injured and/or die each year world wide.
Established in 2000 by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) World First Aid Day is to try to make first aid skills and knowledge available to everyone and make it a part of an over all strategy to develop safer communities.
Over the years I have heard many peoples fears regarding first aid and their reluctance to make an attempt including:
Only doctors can do that
I might get sued if i do not do it right
I will make the problem worse
My answer to these is this.
First aid is done first, BEFORE professional help is available.
Doctors diagnose the problem and treat it. The role of the first aider is to try to prevent the condition worsening so a doctor can do that.
In a major incident it can become overwhelming and difficult to recall all of the information provided in a first aid manual but if you approach it with this attitude it becomes simpler.
Choose the one thing that can cause the most harm to this person right now and try to address that. The priorities are breathing and bleeding.
If a person has multiple injuries and they are not breathing normally, and unresponsive, they need CPR. If a person is bleeding heavily, that needs to be stopped.
If someone feels overwhelmed by the situation my suggestion is this:
Keep them breathing, stop the bleeding and stabilise everything else until help is available.