10 Basic First Aid Tips

Knowledge of these 10 basic first aid tips means safety at both home and work. Keep a small first aid kit at home, work and in the car and familiarize yourself with the supplies; it could save a life. The American and British Red Cross offer classes and online instruction to practice basic first aid procedures.

  1. Apply pressure to stop bleeding wounds. Check for any embedded objects in the would and, if nothing is found, apply pressure. If there is an embedded object, apply pressure on either inside of the wound to stop the bleeding. 

  2. Talk to the person before taking any action. If the person is alert and able to talk, find out some basic information that may help in treatment.

  3. Avoid touching a wound with your bare hands. Hands are loaded with germs and bacteria that can infect the wound. If gloves aren't available and there is time, wash your hands with soap and hot water before providing any treatment.

  4. If alone, make the call for help before beginning any treatment. This first aid tip allows emergency responders to get on the road while you're providing basic assistance. Saving time may save a life.

  5. Yell out for help. A helper is needed for many basic first aid treatments. At a minimum, an assistant can make the call for help. 

  6. New CPR recommendations eliminate the need for breathing assistance. No need to do the breaths for someone not breathing. Chest compressions are the key. The American Red Cross offices provide CPR training classes and online videos showing the basic procedure. Children have saved siblings and friends from watching cartoon characters do basic CPR on television. It's not hard, but the basic steps need to be followed.

  7. Don't destroy or remove clues to the problem, even if it means later legal problems. Tossing a bottle of pills may cost a life. Emergency responders need to know the type of poisoning to determine the treatment. 

  8. Observe the clues first, then act. Emergency help means recording basic information. Look for rashes, determine any changes in skin color, markings on the eyes or discoloration in the mouth. First responders on the scene can use this information to help in treatment. Keep an eye on the clock to note when the changes take place. 

  9. Stay calm. This basic first aid tip is the most important factor in helping a person in distress. Hysterical people only create additional tension and fear.

  10. Make the person comfortable. Don't move anything, including the person, unless there is danger. If your basic first aid skills are lacking or non-existent, do the minimum. Cover the victim with blankets to prevent shock and talk calmly to the victim to relieve any anxiety. Keep the victim calm and comfortable and avoid talking about the injury. If the wounded person asks about the injury, explain that trained help is on the way and ask the victim about family or pets to divert attention.


British Red Cross: First Aid Tips

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