Basic First Aid

Thousands of people die each year from accidents and emergencies, in many cases these deaths could have been prevented by using first aid.

First aiders are taught to use DRSABC, an acronym.

D: Danger

First, first aiders should assess the situation before them. If the situation will cause them any danger they should not proceed.

R: Response

If safe, a first aider should talk loudly or possibly shout, to attempt to gain the casualties attention. They should also tap on the casualties collar bones.

S: Shout for Help

The first aider should now attempt to shout for help in order to attract attention and have someone call an ambulance if the patient is unconscious/ unresponsive.

A: Airway

In order to check a casualties airway, first open it by placing two fingers on their chin and your other hand on the casualties forehead, opening up their neck. This allows the airway to be opened. It is vital to check for any obvious obstruction, in children this can be food or toys, in adults it may not be as obvious.

B: Breathing

Then lay your head parallel to the casualty and look down their body to see if their chest is moving up and down. At this point you should be able to feel the heat of the casualties breath on your cheek if they are breathing, hear it and see the chest moving.

C: Circulation

Touch the extremities of the casualty by touching their arms, body and legs in order to see if their are any objects sticking out of the casualty. If there is heavy bleeding a bandage is necessary.


However, if the patient is not breathing as their airways may be blocked, immediate attention is required. For an adult two rescue breaths should be given by, keeping the air way open and then pinching the nose of the casualty and breathing in.

Then, 30 chest compressions are done, at around 2 inches deep. It is vital that the compressions are hard enough to actually have an effect, yet not too hard to cause serious damage. If a rib is broken during the course of the CPR, this is fine, however in geriatric and younger casualties this can lead to complications later.

In children, five rescue breaths are given and the CPR is given by only using one hand rather than the two for adults.

In some cases a casualty may be conscious and require bandaging, in these cases a first aider may proceed to do so. If there is protruding flesh bandages are used to secure the object taking care to not move it too much to prevent further damage.


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