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assignment on first aid

World First Aid Day started in the year 2000. The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) introduced it to raise global awareness of how first aid can save people’s lives in everyday situations. It occurs on the second Saturday of September every year. It provides an opportunity for citizens to understand they can quickly learn skills that could save someone’s life. First aid is the assistance given to any person suffering a sudden illness or injury,with care provided to preserve life, prevent the condition from worsening, and/or promote recovery. It includes initial intervention in a serious condition prior to professional medical help being available, such as performing CPR while awaiting an ambulance, as well as the complete treatment of minor conditions, such as applying a plaster to a cut. First aid is generally performed by the layperson, with many people trained in providing basic levels of first aid, and others willing to do so from acquired knowledge. First aid skills not only give your students the ability to save a life – knowing how to respond in an emergency can also boost confidence, self esteem, teamwork and communication skills.

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How to Administer First Aid

What to do in 10 types of medical emergencies

assignment on first aid

Rod Brouhard is an emergency medical technician paramedic (EMT-P), journalist, educator, and advocate for emergency medical service providers and patients.

assignment on first aid

Michael Menna, DO, is board-certified in emergency medicine. He is an attending emergency medicine physician at White Plains Hospital in White Plains, New York and also works at an urgent care center and a telemedicine company that provides care to patients across the country.

First aid is the immediate care a sick or injured person gets. In some cases, it may be the only care a person needs. In others, first aid is a way to prevent a person's condition from worsening and keep them alive until paramedics arrive or they are taken to the hospital.

The best way to prepare for these events is to get official first aid training. In the meantime, there are some basic life-saving steps that you can learn.

This article goes over the first aid steps to follow in 10 different situations and how to tell if more care is needed.

Stevica Mrdja / Getty Images

ABCs of First Aid

If someone is unconscious or unresponsive, the basic principle of first aid that you need to know is ABC : airway, breathing, and circulation .

A simpler version of the ABCs is:

Some first aid courses also include D and E :

Where to Get First Aid Training

Taking a formal CPR class will help you become familiar with doing chest compressions, rescue breathing, and using an AED. You can find courses from the American Red Cross , your local community first responders, and online.

First Aid for a Stopped Heart

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is one of the most important emergency medical procedures that a person can know.

If a person’s heart is not beating, they could die. When a person is in cardiac arrest , doing CPR and/or using an AED could save their life.

AEDs are available in many public areas and businesses. These first aid devices are made to be easy to use even if you have no training.

If you think someone is in cardiac arrest, there are four steps you can take to help them.

First Aid for Bleeding

Zero Creatives / Getty Images 

If someone is injured and bleeding, there are a few basics about how blood works that will be helpful for you to know.

The color of the blood and how it’s leaving the body can give you a sense of the extent of the injury:

Almost all bleeding can be controlled with first aid. If severe bleeding keeps going, a person can go into shock and may die.

While it is important to stop bleeding, begin with the ABCs of first aid.

The next steps are to:

Get medical help if:

If you are taking the person to the hospital, make sure that you have someone else who can keep administering first aid while you drive.

First Aid for Choking

Science Photo Library / Getty Images 

Choking happens when a person’s windpipe ( trachea ) gets blocked by food or an object. It is a serious event that can lead to unconsciousness or even death.

Signs of choking include:

Using the Heimlich Manuever

The Heimlich maneuver is a series of abdominal thrusts that can help dislodge the thing a person is choking on. This first aid technique should only be done if someone is truly choking.

Before doing anything, ask the person if they are choking. Remember: If someone is coughing or talking, they are not choking.

If someone is choking, you should know how to use the Heimlich maneuver .

Here are the steps:

For someone who is obese or pregnant, perform the thrusts around the chest instead of the abdomen.

If someone is choking and becomes unconscious:

Helping a Choking Infant

If a baby is choking, you need to use different first aid techniques to help them.

Start with back blows:

If back blows don’t work, try chest thrusts:

If a choking infant loses consciousness, you may need to do CPR until emergency help arrives.

First Aid for Burns

The first step to treating a burn is to stop the burning process.

This might mean:

The  severity of a burn  is based on how deep in the skin it is and how big it is:

Major burns need emergency medical attention. Once you’ve stopped the burning process, call 911 or get someone else to.

For burns that are not an emergency, you can take these first aid steps:

First Aid for Blisters

Rattanakorn Songrenoo / Getty Images

Blisters protect damaged skin while it heals.

Some blisters need to be treated and others don’t. Whether you need to treat a blister depends on how bad it is and your overall health.

If the blister is small, not open, and doesn’t hurt, it’s best to leave it alone. You can cover it to prevent rubbing, which could cause it to swell and burst.

Do not pop a blister, as this could let bacteria get inside it and cause an infection.

If the blister is big or painful, you need to take different steps to treat it.

Here are the first aid steps to take for a more serious blister:

If you have a compromised immune system , you are more likely to get an infection and should not drain a blister on your own. However, your healthcare provider may want to drain it to help prevent infection.

If a blister breaks open on its own:

Change the bandage any time it gets wet. Take it off when you go to bed to give the area a chance to air out.

First Aid for a Broken Bone or Fracture

Odilon Dimier / Getty Images

Any injury to your limbs, hands, and feet needs to be treated as a broken bone until an X-ray can be done.

While broken bones or fractures do need medical treatment, they do not all require an emergency trip to the hospital. First aid steps can help stabilize the bone until you can see a healthcare provider.

In some cases, you will need emergency medical care to deal with a broken bone.

Call 911 if:

Otherwise, you can use first aid, then go to urgent care or contact your healthcare provider for guidance.

Here’s what to do next:

Some research has shown that non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like Advil and Aleve can slow bone healing. However, short-term NSAID use appears to have little or no effect on healing.

First Aid for Sprains

Adam Burn / Getty Images

A sprain is an injury to the connective tissues that hold bones, cartilage , and joints together ( ligaments ).

Sprains are most often caused when the twisting of a joint overstretches or tears these tissues. They tend to happen in the ankles and wrists.

The symptoms of a sprain are similar to those of a broken bone. A person will need to have an X-ray to figure out which injury they have.

The first thing to do is make sure that the injured person stops any unnecessary activity, as moving can make the injury worse.

Sprains often don’t require emergency treatment. However, you should get immediate medical care if the injured person:

If emergency care is not needed, follow these first aid steps:

First Aid for Nosebleeds

KidStock / Getty Images

The most common cause of a nosebleed is digital trauma—better known as picking your nose.

Other causes of a bloody nose include:

Many of these things dry out or damage the delicate membranes in your nostrils, causing them to get crusty and burst when irritated.

First aid for a nosebleed has a few simple steps.

If your nose is bleeding:

In some cases, you will need to let your provider know if you have a bloody nose.

Call your provider if:

You might need to seek emergency medical care for a bloody nose.

Call 911 or go to the emergency room if:

First Aid for Frostbite

Dean Mitchell / Getty Images

Frostbite happens when the body’s tissues freeze deeply in the cold. This is the opposite of a burn, but the damage it does to your skin is almost the same.

Treating frostbite involves carefully and gradually warming the affected area. If at all possible, it should only be done by a medical professional.

If that’s not possible, or while you’re waiting for an ambulance, you can begin first aid for frostbite.

For small areas of minor frostbite, you can also warm the area with skin-to-skin contact (putting your skin on someone else’s).

Get emergency treatment if the skin is hard and begins turning white.

First Aid for Bee Stings

HAYKIRDI / Getty Images

Bee stings can hurt a lot but be only a minor problem for many people. However, for people who are allergic to bee venom, a sting can be deadly.

An allergy can develop at any time—that’s why it’s important to always watch for an allergic reaction after a bee sting.

Signs of an allergic reaction to a sting include:

Call 911 immediately or get the person to the hospital if they have signs of an allergic reaction to a bee sting.

If the person who was stung has a known allergy to bee stings, use an EpiPen to prevent anaphylaxis.

In someone without a known bee allergy, watch for signs of an allergy while you’re performing first aid:

If you can get formal first aid training, that’s the best way to know what to do if a medical emergency happens to you, a loved one, or even a stranger.

Even without formal training, it helps to know the ABCs (airway, breathing, and circulation) and how to do CPR.

Attempting to provide first aid care is often better than doing nothing. Sometimes, acting quickly can save a person’s life.

Frequently Asked Questions

CPR, the Heimlich maneuver, and assessing and treating minor injuries like wounds, burns, sprains, and broken bones are common first aid procedures covered in a basic first aid course.

This is best left to healthcare professionals, as there are big risks to using a tourniquet—even when it’s done the right way. However, if direct pressure is not stopping the bleeding and a person’s life is in danger, anyone can make a tourniquet using a belt or torn piece of fabric.

American Red Cross. What is AED?

American Heart Association. Saving lives: why CPR AED training matter .

Charlton NP, Pellegrino JL, Kule A, et al. 2019 American Heart Association and American Red Cross focused update for first aid: presyncope: an update to the American Heart Association and American Red Cross guidelines for first aid . Circulation . 2019;140(24):e931-e938. doi:10.1161/CIR.0000000000000730

AlSabah S, Al Haddad E, AlSaleh F. Stop the bleed campaign: a qualitative study from our experience from the middle east .  Ann Med Surg (Lond) . 2018;36:67-70. doi:10.1016/j.amsu.2018.10.013

Nemours Foundation. First aid: cuts .

National Library of Medicine: MedlinePlus. Bleeding .

Johns Hopkins Medicine. Choking and the Heimlich maneuver .

National CPR Foundation. Choking, hypothermia & dehydration .

National Library of Medicine: MedlinePlus. Choking - infant under 1 year .

American Burn Association. Initial first aid treatment for minor burns .

National Library of Medicine: MedlinePlus. Burns .

Hyland EJ, Connolly SM, Fox JA, Harvey JG. Minor burn management: potions and lotions .  Aust Prescr . 2015;38(4):124-127. doi:10.18773/austprescr.2015.041

National Library of Medicine: MedlinePlus. Minor burn - aftercare .

Cleveland Clinic. Blisters: caues, treatments — and why you should never pop them .

Michigan Medicine. Blister care .

National Library of Medicine: MedlinePlus. Broken bone .

Wheatley BM, Nappo KE, Christensen DL, Holman AM, Brooks DI, Potter BK.  Effect of NSAIDs on bone healing rates: a meta-analysis .  J Am Acad Orthop Surg . 2019;27(7):e330-e336. doi:10.5435/JAAOS-D-17-00727

Cleveland Clinic. Sprains of the ankle, knee, and wrist .

Nemours Foundation. First aid: strains and sprains .

Cleveland Clinic. Nosebleed (epistaxis) .

Nemours Foundation. Nosebleeds .

Beck R, Sorge M, Schneider A, Dietz A. Current approaches to epistaxis treatment in primary and secondary care .  Dtsch Arztebl Int . 2018;115(1-02):12-22. doi:10.3238/arztebl.2018.0012

Nemours Foundation. First aid: frostbite .

American College of Allergy, Asthma, & Immunology. Insect sting allergies .

American Red Cross. First aid steps .

American Red Cross. Sof tourniquet .

By Rod Brouhard, EMT-P Rod Brouhard is an emergency medical technician paramedic (EMT-P), journalist, educator, and advocate for emergency medical service providers and patients.

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First Aid Scenarios and Discussion Answers

5. Check the victim for other injuries and keep him calm until help arrives.

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assignment on first aid

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