First Aid

First Aid
•What are the main priorities for assessment and management of first aid
•How should the major types of injuries and medical conditions be
managed in first aid situations?
•What does the individual need to consider in administering first aid?
What are the main priorities for assessment
and management of first aid patients?
Summary of content:
 Setting priorities for managing a first aid situation and assessing the casualty:
- situational analysis
- priority assessment procedures
 Crisis management:
- bleeding
- shock
- neck and spinal injury
- moving the casualty
- medical referral
- care of the unconscious casualty
Setting priorities for managing a first aid situation and
assessing the casualty
The priority when assessing and managing first aid patients is
minimising the harm to:
- yourself
- bystanders
- the casualty
When managing the first aid situation, it is important that the
circumstances and eventual outcomes for the patient are
improved as much as possible. Expediency and appropriate
care here positively affect the individual’s quality of life.
Setting priorities for managing a first aid situation and
assessing the casualty
Situational Analysis
There is a chance that some stage in our life we may be confronted with the
need to resuscitate an individual in a number of different circumstances.
It is important that you are able to deal with this quickly, effectively and
without risk to yourself or others. To do so you need to:
 Analyse the situation – observe what has happened and ask yourself:
‘What's the best I can do for this person in terms of the skills that I
 Plan how to deal with the situation – prioritise your intended actions,
dealing with the most important issues first.
 The main issue with situational analysis is that you don't become a victim
yourself in an effort to assist another person. Always put your safety
Setting priorities for managing a first aid situation and
assessing the casualty
Priority Assessment and Management Procedures
Scenario 1
Scenario: Petrol leaking, dangerous wires, at least 4 casualties, injuries (for example, broken bones, dislocations,
bleeding, spinal injuries), possible fatalities, other cars on the road.
• Dangers: Risk of explosions (petrol and fire), other cars, danger of being electrocuted, broken glass, unstable
structures, fumes, etc
• Priority management – DRABCD
• Call ambulance
• Assess danger – to self, bystanders, casualties.
• Other Traffic -Warn other vehicles, put on Hazard lights, use a bystander to warn oncoming traffic, park a car on the
road a safe distance from the crash
• Damaged Vehicle - be aware of airbags that haven’t gone off, put on handbrake, put vehicle in gear, put bricks or
blocks against wheels to stop it rolling
• Fallen or Damaged Overhead Power lines - Keep away from the cable – do not move, call emergency services.
• Fire Risk - keep bystanders/casualty/self well away, no naked flames or smoking, switch off the ignition
Check for conciousness/unconciousness
Airway management/CPR
Control bleeding
Setting priorities for managing a first aid situation and
assessing the casualty
Scenario 2
Scenario – panic, a variety of swimmers, weak swimmers and non swimmers.
• Dangers – wave size, being caught in the rip as well, being pulled under by
weak, non-swimmers or panicking swimmers.
• Priority Management
- Try to get assistance from lifeguards
- Assess danger – you should only attempt a water rescue if you are a
strong swimmer and the water is not too deep for you.
- Consider the safest rescue options (for example, reach, throw, wade, row,
swim, etc)
- Priotisation/Triage (in a situation like this, this involve assisting those
whose injuries/ condition can be treated quickly)
- If possible, paddle to the victims on a board and with PFDs. The board and
PFDs can be used to keep the victims afloat until help arrives.
Setting priorities for managing a first aid situation and
assessing the casualty
Scenario 3
• Scenario – broken glass, bleeding, lacerations,
panicking, crying, etc
• Dangers – stepping in/being cut by glass, being
infected by blood, etc
• Priority Management
- Call the Ambulance
- Assess dangers to self, casualties, bystanders
- Move casualties away from the glass if possible
- Manage bleeding
Setting priorities for managing a first aid situation and
assessing the casualty
D check for DANGER
• to you
• to other people in the immediate area
• to the casualty
R check for RESPONSE
• is the casualty conscious?
• to check for consciousness ask questions, squeeze their hand
A check AIRWAY
• is the airway open and clear of objects?
• clear and maintain the airway
B check for BREATHING
• is the chest rising and falling?
• can you hear or feel air from the mouth or nose?
• if breathing is absent give two initial breaths
C give CPR
• if there are no signs of life – unconscious, not breathing and not moving, apply CPR
• CPR stands for cardiopulmonary resuscitation
• CPR involves giving 30 compressions at a rate of approximately 100 compressions per minute, followed by two breaths
D attach DEFIBRILLATOR (if available)
• follow voice prompts
Setting priorities for managing a first aid situation and
assessing the casualty
Stop the person from moving. It may be necessary to stop the sport or activity. Are there any dangers?
Talk to the injured person. Ask them questions to ascertain the type and severity of the injury.
Questions may include:
• What happened?
• Where does it hurt?
• Can you move the affected area or body part?
Observe the patient and the injured area. Look for facial expressions of pain, look for swelling or
deformity and feel for pain or tenderness. Ask yourself questions such as:
• Does the patient look distressed?
• Is there swelling, bleeding or bruising?
• Are there any deformities?
Prevent further injury by conducting a whole of body assessment and treating the injury with
appropriate first aid.
Setting priorities for managing a first aid situation and
assessing the casualty
Whole of Body Assessment
Crisis Management
Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR)
Refer to pages 13 & 14 of your exercise booklet and read through the table.
Crisis Management
1. Use DRABC action plan.
2. Apply direct pressure by holding a pad or dressing firmly
over the site.
3. Lay casualty down and elevate injury.
4. Rest the injured area.
5. Do not give patient anything by mouth, particularly asprin
as this tends to increase the rate of bleeding.
6. Loosen tight clothing.
7. Seek medical advice.
Crisis Management
Is a condition where the body closes off the blood supply to the extremities (arms, legs and skin) to ensure enough oxygen reaches vital
- Blood loss.
- Fluid loss e.g. Dehydration.
- Being involved in an accident.
- Paleness and cold clammy skin.
- Weak rapid pulse.
- Rapid shallow breathing.
- Nausea and faintness.
1. Utilise DRABCD action plan.
5. Dress any wounds or burns.
2. Reassure the patient.
6. Loosen restrictive clothing, particularly around the neck.
3. Seek medical advice.
7. Keep casualty comfortable.
4. In the absence of a fracture raise legs above the level of the heart.
Crisis Management
Neck and Spinal Injury
Signs and Symptoms:
 Loss of movement in the hands and/or legs.
 Pain in the neck and/or back, tingling sensation in the hands or feet.
 Altered sensation, movement or strength in the limbs or trunk.
 Irregular bumps on the neck or back and slow pulse.
Management Procedures:
 Reassure patient.
 Loosen any tight clothing.
 Do not move them. Support head and apply a cervical collar if one is available.
 Seek medical attention. Monitor casualty closely until help arrives.
 If casualty is unconscious, treat patient as if they have a neck and spinal injury and use the
DRABCD procedures.
Crisis Management
Please refer to page 16 of your exercise booklet and read
through the following:
 Moving the Casualty
 Medical Referral
 Care of the Unconscious Casualty
How should the major types of injuries and medical
conditions be managed in first aid situations?
Individuals can sustain a wide range of injuries. It is important
to be able to identify the symptoms for each type of injury
and be familiar with the appropriate management techniques.
You need to pay attention to the environment, listen to the
patient (if conscious) and assess the injured area(s) to
determine the best management technique.
How much do you Know???
Complete the Emergency Care Quiz on pages 18-19 of your
work booklet,
Management of Injuries
Cuts and Lacerations
 Abrasions, open wounds and penetrating wounds.
Signs and Symptoms
 Scraped skin caused by a fall on a hard surface.
 Incisions or lacerations.
 Deep wound from an object, e.g. From a bullet.
 Control bleeding using pressure.
 Cleanse thoroughly.
 Apply clean dressing.
 Seek medical attention.
Management of Injuries
These can be closed (under the skin), open (through the skin) or complicated (where organs are damaged).
Signs and Symptoms
 Sound from the bone breaking.
 Localised pain.
 Swelling and deformity.
 Tenderness.
 Loss of power.
 Difficult to achieve normal range of motion.
 Control bleeding (if any)
 Immobilise with a sling or a splint.
 Observe for shock and treat if necessary.
 Seek medical attention.
Management of Injuries
 Refers to the bone being dislodged from the joint.
Signs and Symptoms
 Swelling, discolouration.
 Pain and deformity.
 Tenderness with an inability to move.
 Support the area.
 Apply ice.
 Elevate if possible.
 Seek medical attention.
Management of Injuries
Head Injuries and Concussion
Trauma to the head
Signs and Symptoms
 Blurred Vision.
 Loss of memory, headache.
 Change in size of the pupil.
 Bleeding from nose or ears.
 Abnormal response to commands.
 Support the head or neck.
 Keep airway open.
 If conscious lay in the lateral position.
 Do not apply pressure to a bleeding head if a skull fracture is suspected.
 Seek medical attention.
Management of Injuries
Eye Injuries
Signs and Symptoms
 Irritation to the eye.
 Watering.
 Redness.
 Pain to the eye itself.
 Inability to open.
 Rubbing and removal of embedded objects must be avoided.
 Lay in the lateral position.
 Cover both eyes.
 Seek medical attention.
Management of Injuries
Nasal Injuries
Signs and Symptoms
 Pain, swelling, deformity and bruising.
 Instruct casualty to breath through the mouth.
 Blowing the nose should be avoided.
 Assume sitting position with head and shoulders leaning forward.
 Apply pressure with the index finger and thumb to the soft part of the
nose just below the bone.
 Apply pressure for approx 10 minutes or until bleeding stops.
 Seek medical attention.
Management of Injuries
Burn Injuries
 These can be caused by fire, chemicals, electricity and radiation.
Signs and Symptoms
 Severe pain, possible swelling.
 Redness, blistering and shock.
 Remove the casualty from the danger or the danger from the casualty.
 Hold burnt area under cold running water.
 Remove jewellery and clothing only if it is not stuck to the skin.
 Seek urgent medical attention.
 Do not brak blisters or apply creams, lotions or adhesive dressings.
Management of Injuries
Teeth Injuries
Signs and Symptoms
 Bleeding from the mouth.
 Dislodged tooth.
 If the tooth has been loosened keep it in place and seek immediate
dental advice.
 If the tooth has been knocked out, re-implant and splint to an adjacent
tooth using aluminium foil. If not possible, place in milk or clean with
the casualties saliva and seek urgent dental assistance.
 Most teeth can be saved if the root is not handled.
Management of Injuries
Signs and Symptoms
 Unconsciousness.
 Electrical wires may be visible.
 Cool burnt area under running water.
 Seek urgent medical advive.
Management of Injuries
Chest Injuries
 These may range from bruised or fractured ribs to lung injuries.
Signs and Symptoms
 Pain usually on breathing and coughing.
 Difficulty in breathing.
 Tenderness when touched.
 Place in a comfortable position.
 Encourage shallow breathing.
 Pad the injured area.
 Seek urgent medical advice.
Management of Injuries
Abdominal Injuries
These are injuries to the stomach and pelvis caused in such instances such as car crashes and tackles
in sport.
Signs and Symptoms
 Shock, pain in the region.
 Nausea or possible vomiting.
 Difficulty in breathing.
 Possible blood in the urine or coming from the anus.
 Loosen clothing in the area e.g. Belts.
 Lie patient on their back, slightly elevate shoulders and bend the knees.
 Do not allow casualty to consume food or drink.
 Seek urgent medical attention.
Management of Injuries
 Apply your new-found knowledge to the case studies on
pages 21-23 of your exercise work booklet.
Management of Medical Conditions
Heart Attack
Signs and Symptoms
 Shortness of breath, difficulty in breathing, excessive
perspiration, irregular heart beat, pain in the chest that can
extend down the neck and arm.
Management Techniques
 DRABCD, seek urgent medical assistance, loosen tight
Management of Medical Conditions
Signs and Symptoms
 Numbness in the face, arm or leg, slurred speech,
disorientation, blurred vision, loss of consciousness.
Management Techniques
 DRABCD, seek urgent medical assistance, make patient
Management of Medical Conditions
Signs and Symptoms
 There are two medical conditions relating to diabetes, hypoglycaemia and
 The signs and symptoms of hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar) include nausea,
confusion, sweating, rapid pulse, shallow breathing.
 Signs and symptoms of hyperglycaemia (high blood sugar) include drowsiness,
rapid pulse, thirst, increased urination, breath has a ‘fruity’ smell.
Management Techniques
 The management techniques for hypoglycaemia include DRABCD, if
unconscious do not give anything by mouth, if conscious patient should be
encouraged to eat or drink glucose e.g. fruit juice, jelly beans.
 The management techniques for hyperglycaemia include DRABCD, seek
medical assistance if the patient is conscious allow them to administer insulin.
Management of Medical Conditions
Signs and Symptoms
 Muscle spasms, rigid body, frothing at the mouth, loss of
bladder control, loss of consciousness.
Management Techniques
 DRABCD, clear obstacle that may cause injury e.g. tables and
chairs, once the seizure has finished, place in recovery
position, monitor patient and reassure them, seek medical
Management of Medical Conditions
Signs and Symptoms
 Breathlessness or difficulty in breathing, wheezing and coughing, tightness in the chest,
rapid pulse, paleness and sweaty skin.
Management Techniques
 The four-step Asthma First Aid is:
 Sit the person upright and give reassurance – do not leave them alone.
 Without delay, give the person four separate puffs of your blue reliever medication
(Airomir, Asmol, Bricanyl, Epaq or Ventolin). This should be taken one puff at a time via
a spacer. Ask the person to take four breaths from the spacer after each puff of
 Wait four minutes. If there is little or no improvement, repeat steps 2 and 3.
 If there is still no improvement, call an ambulance immediately. Dial triple zero (000).
 Repeat steps 2 and 3 continuously while waiting for the ambulance to arrive.
Management of Medical Conditions
Signs and Symptoms
 Difficulty breathing, swelling of the tongue, swelling/tightness in
the throat, difficulty talking/hoarse voice,wheezing or persistant
coughing, loss of conciousness and / or collapse, young children
may appear pale and floppy.
 Abdominal pain or vomting (when associated with an allergic
reaction to an insect sting or bite).
Management Techniques
 Adrenaline is given as an injection using an autoinjector.
Management of Medical Conditions
Signs and Symptoms
 Headache, drowsiness, vomiting, pain, rapid pulse, breath
smells of fumes.
Management Techniques
 DRABCD, in most cases do not induce vomiting, if possible
consult poisoning information on product, seek urgent
medical assistance.
Management of Medical Conditions
Bites and stings
Snake bite
Signs and Symptoms
 Puncture marks, pain, swelling, headache, rapid pulse, difficulty in breathing.
Management Techniques
 DRABCD, reassure the patient, apply a compression bandage over the site and along the limb, immobilise the site,
seek medical assistance.
Funnel-web spider
Signs and Symptoms
 Puncture marks, pain, sweating, difficulty in breathing, nausea, shock.
Management Techniques
 DRABCD, reassure the patient, apply a compression bandage over the site and along the limb, immobilise the site,
seek urgent medical assistance.
Management of Medical Conditions
Redback spider
Signs and symptoms
 Pain, sweating, nausea, joint pain, rapid pulse.
Management Techniques
 DRABCD, reassure the patient, apply ice to the bite site, seek medical assistance.
Bee sting
Signs and symptoms
 Pain at site, swelling.
Management Techniques
 Remove by scraping away stinger (do not squeeze), apply ice to the bite site, seek
medical assistance if allergic reaction occurs.
Management of Medical Conditions
Exposure to extreme heat can result in hyperthermia
Signs and Symptoms
 Cramps, exhaustion, dizziness, nausea, headache, rapid pulse,
Management Techniques
 Place patient in cool shaded area, give sips of water, reduce
body temperature by use of fan or wet towel, seek medical
Management of Medical Conditions
Exposure to extreme cold can result in hypothermia
Signs and Symptoms
 Shivering, fatigue, slurred speech, slow reaction time, slow
pulse, cold skin.
Management Techniques
 Remove wet clothing, wrap the patient in warm clothing,
blankets, sleeping bag etc., use body heat of another person,
do not try to raise body temperature too quickly, provide
warm drinks to sip, seek medical assistance.
What does the individual need to
consider in administering first aid?
Summary of Content:
 Physical Environment
- traffic accidents
- water environments
- electricity
Infection Control and Protection
- blood-borne viruses (Hepatitis B and C)
Legal and Moral Dilemmas
- legal implications e.g. OH&S
- moral obligations e.g. duty of care & responsible citizenship
- common sense versus heroics
Support following first aid situations
- debriefing
- counselling
Physical Environment
The nature of the physical environment may, in part have been responsible for the occurrence of the
accident in the first place. E.g. A drowning may have occurred as a result of a rapidly rising water
level. Or a traffic accident may be due to an oil spill on the road.
Whatever the circumstances, it is important that protective measures be observed and strategies put
into place so that a further injury does not occur.
Read through the information and complete the relevant activities on pages 28-32 of your exercise
Infection Control and Protection
There is a risk of cross infection (passing infection from one person to another) when administering first aid. This is particularly so when
giving CPR or managing wounds.
There are many illnesses that can be transferred, some more serious than others e.g. Colds and influenza, HIV/AIDS, glandular fever,
measles, chicken pox, mumps, herpes and hepatitis B and C to name a few.
Administration of first aid requires measures to be taken to avoid transmission of infection under any circumstances. The first aider must
apply hygienic practices and create a barrier so that the infection cannot pass from one person to another.
The situations that cause most concern are in relation to HIV/AIDS and blood-borne viruses such as hepatitis B and C.
Read through the information and complete the activities on pages 32-33 of your exercise booklets.
Legal and Moral Dilemmas
The legal and moral dilemmas of a first aider giving first aid is of great concern as it can
implicate the practice of providing first aid to a casualty in need.
There are many questions raised in relation to when a first aider is required by law to
provide assistance and in fact if they are legally required at all. Plus if you do, are you
then liable for any personal damage or further injury (that often happens) whilst
providing first aid and saving a casualty’s life?
What seems truly difficult is the moral obligation to assist a fellow human being in need,
particularly when your life is at risk in the situation too. The question raised is when
are you morally obligated? If you are not legally required to assist, are you then
expected to provide first aid from an emotional perspective?
What would a responsible citizen do? And if you were to assist, what emotional impact
would it have on you as an individual? Who is there to support you following a first
aid situation?
To find out more on the above issues, please read through the information on pages 33
and 34 of your exercise booklets.
Support Following First Aid Situations
Regardless of the severity and the outcome of a first aid situation, the action of providing
another person or a group of people with first aid, can have an emotional impact on you.
Not everyone will be affected the same after an incident. Some will be traumatised
emotionally (traumatic stress) straight away, whilst others may not feel the entire
emotional affects until days or even weeks later.
This is why it is integral that anyone involved in assisting during a first aid situation is
provided the opportunity to debrief and then follow up their account with counselling.
First aiders all need to be given the opportunity to deal with their trauma after the situation
in their own way, however, it is important that a supportive safety net has been created
around them to ensure their own health and well-being, particularly after a traumatic
Please read through page 36 of your exercise booklet.
So, what’s your perspective on moral
obligations to providing first aid now????

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