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What is First Aid

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Author: Prepare Now

     Occasionally there occurs an unforeseen or sudden medical emergency while at home, either to one of our own family members or to our neighbors. It could be an accident involving a motor vehicle or while operating equipment. It could even be drowning in water such as a lake or a pond or burns due to fires. In all such emergency situations it becomes quite necessary to know how to give certain immediate treatment for the victim or the sufferer.

      First aid is emergency care given immediately to an injured, wounded or sick person before the services of a Medical Officer can be availed or taken to a hospital for treatment. The main purpose of First Aid is to minimize injury and avoid future disability. In serious cases, first aid may be very essential to keep the victim alive.

      First aid can be administered by a layman or a non-doctor. It involves performing a series of simple, life-saving medical techniques using minimal equipment.

      The principles of First Aid were first introduced by St. John Ambulance, an order formed in 1877, to teach people in large railway centers and mining districts. This training gradually spread throughout the British Empire and Europe.

      It is best to obtain training in First Aid before attending to any medical emergency. One needs practical training by experts to perform first aid safely, and since recommendations or standards change, it is essential that the training should be repeated every three years. Training in first aid is often available through community welfare organizations such as the Red Cross and St. John Ambulance.

      In the United States, the American Heart Association and American CPR Training offer first aid training among various other organizations. There are specific courses available to treat home emergencies or at work places, depending on the nature of the job.

      Many of these courses are accredited by the registered medical bodies like American Heart Association, National Standard Curriculum for Bystander Care and ASTM Standard F 2171-02: Defining the Performance of First Aid Providers in Occupational Settings.

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