The ABCD of First Aid
A is for Airway; check that the airway is clear.
B is for Breathing; check that your patient is breathing.
C is for Circulation; check for pulse or heartbeat.
D is for Deadly Bleeding; check for any heavy bleeding.
If you find that the injured has no pulse or isn’t breathing, you will have to administer CPR. Simply pinch the nose, open the mouth and blow into the mouth as you would a balloon. Alternate this with heart massaging: place one hand on top of the other, find the sternum and by using your weight press down firmly yet gently as you might break a rib. Do five of these presses, for every breath you administer.
Locate the exact wound and apply pressure directly to it with a clean dry cloth. Ensure that you exert enough pressure for the bleeding to stop. Once the bleeding has stopped, wrap the wound as tight as possible, without constricting blood flow to other areas of the body.
If the person is unconscious, reach into the mouth with clean fingers to try and unblock the airway. If conscious, bend the person over and with a cupped hand, hit the upper side of their back repeatedly. Alternatively, use the Heimlich maneuver by wrapping your arms around the person from the back, hold your fist with your other hand and perform a jerking motion into the person’s diaphragm.
Immediately place the burned area in cold, running water. Do this for quite a while, and then dress the wound with a clean dry cloth. When removing clothing from a burn wound do it gently and slowly to prevent ripping off pieces of skin.
Approach a drowning victim from the rear, preferably with a floatation device. Be prepared that they might be panicking and push you under water. If this happens, dive downwards. Grip the victim from the rear, swim to shore and administer CPR, if necessary.
Because of the mammalian dive reflex a cold, non-breathing drown victim can still be revived by CPR. If the person is still not breathing when they are warm, then they are dead. So don’t stop too soon just because the person is cold.
Do not induce vomiting! If the person is unconscious, turn them onto their side in the foetal position. Look around for the possible source and keep your eye out for vomit to collect a sample. Get this person to a hospital ASAP!
Heat stroke kills because it is seldom recognized for what it actually is. Look out for confusion, personality changes, fainting spells or if the patient suddenly stops sweating. Move the patient to a cool shady place immediately, remove clothing and cover in wet sheets. Keep them cool by fanning repeatedly and give them water if you can.
Remove any wet clothing, even if you’re still in the cold or outside. Shield the person from any wind and the ground. DO NOT PUT THE PERSON IN HOT WATER! This forces cold blood from the limbs to the vital organs and can be fatal. Warm the torso in any way possible, but do not rub the limbs.