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Definition: Defining the Meaning of First Aid

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Definition: Defining the Meaning of First Aid

First aid is defined as 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 whilst awaiting an ambulance, as well as the complete treatment of minor
conditions, such as applying a plaster to a cut.

Main Document
First aid is the provision of initial care for an illness or injury. It is usually
performed by a lay person to a sick or injured casualty until definitive medical
treatment can be accessed. First aid - the care given before emergency medical
help arrives - can literally mean the difference between life and death. But
knowing the correct thing to do if someone has a nosebleed or cut is also important.
Accidents happen anywhere and anytime.
The first response to an accident is the most important. Often times, first aid
given at the scene can improve the victim's chances of survival and a good
recovery. The right response is better than an incorrect quick one. Any response,
even if it is wrong, is better than none at all.
Certain self-limiting illnesses or minor injuries may not require further medical
 past the first aid intervention. It generally consists of a series of simple
and, in some cases, potentially life-saving techniques that an individual can be
trained to perform with minimal equipment.
The key aims of first aid can be summarized in three key points:
Preserve life - the overriding aim of all medical care, including first aid, is to
save lives

Promote recovery - first aid also involves trying to start the recovery process
from the illness or injury, and in some cases might involve completing a
treatment, such as in the case of applying a plaster to a small wound.

Prevent further harm - also sometimes called prevent the condition from
worsening, this covers both external factors, such as moving a patient away
from any cause of harm, and applying first aid techniques to prevent worsening
of the condition, such as applying pressure to stop a bleed becoming dangerous.

Much of first aid is common sense.
Basic principles, such as knowing to use an adhesive bandage or applying direct
pressure on a bleed, are often acquired passively through life experiences.

However, to provide effective, life-saving first aid interventions requires
instruction and practical training. This is especially true where it relates to
potentially fatal illnesses and injuries, such as those that require cardiopulmonary
resuscitation (CPR); these procedures may be invasive, and carry a risk of further
injury to the patient and the provider.

First aid doesn't take long to learn but can help to save lives.

First aid training is often available through community organizations such as
the Red Cross and St. John Ambulance, or through commercial providers, who
will train people for a fee. St John Ambulance believes that everyone should
learn at least the basic first aid techniques. You may need to use them at any
time at home, at school or work or even while you're traveling. Knowing what
to do can make the difference to a person's recovery and you could even save
their life.

It is important to have a first aid kit available.
Keep one at home and one in your car. It should include a first-aid guide. Read
the guide to learn how to use the items, so you are ready in case an emergency
happens. It is also advised to be prepared for illness while traveling locally or
to a foreign country.

Important Disclaimer: This information is not intended as a substitute for
professional medical advice, emergency treatment or formal first-aid training.
Do NOT use this information to diagnose or develop a treatment plan for a
health problem or disease without consulting a qualified health care provider.
If you're in a life-threatening or emergency medical situation, seek medical
assistance immediately.


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