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First Aid Training

Updated on July 22, 2013

Why should you help.

All too often people do not lend a helping hand to those in need. Whether it is due to time constraints, a lack of understanding of the situation or maybe you just plain don't know how to help. We are often scared that we could injure the person more or embarrass ourselves by stepping up in the wrong situation or even put ourselves in harms way. This is very true but there are also some simple guidelines to follow to better prepare yourself in an emergency situation and feel more confident in your ability to understand the situation and proceed with caution. Often it is friends, family and acquaintances that will need your help.

Caution: This is meant to be a brief overview of what I learned about First Aid as of December 2009. The requirements for First Aid are constantly changing so I suggest that you make sure to find updates via the American Red Cross Website and enroll in a First Aid course in order to become certified.

Check out my other sites

- Intro to Anatomy ( Bones)

- Intro to Anatomy (Muscles)

- Basic Medical Terminology

- Anatomy Resources



-Check Scene Size-up ( I'm #1, what happened, dont get any on me, any more, dead or alive)

-Standard precautions ( prevent disease with soap and using protective equipment)

-911 is available ( if it is too dangerous or you are not sure, it doesn't hurt to call)

---Info to have (location, phone number, pertinent information about the victim(s) or situation)

-First Aid Kit ( American Red Cross Basic Kit Supplies )


Obtaining Consent:

--Conscious Adult: They have the right to accept or refuse care (Tell them your name, training level and what care you will perform)

--Conscious Child: Get permission from a parent or guardian.

--Unconscious/Unable to communicate: Consent is implied.

Good Samaritan Law:

This law states that if you help a person with good intentions you cannot be sued for those actions. As long as you:

-Get consent as stated above

-Check for life threatening emergencies

-Move the victim only when necessary,

-Give only your training level of care,

-Call 911 if necessary (fatal injuries)


Scene Size-up (1,2,3,4,5)

Initial Assessment (A,B,C)

Further Assessment (S,A,M,P,L,E)


First, Keep yourself safe or you could make the situation worse.

Before entering the scene here are the steps to take to make sure you remain calm, know what you are doing and remain safe.

1) I'm # 1

2) What the heck happened to you?

3) Don't get any on me.

4) Any more?

5) Dead or Alive?

1) I'm #1

When you see an accident or injury occur it is important to keep your own health and safety, first priority. If the conditions are too dangerous find another way to help. An added casualty can make a bad situation worse and one injured person is better than two. So use sound judgement before rushing in to save the day. Even if you are not sure how to help or what you can do in dangerous situations calling 911 can get professionals on the scene who are trained to handle dangerous situations.

2) What the heck happened to you?

Use your knowledge of the scene to come up with a plausible scenario for how and why the person is injured. Could there be possible danger in helping this person that wouldn't be initially obvious. Look for ways to prevent further injury to the victim or to yourself.

Ex. If a person is on the floor at the bottom of the stairs holding an injured arm it may be wise to determine what caused the injury and how to prevent a similar injury occurring to you, such as slipping on wet cement.

3) Don't get any on me.

This is the time to look for ways that bodily fluids or other infectious material could harm you or others. The use of gloves with every incident will help you to remain professional and confident in your treatment as well as help the victim to feel more comfortable that you know what you are doing. Plus there is the added benefit of preventing fluid exchange which lead to a serious disease for either individual. If gloves are not available look for alternate ways to prevent fluid transmission such as a piece of clothing, garbage bags, etc....

4) Any more?

Sometimes the shock of coming upon a scene can make you forget about what is around you. This is a way to make sure you have not missed some vital information about the cause of injury or another person that may be in need. Sometimes there is more than one injured person and deciding who gets priority treatment can save a life. Both may be injured but one may need immediate care to improve chances of survival.

5) Dead or Alive?

Make judgments about the well-being of the individual(s). Whether they are able to breathing, talking, moving, etc.. This can give clues to how quickly they need attention and who should take priority if there are several hurt individuals.


Second, ABCs are life threats which must be addressed quickly.

Check out the new standards for CPR

Airway: Is there something lodged that may prevent breathing or a potential hazard (gum).

-Check for an obstruction, remove gum or any other items from the mouth.

Breathing: How are they breathing, are they breathing, Do they need rescue breaths?

-Bring your ear next to their mouth. Listen for breath and look for chest rise and fall.

Cardiac: How is their pulse, do they need CPR?

-Can check the pulse on the thumb side of the wrist.

Count 30 seconds of breathing and pulse (x2)

Multiply x2 to find the victims resting rates (in one minute).

Normal Values in one minute

Respirations: 12-20

Pulse (bpm): 60-80


Here is more information to gather while you wait for help to arrive.

Signs and Symptoms (facts: headache, pain in right arm, shortness of breath,etc...)

Allergies (ex. drug, natural or food: milk, bee stings, poison oak, aspirin, etc..)

Medications (ex. drugs and supplements: multivitamin, aspirin, oxycodone, etc..)

Past medical history (ex. recent surgeries and medical problems)

Last in and out (ex. Food/Bathroom history: when did you eat, when did you use the toilet)

Events leading up to it ( ex. activity, sport, running, etc..)


It is important as a first responder to carefully consider all aspects of a persons injury since often more than one system or area can be injured. When investigating the injury it is important to know a little bit about anatomy and what underlying structures could be effected.

-Body Systems


-----Purpose: O2 goes in and CO2 goes out (necessary for metabolic function)

-----Organs: Lungs, Airways, Bronchioles, Aveoli, etc..


-----Purpose: To send nutrients/O2 towards cells and remove waste/CO2 from cells.

-----Organs: Heart, arteries, blood, veins, etc..


-----Purpose: stimulus/response system that communicates throughout the body.

-----Organs: Brain, Spinal cord, neurons, etc..


-----Purpose: Move the body (muscles), Hold its shape (bones) and protect internal structures

-----Organs: Skeletal muscle (biceps brachii, rectus femoris, etc..), Bones (femur, ulna, etc..)


-----Purpose: Hold it all in, ultimate protective layer, temperature regulation (sweat, etc)

-----Organs: Your skin, hair follicles, sweat glands, etc..


-----Purpose: Messengers sent throughout the body in the blood stream.

-----Organs: Glands and Hormones


-----Purpose: Obtain nutrients from food and remove wastes from the body.

-----Organs: stomach, colon, intestine, mouth, etc..


-----Purpose: Reproduction, Having babies (kidney: filters blood and removes wastes)

-----Organs: Male (scrotum, penis, etc..) female (ovaries, uterus, vagina, etc..), kidney

Learn more about the body with my other lenses

-Intro to Anatomy (BONES)

-Intro to Anatomy (MUSCLES)

-Intro to Anatomy (BRAIN/NERVES)

-Basic Medical Terminology

-Body Cavities


-Protection: Sturdy skull, CSF surrounds brain acting as a shock absorber and nutrient bath.

-Organs: Brain, location of regulatory systems, glands, hormone and nervous response


-Protection: Sturdy vertebrae allow for movement and hold the spinal cord inside.

-Organs: Spinal cord, important for neural impulses sent to and from the body


-Protection: ribcage contains internal organs, limited movement

-Organs: Lungs, Heart, Major Veins and Arteries.


-Protection: strong muscles and lots of movement, no bone protection

-Organs: digestion, lots of internal organs with decreased protection


-Protection: Very sturdy bone structure, limited movement

-Organs: Bladder, Reproductive organs

Learn more about the body with my other lenses

-Intro to Anatomy (BONES)

-Intro to Anatomy (MUSCLES)

-Intro to Anatomy (BRAIN/NERVES)

-Basic Medical Terminology

Open Wound


An injury to the skin resulting in a opening in the skin surface. It can be deep, shallow and have varied degrees of bleeding depending on location and severity of the damage.


-Place a sterile pad (dressing) on the wound site while applying direct pressure to the effected area.

-Use a some kind of clean material (bandage) to wrap around the dressing to to hold it in place.


Respiratory System

Anaphalaxis (extreme allergies)



COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease)



Pneumothorax (open or closed)

Poison (inhalation)

Stridor (barking cough)

Cardiovascular System


Heart Attack (Myocardial Infarction)

Wounds (puncture, impaled object, laceration, abrasion, avulsion, amputation, contusion)

Integumentary System


Wounds (puncture, impaled object, laceration, abrasion, avulsion, amputation, contusion)

Wound Infection




Burns (electrical, chemical, thermal, radiation)(superficial, partial thickness, full thickness)

Poison (absorption)

Decubitus ulcer (pressure sore)

Musculoskeletal System

Head Injury

Spinal Injury

Broken bone

Ligament Sprain

Tendon Strain

Bone Dislocation

Bone Fracture (closed or open)

Digestive System

Dysintery (extreme diarrhea)

Ulcers (caused by stress and bacteria)


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