First Aid tips
Have you ever done a First Aid course? They are so important, especially for practitioners working with young children and women who may at risk of harm.
Below are some First Aid tips that practitioners can reflect upon and consider using if they ever need to. This page will describe the DRS ABCD method of emergency First Aid reponse.
The use of the DRS ABCD method is different for infants and children than it is to adults. Please read carefully.
Please note: It is in no way used to replace First Aid training, and should not be considered the only information needed to understand and carryout First Aid. Please contact an agency that provides specialised and accredited First Aid training.
"D" is for Danger
Before ever entering into a situation where you suspect that someone is hurt and in need of assistance, always check for danger first.
For example, this might include checking for; exposed electrical wires, broken glass, petrol on the ground, fires, smoke, needles, weapons, etc.
Always assess the situation/surrounding environment prior to engaging with the casualty.
"R" is for Response
The "Response" phase happens in a few distinct steps.
The first step is to introduce yourself to the casualty. State your name and that you are there to help.
The second step is to ask if they need help. If they are unable to respond, move to step "Send for help"
The third step is asking if you can touch them (if required). Before physically touching someone you must ask permission to do so. If you do not ask permission, it can be considered a form of assult. If they are unable to respond, move to step "Send for help".
"S" is for Send for Help
This is a step that can sometimes be forgotten in the DRS. ABC process.
After checking for danger and a response, send for help. Ask someone that is close to you to call 000. If there is no one else near you, call 000 yourself.
It is very important to specify which person in particular will call 000. Sometimes just generally annoucing that someone must call 000 may leave onlookers assuming that other will call 000.
Assign that task to a specific person.
"A" is for Airways
In this step, the person assisting the casualty must proceed to check their airways.
First though, check for breath. This is done by placing your ear just over the casualty's mouth and nose. While you are placing your head ear just above the casualty's face, at the same time, look at their chest to see if it is moving up and down. Do this for at least 5 seconds, but not longer than 10 seconds.
Then take your hand and make a 'pistol grip' (this can be done by making a fist, then pointing your pointer finger and raising your thumb to look like a gun gesture). Then use your pistol grip to secure the casualty's chin so that it can be opened. Prior to opening the mouth, ensure that the head is tilted back so that the throat is straight. Open the mouth once the throat is straight and check for blockages.
"B" is for Breathing
If the airway is clear, check again if the casualty is breathing.
If they do start breathing, lay them in the 'recovery position' (this is a position where the casuality will be laying on the ground on their side. They will have one leg straight, and the other leg out to the side to prevent them front rolling over. The knee will be on a 90 degree angle. They will also have their arm closest tot eh ground up, and the other arm placed under their head so that it does not roll to teh ground. Supporting teh head is important in keeping the airway clear and the throat stright).
If they do not start breathing, start "Compression"
The "Pistol Grip"
"C" is for Compression
The "Compression" step involves Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). This is where the casuality's heart is artificially pumping blood around the body, as the chest is being pushed on or compressed.
To do this, place one hand over the other and interlock the fingers. Use the palm of your bottom hand to make contact with the casualty chest. Locate the middle of the chest where the heart would be. Lean over the casualty, extend your arms so that they are absolutely straight, put the base of the palm (near the wrist joint) onto the casualty's chest. Start to administer 30 compressions to the chest. Press down to 1/3 of the depth of the chest (you will most probably feel ribs cracking or breaking, but be persistant, it could save their life). Each compression should occur one second after each other.
After you have administered 30 compressions, pressing down to around 1/3 of the depth of their chest, blow 2 hard breaths. Ensure that you see the chest rise. For a child, administer 2 half breaths. For an infant, administer 2 puffs.
After the two breaths, continue to administer 30 compressions at one compression per/sec.
The process for infants is different to the process for adults. Please read the Princess Margaret Hospital - Infant Resuscitation D.R.A.B.C. for infomration about infant DRS ABCD. Please also note that the "D" step is not included, however, defibrillators can be used on infants as they automatically determine the level of shock to someone.
This step used to involve checking for a pulse, but as so many people who were administering First Aid were actually feeling their own pulse and thinking it was the casualty's pulse, this step has now been removed.
The "Recovery Position"
"D" is for Defibrillator
If there is a defibrillator close by, use it. The chances of survival for a casualty that has a defibrillator used on them compared to those that dont are significant.
Defibrillators are automated. All you will need to do is attach the pads to the casualty's chest and side around the heart and then turn it on.
Keep administering chest compressions (CPR) in the intervals between shocks. The defibrillator will give you a warning when it is going to be shocking the casualty. This will give you time to move away.
A defibrillator is a device that delivers a shock to someone with an irregular heartbeat, or someone that has no heartbeat.
The pads are used on the chest above the heart, and on the side next to the heart. This way, the electric current can run from one pad to the other, through the heart.