What is Emergency First Aid?

Jessica Ellis

Emergency first aid is a quick and immediate response to an injury or illness crisis. If performed correctly, emergency first aid can help save lives and prevent severe conditions from worsening until official medical treatment can arrive. Training in first aid tactics and techniques is required for some jobs, and may be a good first step for anyone planning a career in medical or emergency response professions.

In emergency first aid, it is important to cover any lacerations with a gauze bandage to prevent infection until official medical treatment can arrive.
In emergency first aid, it is important to cover any lacerations with a gauze bandage to prevent infection until official medical treatment can arrive.

What differs emergency first aid from general first aid is the severity of the situation. Emergency situations are typically described as life-threatening. If a person has a headache and receives an over-the-counter medication, this is basic first aid. Choking, severe injuries, poisoning or severe allergic reactions, excessive bleeding, heart attack, and broken bones can all be emergency situations.

Choking is an emergency situation that requires first aid assistance.
Choking is an emergency situation that requires first aid assistance.

There are many ways to receive proper training in emergency first aid. Contact local health authorities to find out about classes and certification programs in the local area. First aid training classes often require only a day or two of commitment, but can make a world of difference to a victim in a crisis situation. If becoming certified, find out about renewal or expiration dates; many first aid certificates must be updated every year.

Emergency first aid might be administered at the site of a disaster.
Emergency first aid might be administered at the site of a disaster.

In any emergency situation, one of the first steps is to call emergency personnel. This can ensure that professional help is on the way as soon as possible and that the victim will quickly be transported to a facility for further care. Listen to all instructions given by the dispatcher and try to give accurate and detailed information about the situation.

Emergency first aid, like CPR, can help save a life.
Emergency first aid, like CPR, can help save a life.

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation, or CPR, is one of the most commonly taught techniques in emergency first aid. This treatment may be required when a victim has ceased breathing. There are different CPR techniques depending on the age of a victim. Performing CPR without training is not recommended by most experts, but if a victim is not breathing, tell the emergency dispatcher and ask for instructions.

Ensuring that an injured or nonresponsive person is getting air is one of the critical components of emergency first aid.
Ensuring that an injured or nonresponsive person is getting air is one of the critical components of emergency first aid.

When giving any kind of emergency aid, remember to exercise safety precautions. Even people with a desire to help will only cause a larger problem by becoming an additional victim. Carry basic protective gear and try to keep calm in crisis situations. Remember, the goal of emergency first aid is to help a victim survive the time between the accident or injury and the arrival of professional help. Make any possible efforts to help the victim, but also be sure to keep safe.

First responders often wear surgical gloves to prevent the spread of disease.
First responders often wear surgical gloves to prevent the spread of disease.

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