First aid treatment is the first medical treatment administered to a sick or injured person before professional medical help is sought. This kind of treatment can be performed by anyone with a knowledge of administering first aid. There are different types of first aid treatment, depending on the severity of the injury or medical case.
Some minor injuries like insect stings, mild cuts, and bruises might not require the presence of a professional medical assistant, but do need treatment to help the wounds heal faster and prevent infection to the affected area. Major injuries like a fractured bone, seizures, cardiac arrest, or anaphylactic shock need professional medical assistance. First aid treatment can usually help sustain the a seriously injured individual until a doctor comes, and in some cases may even save his life.
First aid kits are an important part of every home and business. This is a kit that contains the basic necessary materials needed for first aid treatment. The contents of a first aid kit can vary, depending on where and how it might be used. Kits can be bought at most pharmacies, or made at home.
The American Red Cross recommends that first aid kits include a wide selection of items. In addition to an instruction booklet or manual, it should include a one-way valve breathing barrier, adhesive cloth tape, and a pair of large size non-latex gloves. Absorbent compress dressings, three to four inches wide roller bandages, sterile gauze pads, triangular bandages, and assorted sizes of adhesive bandages should also be in the kit. It should also have antibiotic and hydro-cortisone ointment packets, aspirin, a space blanket, an instant cold compress, and packets of antiseptic wipes. Scissors, tweezers, and a non-mercury or non-glass Oral thermometer should also be included.
First aid treatment for minor injuries like bruises and sprains involves the use of the RICE Method: rest, ice, compression, and elevation. The first treatment for most minor injuries is to rest the affected part of the body, followed by an application of ice around the injured area; the ice should be wrapped in gauze and should never be applied directly to the skin. The next step is to apply little pressure to the area, and to elevate it to reduce any bleeding.
Snake bites have the potential to be very dangerous, and should be taken seriously. The moment a person has been bitten by a snake, no matter the size of the snake, medical assistance should be sought immediately. While waiting for medical assistance, basic first aid treatment should be initiated.
The first step in treating a snake bite is to keep the affected area below the heart level. Any clothing around the wound should be removed, and the bite should be washed with lukewarm water and soap. A loose bandage should be applied 2 inches (5.08 cm) away from the bite. Using a suction device that is sometimes included in a first aid kit, the first aid provider may try to draw out as much venom as possible from the wound before placing a clean cold compress on the affected area.
In cases of serious illness, such as anaphylactic shock, knowledge of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) may be required. This treatment is used for people who have suffered cardiac arrest. It can help provide a constant flow of oxygen into the lungs and brain of the individual. If not performed properly, however, it can cause further injury.
Their are many different first aid courses available in countries worldwide. Individuals interested in learning more about first aid can become certified at several different levels. Courses are taught at hospitals, fire stations, and schools, as well as online.