First Aid’ means the help that is provided to anyone who is suffering from disease, damage, or an injury. Its primary goal is to protect life and keep the condition from worsening. Every time it is not necessary that some medical staff help. In an emergency, even ordinary people can help and can save someone’s life by providing first aid. First aid kit we mostly have in our home and in fact, we should carry it while traveling as well.
Globally, more than 1.3 million people die in road traffic accidents every year. But the vast majority of these deaths happen in low- and middle-income countries and 17 percent of these deaths occur in India alone. This means that every year in India, around 150,000 people die from road traffic accidents.
In India, employers are required to provide one first-aid box for every 150 workers. Each first-aid box has to be kept in charge of a responsible person who holds a certificate in first-aid treatment recognized by the State Govt. and who should be available during the working hours of the workplace.
The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) had started World First Aid Day in 2000. World First Aid Day is observed on the second Saturday of September annually every year. This year it’s on 11 September. The theme of this year is “First aid and road safety”. Its main aim is to spread awareness of how first aid can prevent injuries and save lives every day and in a crisis situation. It also promotes the accessibility of first aid.
Dr. Sarthak Chakravarty works with Tata Hospital and also practices at Sarthak Clinic. He specializes in trauma management with work experience with Apollo Hospitals. His other specializations are Tb and HIV. He is also a member of the IMA ( Indian Medical Association).
Importance of First Aid
Dr. Sarthak Chakravarty says, “First Aid as the name suggests, is the first help a person receives when in distress. This distress can be of any kind like-
Accident Heart attack Epileptics attack Emergency situation
First aid is a treatment received in any kind of emergency situation. The importance of first aid is that it saves lives. “
Basic principles of first aid
Dr. Sarthak Chakravarty says, “The golden rule for first aid are as follows-
Stay calm Do not panic Stay focussed Act quickly Ensure your safety Corner the person and then give first aid Ensure person’s safety in emergency ERS - Emergency Response System Call an ambulance, fire brigade, or police Ensure to make the person stable in meantime.
Methods of first aid
Dr. Sarthak Chakravarty says, “First aid can be given by common people and there are trained people also who can give first aid.”
Basic First Aid procedures
Dr. Sarthak Chakravarty says, “ First Aid saves a life. In case of an accident, go for the following techniques-
Stop bleeding Stabilize fracture or injured arm Breathing techniques in cases of choking CPR- Cardiopulmonary resuscitation Put ice in cases of burns for immediate relief Keep your head straight in cases of nose bleed by pinching your nose. Epileptic fits- Rest the person in the left lateral position Carry first aid kits like bandages, gloves, sanitizer, Dettol, antiseptic soaps.
All these things must be taken into consideration till medical help arrives at the given situation.
Knowledge about first aid
Dr. Sarthak Chakravarty says, “There are less fewer programs for common people that run in our country. There are many trained courses for doctors and medics. Delhi has many hospitals that conduct courses for common persons for workshops to learn about emergency training for first aid. People should be aware and educated about it through medical blogs and videos by doctors. The International Red Cross Society is also providing authentic information about first aid.“
(Edited by Dr. Rati Parwani)