First Aid means the help that is provided to anyone who is suffering from disease, damage, or an injury. 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% of these deaths occur in India alone. This means that every year in India, around 150,000 people die from road traffic accidents.
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.
We at Medicircle are conducting World First Aid Day Series to impart basic knowledge and encourage people to take basic training required for first aid to an injured or infected person so that a life is saved.
Dr. Ramit Singh Sambyal is currently working as Head of Department in Emergency Medicine Program Coordinator & Course Director MEM course(SEMI) at Metro Hospital, Noida. Formerly, he practiced as an Attending Consultant in the Emergency department of Max Smart Super Specialty Hospital, New Delhi, and Moolchand Medcity Hospital, New Delhi. He is an esteemed member of the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) and a member of the Emergency Medicine Association of India (EMA).
World First Aid Day
He begins, “First aid is a very important aspect of our life. First aid is the first response or assistance provided to an individual who seeks immediate help. This could be a minor cut, minor ailment or something big or a serious injury. If at home one cuts themselves or some other mishap takes place the first aid is used. Even during wars, first aid is the first medical response.
There is a history behind first aid. 160 years prior, the Battle of Solferino was fought in the beautiful lands of Italy. A business here named Henry Dunant, who saw many people injured and thousands of them dead. The trauma and suffering were heavy on the place. Dunant saw this and reached higher authorities and urged them to start the Red Cross. This was the origins of the idea of first aid. The war and its aftermath of injuries started the idea of World First Aid Day.”
Staples of First Aid Kit
Dr explains, “The Red Cross advises that in a family of four with kids should have a first aid kit with contents like two absorbent dressings, minimum 25 absorbent bandages, a thermometer, a blanket, few tweezers, cotton bandages, rolls, ice pack, antibiotic cream, and few other things. These minimum things should be there in a first aid kit. The purpose of having these things is that if you cut yourself and bleed, you could take care of yourself before going to the doctor.
You could apply antiseptic cream or lotion and apply bandages to stop bleeding. These things will help you to stop from infection spreading. Or for instance, you have twisted your ankle and there is swelling, then you could use the ice pack from the first aid kit. Or if someone is suffering from chest pain, then one could use an aspirin tablet from the first aid kit. Without medical training, you can cure minor ailments and minor injuries. All one would require will be basic first aid training.”
5 P’s of First Aid
He says, “It is a mnemonic that we use.
The first ‘P’ is to preserve life. Life is the most important part. Whenever a person falls unconscious, then some advanced first aids also have basic life support tools. For an unconscious person, our first response is to protect his/her airway. So the second ‘P’ stands for protecting the unconscious.
Third ‘P’ means to prevent injuries and illness to become worst. When a patient is suffering from immense blood loss, then our emergency protocol says to stop the blood loss in the first golden hour itself. This is possible if we provide some antiseptic and provide first aid. The fourth ‘P’ stands for the promotion of recovery. We try and support the patient throughout his/her recovery. The last ‘P’ stands for the promotion of a safe environment.
When all the ‘P’s’ come together the chance of a person suffering the worst health outcomes reduces.
The ratio of First Aiders
He replies, “The number varies as different regulatory bodies provide different numbers for different environments. For shops and offices, there should be 1 first aider per 100 people. In other spaces, there should be 1 first aider per 50 people.”
(Edited by Priyal Shah)