At the most unexpected times, you may find yourself in a situation that requires first aid treatment. For those sudden and unexpected injuries, a basic set first aid skills can help stabilize injuries and create better treatment outcomes for patients.
Performing first aid could even mean the difference between life and death if someone experiences a medical emergency that requires emergency room (ER) care. Knowing some of the basic first-aid steps can help improve your urgent care experience and help create those improved patient outcomes.
Evaluate the injured or ill person before performing first aid
A complete assessment of an injured or sick individual is necessary before you actually perform first aid. First, identify the medical situation and evaluate any nearby safety risks. Then assess the extent of damage an illness or injury has affected anyone involved. Also make sure to identify if the person(s) is experiencing any life-threatening conditions such as a wound that won’t stop bleeding or a traumatic head injury.
In the instance that the ill/injured party is alert and responsive and is absent severe, life-threatening condition, it is legally required obtain consent before administering first aid care. Introduce yourself and your qualification/level of training, the type of treatment you plan on administering, and get official consent to provide care.
Open and use the nearest first aid kit
After gaining consent, find a nearby first aid kit if there is one available. When administering first aid including injury treatment, wound dressing, or CPR make sure to wear protective equipment including gloves and a mask. You never know if an injured person has a contagious or infectious medical condition.
Record information about the casualty, like signs and symptoms, allergies, medications, medical history, and the events leading up to the medical episode. Then initiate care based on the conditions that you discover that are consistent with your personal first aid knowledge and training.
Check Responsiveness and Breathing
Try and get a response from the casualty by shouting their name, if known. Tap the shoulder of an adult or child, and flick the bottom of the foot of an infant to prompt a response, shouting again and checking to see if the breathing pattern is normal.
Before going to an urgent care center, you may be able to perform first aid basic treatment. You should assess the scene and the injured party, get consent, have your first aid kit handy and check breathing and responsiveness.
You may just save a life.