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How to use a first aid kit: 5 easy steps

What is first aid?

When someone is injured or ill, first aid is the immediate response given before medical assistance arrives. Its primary purpose is to preserve life, prevent injury, and promote recovery.

Undergoing first-aid training is crucial, primarily if you work in a high-risk environment.

Most places have regulations that require a first aid kit in the vicinity. Once you have located and secured the equipment, follow this step-by-step guide:

1. Before administering first aid, you must evaluate whether it is safe. Do not act if your safety is at risk, and always seek help from a professional.

Remember: you must remain calm at all times. Panicking or erratic behaviour might put you at risk or worsen the victim’s condition.

2. Quickly assess the situation—what is the risk? Is it fatal? Are there multiple victims? Decide which person or injury you will treat first. Prioritise serious conditions.

Call for help and ask someone to call emergency services while you begin first aid.

3. Decide how you will treat the victim based on your knowledge. First aid kits contain various contents, such as bandages, antiseptics, EpiPens, etc. You must determine the correct items for the situation.

Do not administer any medications that are unknown to you.

4. Gain consent. Suppose the victim is in a condition to communicate, explain what you will do and ask for verbal or nonverbal consent. If they are unconscious, assume permission has been given and begin first aid.

5. After administering first aid, ensure the victim’s vital signs are stable. Consistently check their pulse and breathing. Do not try to transport them unless it is safe to do so. Keep an eye on their condition until emergency services arrive.

When medical help arrives on the scene, please give them a summary of the situation. Explain what treatments and medications you have provided to the victim. This is important, as specific dosages should not be exceeded, and it helps the professionals decide on the best further treatments.

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