First Aid: Why should it be the first priority?

First Aid

Accidents are usually followed by shock, chaos, and panic. Once the frenzy settles, the first step is to call an ambulance, but what should be done until it arrives?

Statistics show that over 1.2 million people died and 50 million people were injured on roads last year. India alone witnesses an average of 1.3 lakh road crash deaths every year.

However, many of these deaths and injuries are avoidable if people have adequate training in first aid.

At an accident scene, there could be seriously injured people who need immediate attention or there could be a choking person who could die within three to four minutes. These are the exact moments where first aid could make the difference between life and death.

So what exactly is First Aid?

First aid simply covers those emergency procedures that do not require professional expertise but can help keep the sick or injured person stable until help can reach them.

CPR, Heimlich’s maneuver, or simply cleaning a wound can save the patient from potentially fatal complications. Many professionals are trained in first aid by default, but given its tremendous benefits, this knowledge needs to be spread among the general public as well, so that no one loses their life or faces grave consequences only because first aid was not given.

What can First Aid do for us?

  1. You can save lives first-hand with first aid.

The number one priority in medical emergencies for people is to save the life of the injured person. Performing timely first aid procedures increases the probability of the person surviving by many folds. Especially in emergencies where time is of the essence, a person knows the first aid can quite literally give the patient a new lease on life.

2. It can give much needed respite from the pain.

Sometimes the pain of injuries is excruciating. First aid procedures can help reduce this pain and keep the person in a stable condition till they reach the hospital. Pain medication, ointment, cold packs, etc. are included in a first aid kit and can help greatly in relieving the pain.

3. It keeps infections and other serious complications at bay.

Open wounds suffered during an accident can be a cause of infection. A person trained in first aid knows how to properly clean and dress wounds, reducing the likelihood of infection significantly.

4. It helps us build a safer community.

People knowing first aid can take care of people’s first aid needs when an accident occurs. It creates a safe community.

Accidents could occur anywhere. More people knowing first aid will result in more people having better chances of recovery. Be it roads, workplaces, schools or parks, having people trained in first aid around can give everyone a sense of peace, reducing the fear of medical emergencies significantly. For this, communities can also take the initiative to run safety programmes where people are trained in first aid.

It is important to make provisions for the first step!

First aid is the initial assistance, but it also needs some simple equipment and medicine. This equipment and medicine are a part of a well-stocked first aid box. That’s why keeping a first aid kit handy is crucial. Timely provision of first aid can not only save someone’s life but also save them from extended recovery time and higher medical bills.