Emergency First Aid

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Emergency First Aid

First Aid is the immediate and temporary care given to the ill or injured to:

Preserve Life
Prevent Worsening
Promote Recovery

As adults we will have to deal with the small cuts and bruises that children will inevitably get. Occasionally, we may need to deal with something a little more serious. It is therefore really useful to get some training in basic first aid, just in case, by attending a course run by a qualified trainer. Below is some basic information for dealing with potentially life threatening situations.

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ABCDE First Aid Procedure

A for Assess

Look for dangers - is it safe to approach the casualty? Call for help. Introduce yourself to the casualty before assessing them. If unconscious try giving a command, squeeze shoulders, shout then pinch ear. Look for medical bracelets and necklaces.

B for Breathing

Is the casualty breathing? Is the airway clear? Open airway if necessary. Check in mouth. Look, listen and feel for breathing. Commence Rescue Breaths if not breathing. Consider using a barrier when giving mouth to mouth.

C for Circulation

Look for signs of circulation. Is the face pale or grey and lips bluish? Quickly look and feel for any major bleeding. Are you able to give chest compressions - correct positioning just below sternum.

D for Deformity

Full body examination. Compare one side of body with other. Seek permission from conscious casualty and get medical information, illnesses, drugs or medication taken, next of kin etc.

E for Emotion

Talk positively to casualty even if unconscious. Maintain body contact. Monitor vital signs and check whether you have missed anything. Be aware of the weather.

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Some Common Emergency Concerns:

Shock

What is it?

Disruption to the blood circulatory system that can lead to unconsciousness and death.

How do I recognise it?

Pale, ashen, cold clammy skin.
Rapid pulse, becoming weaker.
Rapid shallow breathing.
Nausea & vomiting.
Decreasing consciousness.

How do I treat it?

Identify and treat cause of shock - keep head low - raise legs slightly to allow blood to flow to vital organs - monitor vital signs.

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Analphylaxis

What is it?

A severe allergic reaction triggered by a certain food, drug or insect sting.

How do I recognise it?

Anxiety.
Blotchy rash & puffy eyes.
Swelling of throat and tongue.
Difficulty breathing.
Signs of shock.

How do I treat it?

Call for ambulance.
If casualty has an adrenaline injection, such as an Epi-pen, help administer.

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Asthma

What is it?

Constriction of the air passages making breathing difficult.

How do I recognise it?

Wheezing & coughing.
Distress & anxiety.
Severe - difficulty talking, blue lips, rapid pulse.

How do I treat it?

Reassure & sit casualty upright.
Treat with blue asthma pump.
If no improvement in 5 minutes ring 999 or 112 for ambulance.

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Bleeding

What is it?

Open wounds leading to blood loss and risk of infection.

How do I recognise it?

Visible wound & bleeding.
Staining of clothes.
Signs of shock.

How do I treat it?

Wear gloves.
Control bleeding by direct pressure to wound. Cover with dressing(s) applied firmly to wound. Elevate above heart if possible.

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Fractures

What is it?

Damage to bones.

How do I recognise it?

Recent blow or fall.
Difficulty moving.
Severe pain & tenderness. Distortion, swelling or bruising.

How do I treat it?

If open fracture treat bleeding by pressure to sides of wound.
If closed fracture make casualty comfortable. Ring 999 or 112 for ambulance and/or parent.

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Head Injuries

What is it?

Any blow to head causing concussion (brief unconsciousness) can be potentially life-threatening

How do I recognise it?

External injuries to head such as bleeding and bruising.
Loss of consciousness.
Dizziness and nausea.
Loss of memory about event.
Generalised headache.

How do I treat it?

Any loss of consciousness for more than a few seconds ring ambulance. If unconscious call ambulance treat as also having neck injury. Children with brief concussion should still see a doctor.

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Seizure

What is it?

Lack of normal control over the body. In children these are usually caused by febrile convulsions or epilepsy.

How do I recognise it?

Muscle twitching, clenched fists & arched back. May also have fever, unusual eye movement, breath holding, reduced consciousness.

How do I treat it?

Remove any hard or sharp objects from around the child. Dial 999 or 112 for ambulance. When possible place in recovery position and continue to monitor vital signs.

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You may be interested in the following pages:

Breath-holding

Critical Incidents

Medical Resources

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