What is First Aid?
First aid is emergency help given to an injured or suddenly ill person using readily available materials. It can be as simple as removing a splinter from a child’s finger and applying a plaster to something more complicated like giving care to many casualties at the scene of a motor vehicle accident. The aim of first aid is the same regardless of the situation:
Why Learn First Aid? (The 3 Ps)
- Preserve life
- Prevent further injury or illness
- Promote recovery
What is the Good Samaritan Principle?
You don’t have a legal duty to assist a person in need of emergency care. If you don’t help an injured person, you are not at fault. Our government wants to encourage citizens to help others, so they recognise the ‘Good Samaritan Principles’. These principles protect you should you choose to help someone in need.
As a ‘Good Samaritan’ you give your help without being paid and because you genuinely wish to help a person. Whenever you help a person in an emergency situation, you should follow these four principles:
Consent – identify yourself as a first aider and get the casualty’s permission to help before you touch them.
Reasonable skill and care – act according to the level of knowledge and skill you have.
Negligence – use common sense and make sure your actions are in the casualty’s best interests.
Abandonment – never abandon (leave) a casualty who is in your care. Stay with him/her until you are able to hand them over to medical help, or you are able to hand over to another first aider, or if the casualty tells you that they no longer want or need your help which is usually because the problem is no longer an emergency and further care is no longer needed.
The number one rule in giving first aid is: “Give first aid safely.”
Even if you don’t have any first aid knowledge, you can help a casualty by:
- Taking charge
- Asking bystanders for help
- Making the area safe
- Sending for medical help
- Reassuring (comfort) the injured
- Giving information to the ambulance officers
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