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First aid is the assistance given to any person suffering a sudden illness or injury, with care provided to preserve life, prevent the condition from worsening, and/or promote recovery. It includes initial intervention in a serious condition prior to professional medical help being available, such as performing CPR while awaiting an ambulance, as well as the complete treatment of minor conditions, such as applying a plaster to a cut. First aid is generally performed by the layperson, with many people trained in providing basic levels of first aid, and others willing to do so from acquired knowledge.

There are many situations which may require first aid, and many countries have regulations or guidance which specifies a minimum level of first aid provision in certain circumstances. This can include specific training or equipment to be available in the workplace, the provision of specialist first aid cover at public gatherings or mandatory first aid training within schools. First aid, however, does not necessarily require any particular equipment or prior knowledge, and can involve improvisation with materials available at the time, often by untrained persons.

WHY LEARN FIRST AID? We learn first Aid to gain the knowledge, skills and confidence to act in an emergency.

  • Stay safe at work: Illness and injury can happen anywhere, anytime. With first aid knowledge you can be create a safe work environment and help meet your workplace’s safety requirements

  • Start a career pathway into the health profession: the first-hand experience you gain learning first aid and using your skills could help you decide if you want to pursue a career in the health profession. It also demonstrates your commitment to a career in the health profession when it comes time to apply for jobs

  • Anyone can learn first aid: no matter what your background or skill level you can learn first aid.

  • You could be the different between life and death.


The aims of First Aid are the reasons for carrying out the first aid measures itself. There are three main aims of First Aid and they are as follows:

  • The first aim is to preserve life. This is the primary aim, the most important one, of first aid as it involves saving the life of the casualty or any potential casualties within the risk vicinity. This includes the life of the first aid personnel, the casualty (the victim, the injured or sick person), and as well as the bystanders. Consequently, this means that the first aid applied to someone may not be the final medical treatment that the casualty receives, especially if the case is that of a major injury. Instead, this may just be the preliminary treatment and should be followed up by the professional medical team.

  • Secondly, prevent further harm. This is also known as preventing the condition from worsening or preventing further damage, as it involves danger of further injury. This includes external factors, such as moving the patient out of harm’s way. And also during the application of first aid techniques, that is to prevent worsening of the condition, like in the instance of applying pressure to stop a massive bleeding. The first aid provided should not make the condition worse.

  • The third aim is to promote recovery. First aid is still involved in the recovery phase from the illness or injury, especially in the beginning of its process. Sometimes it can even be involved in completing a treatment, such as in the case of applying a plaster to a small wound. The fourth aim of First Aid is to provide pain relief, to protect the unconscious, and to provide reassurance to the casualty.

The provision of prompt and appropriate first aid can reduce the severity of an injury or illness. It must be noted that there is a limit as to the effectiveness that first aid can provide. If a casualty reaches further medical aid without his condition becoming worse then the person administering first aid has done his job well.


Keep a first aid kit in your home and in your car. Find out the location of first aid kits where you work. First aid kits come in many sizes. You can purchase one from a pharmacy also make your own. First Aid kits must include the following:

  • Absorbent compress dressings

  • Adhesive bandages

  • Antiseptic wipe packets

  • An instant cold compress

  • Nonlatex gloves

  • Hydrocortisone ointment packets

  • Scissors

  • Roller bandage

  • Sterile gauze pads

  • Oral thermometer (non-mercury/nonglass)

  • Tweezers

  • First aid instruction booklet


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