After a long week busy with academic activities, the weekend is finally here and as usual Saturday is the day that we attend our club’s meeting to discuss various social challenges that we face in our life.
This week the club patron decided to alter the usual business of the club and instead opted to bring us a facilitator to take us through some basic first aid skills.
Madam Kudate (the facilitator) started by defining first aid as the immediate attention to someone who has been injured or suddenly taken ill using the available materials and acceptable principles of treatment before handing over the person to medically qualified personnel.
In our day to day activities we engage ourselves in varied activities some of which may lead us into circumstances that cause injuries or sudden illness such as road accident, animal bites, being hit by an object, food poisoning, bleeding, and fire burns, among others, which may require first aid administration.
When we find ourselves in any of the above situations, we need to know the most basic and immediate responses to take so as to help the casualties and most importantly how to go about it to avoid risks.
So why give first aid and how do we go about?
There are three major reasons as to why we give first aid to the casualty which include saving or protecting life, preventing further injury and finally promoting recovery.
Saving or protecting life involves ABC process where A stands for assessing, B for breathing and C for circulation.
In assessing, the first aid giver needs to look at the situation of the casualty before attend to him or her.
Then the first aider should find out whether the casualty is breathing by looking at the upward and downward movement of the chest or by trying to feel the warm breath of the casualty.
Circulation will involve touching the arteries beside the neck to find out whether they are working.
A first aider, whose purpose of giving first aid is to prevent further injury, should ensure that the casualty is subjected to minimal movements to avoid worsening the situation.
In a bid to promote recovery, the first aider should not openly sympathize with the victim but rather encourage even when the situation is beyond control.
Things to do before giving first aid
Ensure that you are protected prior to giving first aid by wearing gloves and other necessary protective gears.
Your safety is paramount. Make sure that you are safe and in case there is danger try much to avoid falling victim in the process of providing help.
A first aider should wear flat shoes to facilitate easy and quick movements where need arises and for ladies it is prudent, at the same time, to wear a trouser.
Lastly, where the casualty is laying on the ground, make sure you kneel them before giving first aid.
After you are done with giving first aid take the casualty to the nearest health facility or seek further help to facilitate medical assistance if the victim is in critical condition.
By Joseph Macharia