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Three First Aid Steps Every Kenyan Must Know

Posted on 2016-11-21

Ask yourself a simple question, can I save a life if I found someone in an emergency medical condition? Do I know the basic first aid steps in order to save a friend, colleague or family member’s life?

First aid is the initial process of assessing and caring for the needs of a person or individuals who have been injured or is in physiological distress due to choking, a heart attack, allergic reactions, drugs or other medical emergencies. Knowing the basic steps in performing first can help reduce physical pain, control bleeding, restore breathing and potentially save someone’s life. It is therefore important that every adult should know how to perform first aid for the most common emergency cases.

Before performing any first aid procedure, the first aider should follow the 3Cs.

Check surroundings

Check the surroundings of the injured person to make sure there is no additional source of danger. Check for naked electrical points/wires, sharp objects, trippings and any other dangerous objects to make sure that you and the injured subject are not subjected to any more danger.

Call For Help

Establish the physical condition of the subject immediately and try to find out if they are breathing and unconscious. Call the emergency services immediately to get professional and trained help to the scene as soon as possible.

Care For The Subject

This is the most critical part when it comes to controlling the physical and mental distress the injured subject is going through.
Firstly, you the first aider should remain calm and controlled, it is important not to panic as this will inhibit your ability to assist the injured subject and it may also cause more distress to the injured subject.

Here are the most important steps to perform if you are in a situation where you need to perform first aid on an injured person.

Unconscious Person

  1. Determine responsiveness.
  2. If an injured subject is found unconscious, try to rouse them by gently and increasingly harder shaking or nudging their hands and feet or by speaking to them. You can gently touch them on the face/cheek to rouse with the palm of your hand. If the subject does not respond to the physical touch or speech, you can check if they are breathing

  3. Check for breathing and pulse
  4. If the injured subject is lying on their back and you are able to their chest, carefully observe their chest to see if it is rising and lowering with every inhale and exhale of breath. You can gently lower your face next their nose/face to feel if they are breathing in and out through their nose.
    If you cannot detect any breathing, this means the injured subject is be more serious state. You must check for the pulse.

    Use your index finder and middle finger and firmly press them against the carotid artery. This is in the neck just below the jaw line, where the neck joins the head, place your index and middle fingers just between the windpipe and the muscle in the neck.

    If the person remains unresponsive, you may have to perform CPR to try and rouse their breathing. CPR is Cardiopulmonary resuscitation, it is an emergency procedure meant to rouse breathing, blood circulation and preserve critical body functions while a more lasting solution is found.

  5. Perform CPR
  6. Carefully roll the injured subject on their back and open their airway by loosening any tight clothing and slightly raising their head.
    Place your palm on top of your other hand to form a reinforced surface. Kneel next to the person and place the base of your reinforced palms on their chest, at the end of the breastbone right where the ribs join to the chest.
    Push down sufficiently to cause compression and administer a minimum of 30 compressions in quick succession. Follow this up at least 2 rescue breaths. Close the subject’s nose with your fingers and breath deep into their mouth to force air into their lungs.
    Repeat this until the person rouses and starts breathing on their own or until the emergency aid workers arrive.
    Remain with the injured subject until the emergency services have stabilised the condition of the injured subject.

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