Information - What is first aid?

Background information for Key Stage 3 and parents.

What is first aid?

First aid kit with some contents

First Aid is the initial treatment given to someone who is injured or sick, prior to professional medical help arriving and taking over from you.

People may need First aid for many reasons, including:

  • having an accident while playing
  • eating something which is poisonous
  • getting too hot on a hot sunny day
  • becoming unwell due to medical condition, like a stroke

During these interactive sessions, we will look at how you and your children deal with each of these situations

The main aims of first aid

When you are providing first aid, you have three main aims, known as the three Ps:

Preserve life - this your life and the casualties. Never go rushing into the situation and having an accident yourself

Prevent deterioration - find out what is wrong with casualty and treat their injuries. This may include keeping them warm to prevent them from getting worse due to the cold.

Promote recovery - we identify what support they need and arrange it for them. This may be going home with a responsible adult, visiting the GP or calling an ambulance

For example, if we had a casualty with a major bleed, we would:

  • check it was safe to approach and what caused their injury is not going to injure us. As they have a severe bleed we will offer immediate treatment
  • lay them down with their legs raised and apply a pressure bandage direct to the wound to control bleeding
  • call for an ambulance to get them to the hospital quickly to deal with the blood loss

Permission to treat

It is important we have permission to treat the casualty, which is known as consent. We must ask permission to touch the patient and we should inform them of what we are going to do. If they do not agree with the treatment we are going to provide, we
must not continue with that treatment. We can discuss the treatment with them further to help them understand what you want to do, to see if they change their mind or we can offer other treatments that will help them. If they refuse any treatment,
but you are concerned about their life, you can still help them by calling an ambulance and keeping an eye on them until the ambulance arrives.

We can get permission in different ways:

  • We can talk to them and they agree to us treating them with a verbal response
  • We can talk to them and they move implying permission, for example moving their arm toward you to treat it or moving a piece of clothing out the way for you to treat
  • We can assume we have permission if the person is unresponsive and injured or unwell. We assume they would like their life to be saved and provide treatment until they become responsive and tell us otherwise
During the treatment of a casualty use your common sense; never do anything to someone you would not be happy being done to you or carry out anything outside of your skills.