First aid treatment is given immediately to any patient upon arriving at the emergency department. First-aid responders should continue to assist the patient until professional medical assistance arrives. Medical professionals are usually ambulance officers, doctors, or paramedics.
The first-aiders’ role is vital in any emergency case. Apart from providing initial assistance, they are also required to fill out a casualty report. These reports are done no matter how severe or minor the incident is. It is vital that these records are properly filled out in case the incident needs to be recalled, or someone asks about it in the future. These records may also be used in court, so all records must be factual, accurate, and legible.
First-aiders have a greater responsibility when assigned in a workplace as they may have to report to the OH&S or occupational health and safety department in the workplace.
The 3Ps in Emergency Care
First-aiders are not expected and are not supposed to provide care beyond their limits. They are only allowed to provide care based on the limits of their training. If a first-aider tries to attempt treatment that is beyond their training, you may be liable if something wrong happens to the patient.
When providing first-aid treatment, first aiders must be guided by the 3Ps, which are:
- Prevent further injury
- Promote recovery
- Preserve life
When providing treatment, it should always depend on the situation or level of injury. However, the 3Ps should always serve as the guide to prevent further harm to the patient, preserve life, and promote recovery. Don’t try to do something that may cause more injury or pain or, worst, death.
Aims of 3Ps
Prevent Further Injury
The most important thing to know about an emergency is knowing what to do first and what should not be done. For instance, if a patient is suffering from a neck injury, moving the person may cause more serious injuries, permanent damage, and even paralysis. Doing so contradicts one of the 3Ps, which is to protect the person from further injuries.
No matter how serious or life-threatening the situation is, first aid principles are applicable to all kinds of emergencies. When faced with this situation, the first thing to do is to contact medical professionals.
All first-aiders are taught and trained to preserve the life of the patient. Whether the patient is breathing or having trouble breathing, first-aid responders know what to do. One of the ways to keep a person alive is by ensuring the individual has an open airway, whether conscious or unconscious. A conscious patient who is breathing should be placed in a recovery position, where the tongue is cleared from the pharynx. Doing this may also prevent unconscious patients from choking to death.
Some of the most common procedures that first-aider will do are abdominal thrusts and back slaps. For patients who are having difficulty breathing or are not breathing, CPR should be done.
Minor injuries such as bone fracture, grazes, or cuts are some injuries that first-aiders are trained to handle. They can easily deal with these kinds of situations by applying bandages. For a more serious injury such as a broken bone, first-aiders are required to maintain the condition until an ambulance or other medical professional arrives.
While the 3Ps are emphasized above, there are two more things that need special attention when providing initial emergency care. These two areas are prevention of injuries at any age and promoting healthy lifestyles.
- Preventing Injuries
at Any Age
First-aiders should provide care for patients no matter what age they are. Age groups are categorized as infant, child, and adult. Infants are those who are under the age of 1. Children are those aged one year up, and adults are described as patients who are 12 years old and over.
When caring for an infant or child, parental permission is needed even in emergencies. However, in cases where the parent is not present, or the patient is unable to respond, the first-aider can provide first aid care without permission from the parents.
Promotion of Healthy Lifestyles
This can be done in many ways, and it is up to the first-aider which advice to give the patient. However, some guidelines are still present to provide sound advice for the patients. Some guidelines that most first-aiders adhere to are: becoming a role model, encouraging patients to exercise or perform some physical activities, and encouraging them to eat right and healthy.
First-aiders can provide any advice they deem reasonable and applicable to the patient’s situation to promote a healthy lifestyle.
Becoming a first-aider is not an easy task. There are a lot of things to learn and know in order to follow the principles of emergency care. Their role is as vital as those who will provide further treatment to the patient.