Basic first aid techniques
Quick and proper action can save lives!
Here are some Basic First Aid Techniques. However, before you perform any of these techniques, please be reminded of the following:
- Make sure that you are not in any immediate physical danger from speeding traffic, falling debris, fire or other hazardous situations.
- Consider enrolling in a First Aid workshop to learn the proper way of doing basic First Aid Techniques. The techniques mentioned henceforth are not meant as substitutes for certified First Aid classes.
- Know what technique to apply in different situations. A victim’s condition may be aggravated by giving the wrong treatment.
1. First aid ABC Check
- Airway: Clear the airway by carefully placing the person on his back. Then open the mouth by gently tilting the head back. Remove any blockage of the airway such as secretions or foreign objects. If you suspect a head, neck or back injury, pull the jaw forward but avoid moving the head or neck.
- Breathing: Check for signs of breathing by putting your ear close to the person’s nose and mouth, or by feeling for breath using your own hands for 5 seconds. Look for chest movement. If victim is not breathing, do Mouth-to-Mouth Resuscitation.
- Circulation: Check victim’s pulse. Put two fingers at his wrist or just below the angle of the jaw. If there is no pulse coming from the victim, do CPR (if you have proper training).
2. Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR)
CPR is a life-support technique used when a victim is not breathing or has no pulse. Formal training is necessary for proper administration of CPR. However, in case of medical emergencies where a trained person is not around and the victim’s life depends on immediate administration of CPR, you may have to administer it yourself. To perform this technique, follow these steps:
- Step 1: Carefully lay the person on his back and kneel beside him.
- Step 2: Place two fingers (index & middle fingers) at the point where the lower ribs join the breastbone.
- Step 3: Place the base of your other hand directly over the base of the hand already in place.
- Step 4: Lean over and firmly press your hands down about 2 inches and quickly release. Aim to provide a total of 80 to100 compressions per minute. You may want to count aloud to establish a rhythm, “One and two and three and…”
- Step 5: After providing 15 compressions, Give Mouth- to-Mouth Resuscitation twice. Repeat this sequence four times. Then check for breathing and pulse.
- Step 6: Continue with Steps 4 & 5 until you feel signs of breathing and pulse or when medical assistance arrives.
Notes: If the victim is an infant, use only two fingers. Provide at least 100 compressions per minute, with five compressions to one breath. If the victim is a child, use only 1 hand. Provide at least 100 compressions per minute, with five compressions to one breath.
1. Heimlich Maneuver
The Heimlich Manuever is usually done when a choking accident happens to conscious adults or children, but not infants. This technique helps to dislodge the foreign object from a victim’s throat. To perform this technique, follow these steps:
- Step 1: Stand behind the victim and place one of your feet between his feet.
- Step 2: Wrap your arms around the victim’s waist. One hand should be clenched into a fist with thumb facing down, covered by the other hand and placed above the victim’s belly button.
- Step 3: Firmly pull inward and up with a forceful jerking movement. Continue this until the victim coughs up the object or when medical assistance arrives.
Note: If the victim is not responsive, do the First Aid ABC Check. If the victim is pregnant, get special instructions from a medical assistance hotline.
2. Mouth-to-mouth resuscItation
Effective for introducing air into a victim’s lungs, Mouth-to-Mouth Resuscitation is applied when a victim has stopped breathing but still has a pulse. To perform this technique, follow these steps:
- Step 1: Carefully lay the victim on his back and loosen shirt at the neck area.
- Step 2: Open victim’s mouth and insert your finger in a swooping manner to remove any secretion or foreign objects that may block the airway.
- Step 3: Put your hand on his forehead and gently tilt his head back.
- Step 4: Pinch the person’s nostrils closed, take a deep breath and give two breaths into his mouth. The chest should rise as the air goes into his lungs.
- Step 5: Wait until victim’s chest falls, then repeat Step 4. Do it 4 times in quick succession. Continue Mouth-to-Mouth until the victim starts breathing or medical assistance arrives.
Note: If victim is an infant or a child, do not pinch his nose. Instead, cover your mouth over his nose and mouth at the same time. Do not breathe as hard as you would for an adult. This technique is known as Mouth-to-Nose Resuscitation.