Immediate medical assistance can mean the difference between life and death
BY KNOWING how to help someone in need of urgent medical care, you can save a life. You probably already know what first aid is – treating injured or sick people on the spot until professional medical help arrives.
Let’s find out more about this skill.
First aid isn’t necessarily a matter of life and death. It could be doing something minor, such as removing a glass splinter from someone’s finger and putting a plaster on it. But it could also be something like providing first aid at an accident scene. Whatever the situation, the aim of first aid is to preserve life, prevent further injury or illness, and promote recovery – the three Ps.
The golden rule when trying to help someone is to help in a safe way. Even with only a little knowledge of first aid you can still do the right thing, including supporting the injured, securing the area, immediately calling for medical help, asking bystanders to help, and providing as much information as possible to ambulance staff when they arrive.
FIRST AID IN SA
It’s a good idea to get some knowledge of first aid. That way you’ll be ready to help in almost any emergency.
Several organisations in our country supply training and emergency equipment once you’ve done some training: S South African First Aid League firstaidleague.co.za, 012-644-0918, 021-948-6294 or 083-675-2720 S First Aid Academy firstaidacademy.co.za, 021-696-8292, 072-180-2303 or 083-496-4594 S St John Ambulance Service stjohn.org.za, 086-101-7404 Resuscitation Council of Southern S Africa resus.co.za, 011-478-3989 You can also ask at your school about learning first aid, or find out from your local municipality where you can do an accredited first-aid course.
It's not just about emergencies – first aid will help you deal with the little things too.