First Aid is the immediate assistance given by bystander/s to the victim of an injury or an illness in an emergency situation, before the qualified medical help becomes available. The aims of First Aid is to preserve life, prevent worsening of the condition and promote recovery.
The acronym DRABC or DRSABC is often used to point out the important areas of First Aid. Let’s find out what that means.
D – refers to Danger. The caregiver should assess the overall situation and make sure that it is not dangerous to him/her, the patient or others. Examples of a dangerous situation is a victim in a road accident on a busy road or a victim of burns in a raging fire. The First Aid should commence only when there is no impending danger to the attendants or the victim; otherwise it is better to wait for competent trained personnel.
R-refers to Response. Check the response of the victim by asking for his/her name and their problem. Check through AVPU scale whether the victim is Alert; not alert but responding to Voice; not alert, not responding to voice but responding to Pain or Unresponsive.
S-refers to Sending for help. So make sure to ask for help by calling assistance from nearby people and also to contact the emergency medical services, either calling yourself or asking someone else to do that for you.
A-refers to Airway. Check if the victim’s airway is not blocked by foreign body, debris or secretions. Try and clear the obstruction if it is easily possible.
B-refers to Breathing. Check if the victim is breathing spontaneously and regularly.
C-refers to CPR or Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation for victim who is unresponsive and not breathing spontaneously or regularly. (In some systems, C refers to Circulation- meaning checking for heartbeat or pulse, followed by CPR if unable to get in an unresponsive victim)
Sometimes, an additional D-Defibrillation is used in First Aid to regularize the irregular heartbeat through an electrical machine called defibrillator.
First Aid is an essential life-skill and should be learnt by everyone.