Most basic of all principles of first aid, the rescuer must remain calm. If you get anxious or panic, you can end up losing control of the victim and the entire situation. As a trained first aider, you should be able to lead crowd and save as much lives as possible. Establish authority by speaking and acting calmly. If the victim is conscious, allow him to discuss the situation and to vent out his fears. It is important to talk with the victim frequently, honestly and in a reassuring manner. Do not be judgmental and avoid being argumentative. It’s not the time for blame game. Set your priorities.
- Keep yourself and bystanders safe. Approach the victim safely but do not allow the sense of urgency to transform a sensible rescue effort into a reckless, or even foolhardy, attempt. If you assess immediate danger, such as explosion or fire, instruct bystanders to cover up and stay in a safe place immediately. If there is no clear danger and moving the victim can only cause further harm, do not attempt moving him.
- Call for help immediately or ask someone to call for help. Make sure to note important information such as your location, number of injured persons, nature of injuries, condition of the victim, specific environmental conditions, and what procedures have been done to treat the victims. This basic principles of first aid ensures that more advanced medical care reaches the victim at soonest time possible.
- It’s better to assume the worst. Assume that the victim you are caring for has a neck injury or a heart attack, unless proven otherwise. However, provide accurate information to the rescue service.
- Do NOT move a victim with serious injuries unless there is clear danger from the environment or some medical reasons require moving the victim. Make sure that you assess the victim thoroughly for potentially serious problems.
- Do NOT perform procedures or administer medications you are not certain about. Do not further harm is a basic first aid principle that should be followed. If you are unsure about how to provide CPR or are unsure about certain medications, do not proceed. Instead of the taking risks performing questionable first aid procedures, wait for a trained first aider or the emergency services to arrive, or ask instructions from the emergency call operator.
- Listen to the victim carefully and do not leave him. Listening to the story can give you vital information that can later help the emergency medical staff in making quick and accurate medical decisions. Moreover, staying with the victim is a basic first aid principle that should guide first aiders and responders.
These key pointers should guide you while providing first aid treatment to victims of accidents and injuries.