General First Aid Procedure

When a person needs medical attention, it is important to attend to the victim in a systematic way: assessing the situation, treating life-threatening conditions first and less serious conditions last. Follow this procedure to treat the victim:

1.   Remain calm. Determine if it is safe to approach the victim; if there is danger to the rescuer, decide whether the risk is acceptable. If it is possible to remove the victim from further hazard or the hazard from the victim, do so, but do not move the victim if you suspect a spinal injury.

2.   Keep the victim warm and lying down. Determine whether there are any immediate life-threatening conditions by checking the victim's responsiveness, breathing and pulse. If the condition is serious, call or send for Emergency Medical Services (EMS).

3.   If there is severe bleeding, stop it through direct pressure and elevate the wound.

4.   If the victim is not breathing, administer artificial respiration, ensuring first that the airway is clear of foreign objects. If there is no pulse, begin cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

5.   Give the victim reassurance. Watch for signs of shock and treat it if it occurs.

6.   Examine the victim from head to toe for cuts, scrapes, deformities and swelling. Feel along the bones for fractures, and pay attention to signs of pain from the victim. Check the head, neck, spine, shoulders, chest, arms, abdomen, back, pelvis, legs and feet. Treat any injuries you find.

7.   Check for any medic alert bracelets, and ask the victim about his or her medical history: medications, previous injuries, medical conditions, etc.

8.   Do not remove the victim’s clothing unless necessary for treatment.

9.   Do not allow observers to crowd the victim.

10. Decide if the victim can be moved to a medical facility. If this is not possible, prepare a suitable shelter with heat and food provided.