The first aid “ABC’s” are Airway, Breathing, and Circulation. The airway of an injured person must be cleared first if blocked, to prevent choking. Rescue breathing, or cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) may need to be given to the individual. Unless you are trained to give CPR, you could possibly cause serious damage to the injured person, by pressing in the wrong place, or pushing too hard, crushing ribs. It is important to get the proper training for CPR before actually using this procedure. The letter “D” was added to the first aid alphabet, for Deadly bleeding, and Defibrillation, also in the category of circulation. The important things to do quickly, but calmly, are to restore breathing, stop bleeding, maintain circulation, and prevent or treat shock, in this order. You must work quickly and methodically, in a manner which will not alarm the victim. If you can stabilize the victim, hopefully you will soon be able to seek a professional’s assistance.
The victim should remain lying down until you assess what type of injury, and how serious the injury is. If there is vomiting involved, you may turn the injured on his or her side, to prevent choking however. Move the victim as little as possible, in case of unknown spinal injury, and try to keep them calm, if conscious. You will need to cut their clothing off if necessary to see the wound, preventing further injury. Immobilize any suspected breaks or fractures, so that they will not become worse. Keep the victim’s body warm with a blanket or coat, and try to maintain a normal body temperature. If profuse bleeding is involved, put pressure on the wound, or pressure points, if you are familiar with them, before you try a constricting band or tourniquet. If there is hemorrhaging involved, and pressure with a sterile cloth does not work, the constricting band may be used. It is crucial that the bleeding stops, because if half of you body’s blood is lost, death usually results.
The last area to be addressed is shock. In any traumatic accident or event, shock usually follows. The signs of shock are sometimes a weak and rapid pulse, shallow breathing , and rapid or irregular breathing. The body temperature to the touch is lowered, so they may feel cold, but they are also sweating noticeably. Their skin may look pale, or have a bluish, or reddish color, and the pupils will be dilated, or the black of the eye is enlarged. They may be extremely thirsty, weak, feel faint, and experience dizziness, or nausea. The most important thing to remember, is to do the best that you can do, with what you have, under the circumstances. First aid first, may be the only help that the victim has at the moment, and you could be the first person available to save their life.