The aim of first aid is to save the victim’s life and preserve their health in case of an accident or a sudden illness, until the person can be treated by qualified medical personnel. A first aider is a person who takes this action while taking care to keep everyone involved save and to cause no further harm while doing so. The timely provision of first aid reduces the severity of the consequences of a trauma or an accident, lowers the percentage of people who become disabled, shortens the period needed for post-trauma recovery, and enables the victim to return to their daily life much sooner.
According to the World Health Organisation, 20% of deaths could be avoided if victims were to receive timely first aid. Many die of injuries caused by traumas during transport or even in medical institutions, due to fatal complications caused by a delay in receiving first aid.
The optimal time for providing first aid to a victim is within 30 minutes of the trauma or accident; whereas in case of poisoning the time is as little as 10 minutes. Once breathing has stopped, the time decreases even further – down to five to seven minutes.
As a rule, the following first aid techniques can be carried out at the scene before the arrival of medical personnel:
Elementary cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and artificial ventilation of the lungs;
Release of airways;
To stop bleeding;
To fix a limb in case of fracture or dislocation;
To avoid victim overcooling;
Cooling damaged body parts in case of burns and bruise;
Helping the victim to the comfortable positions;
Transporting victims to a hospital (if necessary).