First Aid 1

  • Know the resons for giving First Aid

  • Know how to clean and dress a simple wound

The practice of first aid is often said to be one of 'common sense' and in many ways this is true, for example, if someone is bleeding then the first thing that you want to do is to stop it! No text book (or information sheet!) is a substitute for attending a first aid training course if you wish to progress further than the few simple procedures mentioned here. In Scouting we are involved in activities all the time, which can potentially result in accidents whether indoors or outdoors and so it is desirable that we all have a basic understanding of first aid.

Why First Aid?

First aid is the assistance given to a person who has suffered as a result of an accident or illness. The first person on the scene is not going to be a doctor or paramedic, and even if they are, they are unlikely to have the appropriate equipment in their back pocket. The first person on the scene is more likely to be you, and there are three reasons why you should offer assistance:

  • To preserve life;

  • To prevent the condition becoming worse;

  • To promote recovery

Procedure to be followed in the event of an accident

The Scout Association has a procedure to follow in the event of an accident. This ensures the best interests of-

  • The injured person

  • The next of kin of the injured person;

  • The person in charge of the activity;

  • The Scout Association as a whole.

The procedure is as follows:

  1. Remain calm and do not put yourself in danger, thereby making the situation even worse.

  2. Assess the situation; stop, look and listen and ascertain what has happened. Stop traffic, switch off electricity or take any other action which is appropriate to the situation.

  3. Administer the necessary first aid to the best of your ability. Always remember to sit the patient down or lie them down (assuming that it is safe to move them), talk to them and reassure them. A calm, friendly voice can help someone a lot.

  4. If you are worried about the condition, consult a doctor or hospital for medical advice.

  5. At the earliest opportunity, get assistance if necessary and inform the next of kin of the casualty.

  6. Keep a full written record of all relevant information (see Accident books overleaf).

  7. Inform the District Commissioner by telephone as soon as possible and follow up with a letter giving full details.

  8. Make no admission of liability to anyone.

Reassuring patients

Being able to talk to people is the first step in reassuring someone who is injured and possibly anxious, worried and confused. Practice talking in a quiet but confident way to someone. A simple reassuring hand on the shoulder can go a long way as does checking the hand to see if it is cold (and hence the patient may be cold as well). Whilst providing a bit of comfort it calms people down which will help you to get on with the job in hand.

Each patrol should have their own First – Aid Kit

  • Cotton wool

  • Adhesive plasters (small (assorted) packets)

  • Crepe bandages (7.5cm)

  • Sterile dressings (various sizes)

  • Triangular bandage B.P.

  • Adhesive tape (e.g. Micropore)

  • Thermometer

  • Cotton conforming bandages (e.g. 'Kling') 7.5cm

  • Small bowl

  • Tissues

  • Disposable plastic gloves

  • Dressing scissors

  • Safety pins

  • Tweezers

  • Notebook and pencil

  • Plastic bag and seal for disposal of soiled

  • Dressings

Dressing a simple wound

The most common injuries reported are cuts, abrasions, and punctures. Most are minor and require little more than basic first aid. However, some injuries can become more serious if not treated correctly. A few simple steps can take care of these annoying injuries and get you back to the action in a hurry and in good shape.

General Information

Cuts are by far the most common of these types of injuries and most often involve a woodworking tool—like a pocketknife.

Abrasions, such as scrapes and friction injuries, are also common. Falling and scraping a knee or hand while running or riding a bicycle are the most common causes.

Puncture wounds—those injuries where a sharp object pierces the skin and goes into the tissue—are slightly less common but do occur often at home, in the woods, or at camp. Stepping on a nail, getting a splinter, or being pierced by an awl during leathercraft are frequent occurrences.

Minor Wounds are treated involving simple techniques in basic First Aid.

Treatment for simple cuts and scratches

  • Clean wound with soap and water or sanitizing wipes if water is not available

  • Allow wound to dry

  • Apply triple-antibiotic ointment

  • Apply an adhesive bandage

Recovery Position

The recovery position is used to maintain an open airway on an unconscious casualty when they are breathing. Follow these steps to place a patient in the Recovery Position.

  • Turn the casualty onto their side.

  • If injury allows, bend the upper leg and arm to stabilize or use a bystander to keep in this position.

  • Tilt the head back and hold in this position. The tongue will be held forward and away from the back of the throat – this keeps the airway open.

  • Check for any foreign bodies in their mouth.

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