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A Must Learn: Basic First Aid Training For Drivers

First Aid is the first step of treatment for injured and sick people before a thorough medical attention is given. Immediately after an incident, every second or minute counts because if nothing is done, it can lead to a more serious or permanent condition.

As a driver it’s very important to have the basic knowledge of First Aid approach to ignored people on the road. Accidents can occur at anytime and when you least expect. Basic knowledge can save someone’s life.

Recovery Position For Unresponsive And Breathing Person

If a person is unconscious but is breathing and has no other life-threatening conditions, they should be placed in the recovery position. Putting someone in the recovery position will keep their airway clear and open. It also ensures that any vomit or fluid won’t cause them to choke. This short video below will help to illustrate how you can do that:

Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation For Unresponsive And Breathing Person

Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) is a lifesaving technique useful in many emergencies in which someone’s breathing or heartbeat has stopped. If a victim is unresponsive and not breathing, you’ll need to do CPR (which is short for Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation). CPR involves giving someone a combination of chest compressions and rescue breaths to keep their heart and circulation going to try to save their life. If they start breathing normally again, stop CPR and put them in the recovery position. The short video below will illustrate clearly how to perform CPR.

Dealing With Choking

Choking occurs when a foreign object becomes lodged in the throat or windpipe, blocking the flow of air. In adults, a piece of food often is the culprit. Young children often swallow small objects. Because choking cuts off oxygen to the brain, administer first aid as quickly as possible. The universal sign for choking is hands clutched to the throat. If the person doesn’t give the signal, look for these indications:

  • Inability to talk
  • Difficulty breathing or noisy breathing
  • Inability to cough forcefully
  • Skin, lips and nails turning blue or dusky
  • Loss of consciousness

The short video below will illustrate:

Dealing With Shock

Shock is a critical condition that is brought on by a sudden drop in blood flow through the body. The circulatory system fails to maintain adequate blood flow, sharply curtailing the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to vital organs. If untreated, this can lead to permanent organ damage or even death. Signs and symptoms of shock vary depending on circumstances and may include:

  • Cool, clammy skin
  • Pale or ashen skin
  • Rapid pulse
  • Rapid breathing
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Enlarged pupils
  • Weakness or fatigue
  • Dizziness or fainting
  • Changes in mental status or behavior, such as anxiousness or agitation

The short video will properly illustrate:

Bleeding And Bandaging

When confronted with severe bleeding, take these actions immediately:

  1. Remove any obvious dirt or debris from the wound. Don’t remove large or deeply embedded objects. Don’t probe the wound or attempt to clean it yet. Your first job is to stop the bleeding. Wear disposable protective gloves if available.
  2. Stop the bleeding. Place a sterile bandage or clean cloth on the wound. Press the bandage firmly with your palm to control bleeding. Maintain pressure by binding the wound tightly with a bandage or a piece of clean cloth. Secure with adhesive tape. Use your hands if nothing else is available. Raise the injured part above the level of the heart.
  3. Help the injured person lie down, preferably on a rug or blanket to prevent loss of body heat. If possible, elevate the legs.
  4. Don’t remove the gauze or bandage. If the bleeding seeps through the gauze or other cloth on the wound, add another bandage on top of it. And keep pressing firmly on the area.
  5. Tourniquets: A tourniquet is effective in controlling life-threatening bleeding from a limb. Apply a tourniquet if you’re trained in how to do so. When emergency help arrives, explain how long the tourniquet has been in place.
  6. Immobilize the injured body part once the bleeding has stopped. Leave the bandages in place and get the injured person to the emergency room as soon as possible.

Dealing With Bone Dislocation And Fracture

A dislocation is where a bone has been displaced from its normal position at a joint. A fracture is when a bone has been broken. Look out for these symptoms but not all maybe present:

  • pain
  • swelling
  • deformity of the injured area (when compared with the uninjured side of the body)
  • loss of normal function of the injured part
  • discolouration of the skin (i.e. blueness) or bruising
  • a wound if it is an open fracture
  • altered sensation – e.g. ‘pins and needles’ – if a nerve is under pressure
  • a grating sensation if injured bone ends are rubbing together
  • victim may have heard/felt the bone break

Approach to use in this case includes:

  1. Control any bleeding If a wound is present, check for any significant bleeding; and if bleeding, apply direct pressure around any exposed bones. Apply padding around the wound, or above and below the wound. Apply a clean dressing loosely over the injured part.
  2. Immobilize the injured part Reduce the pain and the risk of further injury by supporting and immobilizing the injured area. Usually this simply means supporting the injured part in a comfortable position.
  3. Make the victim comfortable Help the patient into the position of greatest comfort without any unnecessary movement. Use blankets, pillows or clothing for general comfort and support. Place generous padding around the injured area and in the nearby hollows of the body, using soft towels, clothing, pillows or blankets, etc. Where an ambulance is likely to be delayed for more than 1 hour immobilize the injured part.

Dealing With Burns

There are three primary types of burns: first-, second-, and third-degree. Each degree is based on the severity of damage to the skin, with first-degree being the most minor and third-degree being the most severe. Damage includes:

  • first-degree burns: red, nonblistered skin
  • second-degree burns: blisters and some thickening of the skin
  • third-degree burns: widespread thickness with a white, leathery appearance

Treating burns includes:

  1. Cool the burn to help soothe the pain. Hold the burned area under cool (not cold) running water for 10 to 15 minutes or until the pain eases. Or apply a clean towel dampened with cool tap water.
  2. Remove rings or other tight items from the burned area. Try to do this quickly and gently, before the area swells.
  3. Don’t break small blisters (no bigger than your little fingernail). If blisters break, gently clean the area with mild soap and water, apply an antibiotic ointment, and cover it with a nonstick gauze bandage.
  4. Apply moisturizer or aloe vera lotion or gel if available this may provide relief in some cases.
  5. If needed, take an over-the-counter pain reliever, such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others), naproxen sodium (Aleve) or acetaminophen (Tylenol, others).

Secondary Survey: Monitoring A Casualty

Only move onto the Secondary Survey if you’ve already done the Primary Survey (The steps above) and have succeeded in dealing with any life-threatening conditions. Then you can start questioning the casualty about what’s happened if necessary and carefully check for other injuries. If you can, jot down everything you have observed, this information may come handy when proper health care arrives.

About Nonso Okafor

I've worked as a technical support representative in major auto centers in Nigeria for more than twenty years. I have dealt with a variety of problems in my capacity as a customer service representative and auto diagnostics expert. I'm committed to assisting people in properly maintaining their automobiles and in appreciating this magnificent innovation known as an automobile.

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