First Aid Basics All People Should Know

What is first aid? First aid or emergency care is exactly what it says it is. It is not a medical treatment and you should not compare what you can do with what the doctor would do. You are not to make medical decisions, just simple common sense decisions that are appropriate to the injured person’s interests at the time.

As a first aider and a member of Philippine National Red Cross since 1996, these are the top 10 rules for any emergency situation:

Look after yourself — don’t do anything hazardous or thoughtless activity that will put you in danger. Get the victim and yourself away from hazards as soon as possible. Don’t get trapped in a fire, etc.

Check for: breathing, choking, bleeding, consciousness. action on these can save lives.

Get help as soon as possible. Don’t do anything without professional aid. Tell the professionals over the phone how many casualties there are, what happened, exactly where you are, your telephone number and whether special equipment is needed.

Reassure the victim always. Give him confidence that the help is on the way.

Organize bystanders — don’t let them get too close to the victim.

Decide quickly which most needs urgent attention when there are several casualties.

Turn the victim to a recovery position and clear the airway immediately. If there’s a possibility of fractures, don’t move the victim.

Have a first aid kit in hand all the time.

Apply life-saving procedures like CPR if necessary.

Join trainings at your area for first aid. It will become handy soon. It’s best to be prepared.


It is best to keep a first aid kit handy at all times. This should be kept in a plastic box, well sealed, and away from children. Make sure that everyone knows where it is kept so that It could be easily accessed when it is already needed.

The box should contain:

A triangular bandage and several large safety pins.

Disposable sterile gloves.

Cotton wool (for clearing but not for putting on wounds or burns).

White gauze in rolls and/or pads.

Paper tissues (white preferably) in small unopened packs.

Adhesive dressings(plasters) of various sizes.

Adhesive strapping.


Gauze bandages in all sizes.

Pain-relieving tablets. NOTE: Don’t keep aspirins unless foil wrapped for more than a year.

Antiseptic for cleaning wounds (Povidone Iodine Solutions and Antibacterial creams)


Ice pack.

Wet wipes.

Calamine lotion.

Indigestion tablets.

travel sickness tablets.

An eye bath.

A piece of paper with your telephone number, addresses and telephone numbers of the hospitals and family doctors.


Take note of these things. you will be able to save more lives just by remembering these important details!

DON’T use a tourniquet to stop bleeding—the chances are you’ll do more harm than good by cutting off the blood supply for too long.

DON’T throw the head back for a nose bleed—this makes the blood trickle to the back of the throat where it is swallowed. subsequent vomiting can make the nosebleed worse.

DON’T give people salt water to make them sick when they swallow tablets. Don’t give any water because rather than diluting the poison, water speeds up its absorption in the stomach.

DON’T use antiseptics undiluted—they are no more effective than in the correct dilution and can damage the body.

DON’T force a damaged elbow into a sling—you may do serious damage to the nerves and blood vessels nearby.

DON’T force a zip fastener open if the foreskin is caught. Cut the bottom of the zip from below.

DON’T leave hand injuries hanging down—keep them up to stop swelling. Pin the cuff to the person’s lapel or dress high up on the chest.

DON’T cover wounds or infections of the fingered with nylon finger stalls for more than a hour or so. The warm, moist conditions favor the breeding of germs.

DON’T use other people’s medicines.

DON’T give anything by mouth to someone you suspect has broken a bone—he may need an anesthetic later.

DON’T make an emergency pillow for someone who collapsed on the street—you may endanger his breathing by bending the neck forwards.

DON’T leave unconscious people anything to drink or eat. wait until the person is alert enough to hold a cup himself.

DON’T remove people from the scene of the crash because the ambulance crew may never find them.

DON’T take people to hospital by private car after a serious accident or illness because you deprive them of the treatment they could receive in the ambulance.

DON’T try lifting a vehicle off someone—you’ll probably hurt yourself or fail and let it drop back on the person, so inflicting even more damage.

DON’T touch anything until the main supply has been switched off when you arrive at the scene of an electrical shock.

DON’T cover people up more when they have a fever.

DON’T ever move a person from a crash or fall—he may have broken bones. Just make him comfortable till the professional help arrives.

DON’T try to do any first aid maneuvers if you’re not well trained in the emergency procedure—-you may harm the person more.

DON’T put cotton wools or any fluffy dressings on to a burn.

DON’T put any grease, oily creams or butter on the burn. Leave blisters alone.

DON’T replace dislocated joints.

DON’T give cotton wool sandwiches or other bulky remedies to swallow when a person got a fishbone in his throat.

This article wasn’t written to give you tips on how to do proper first aid steps on specific emergencies. It is still best to join local first aid trainings yourself. Enroll now at any Red Cross branch and start learning how to do first aid procedure by yourself. This might come in handy someday.