First aid is the provision of initial care for an illness or injury. It is usually performed by non-expert, but trained personnel to a sick or injured person until definitive medical treatment can be accessed. Certain self-limiting illnesses or minor injuries may not require further medical care past the first aid intervention. It generally consists of a series of simple and in some cases, potentially life-saving techniques that an individual can be trained to perform with minimal equipment.
While first aid can also be performed on all animals, the term generally refers to care of human patients.
- 1 History
- 2 Aims
- 3 Key skills
- 4 Training
- 5 Specific disciplines
- 6 Symbols
- 7 Conditions that often require first aid
- 8 References
- 9 External links
The instances of recorded first aid were provided by religious knights, such as the Knights Hospitaller, formed in the 11th century, providing care to pilgrims and knights, and training other knights in how to treat common battlefield injuries. The practice of first aid fell largely into disuse during the High Middle Ages, and organized societies were not seen again until in 1859 Jean-Henri Dunant organized local villagers to help victims of the Battle of Solferino, including the provision of first aid. Four years later, four nations met in Geneva and formed the organization which has grown into the Red Cross, with a key stated aim of "aid to sick and wounded soldiers in the field". This was followed by the formation of St. John Ambulance in 1877, based on the principles of the Knights Hospitaller, to teach first aid, and numerous other organization joined them with the term first aid first coined in 1878 as civilian ambulance services spread as a combination of "first treatment" and "national aid" in large railway centres and mining districts as well as with police forces. In 1878 Surgeon-Major Peter Shepherd, together with Colonel Francis Duncan established the concept of teaching first aid skills to civilians. Shepherd, together with a Dr Coleman, conducted the first class in the hall of the Presbyterian school in Woolwich using a comprehensive first aid curriculum that he had developed. It was Shepherd who first used the English term "first aid for the injured" First aid training began to spread through the empire through organisations such as St. John, often starting, as in the UK, with high risk activities such as ports and railways.
Many developments in first aid and many other medical techniques have been driven by wars, such as in the case of the American Civil War, which prompted Clara Barton to organize the American Red Cross. Today, there are several groups that promote first aid, such as the military and the Scouting movement. New techniques and equipment have helped make today’s first aid simple and effective.
The key aims of first aid can be summarized in three key points:-
- Preserve life: the overriding aim of all medical care, including first aid, is to save lives.
- Prevent further harm: also sometimes called prevent the condition from worsening, or danger of further injury, this covers both external factors, such as moving a patient away from any cause of harm, and applying first aid techniques to prevent worsening of the condition, such as applying pressure to stop a bleed becoming dangerous.
- Promote recovery: first aid also involves trying to start the recovery process from the illness or injury, and in some cases might involve completing a treatment, such as in the case of applying a plaster to a small wound.
First aid training also involves the prevention of initial injury and responder safety, and the treatment phases.
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Certain skills are considered essential to the provision of first aid and are taught ubiquitously. Particularly the "ABC"s of first aid, which focus on critical life-saving intervention, must be rendered before treatment of less serious injuries. ABC stands for Airway, Breathing, and Circulation. The same mnemonic is used by all emergency health professionals. Attention must first be brought to the airway to ensure it is clear. Obstruction (choking) is a life-threatening emergency. Following evaluation of the airway, a first aid attendant would determine adequacy of breathing and provide rescue breathing if necessary. Assessment of circulation is now not usually carried out for patients who are not breathing, with first aiders now trained to go straight to chest compressions (and thus providing artificial circulation) but pulse checks may be done on less serious patients.
Some organizations add a fourth step of "D" for Deadly bleeding or Defibrillation, while others consider this as part of the Circulation step. Variations on techniques to evaluate and maintain the ABCs depend on the skill level of the first aider. Once the ABCs are secured, first aiders can begin additional treatments, as required. Some organizations teach the same order of priority using the "3Bs": Breathing, Bleeding, and Bones (or "4Bs": Breathing, Bleeding, Brain, and Bones). While the ABCs and 3Bs are taught to be performed sequentially, certain conditions may require the consideration of two steps simultaneously. This includes the provision of both artificial respiration and chest compressions to someone who is not breathing and has no pulse, and the consideration of cervical spine injuries when ensuring an open airway.
In order to stay alive, all persons need to have an open airway—a clear passage where air can move in through the mouth or nose through the pharynx and down into the lungs, without obstruction. Conscious people will maintain their own airway automatically, but those who are unconscious (with a GCS of less than 8) may be unable to maintain a patent airway, as the part of the brain which automatically controls breathing in normal situations may not be functioning.
If the patient was breathing, a first aider would normally then place them in the recovery position, with the patient leant over on their side, which also has the effect of clearing the tongue from the pharynx. It also avoids a common cause of death in unconscious patients, which is choking on regurgitated stomach contents.
The airway can also become blocked through a foreign object becoming lodged in the pharynx or larynx, commonly called choking. The first aider will be taught to deal with this through a combination of ‘back slaps’ and ‘abdominal thrusts’.
Once the airway has been opened, the first aider would assess to see if the patient is breathing. If there is no breathing, or the patient is not breathing normally, such as agonal breathing, the first aider would undertake what is probably the most recognized first aid procedure—cardiopulmonary resuscitation or CPR, which involves breathing for the patient, and manually massaging the heart to promote blood flow around the body.
The first aider is also likely to be trained in dealing with injuries such as cuts, grazes or bone fracture. They may be able to deal with the situation in its entirety (a small adhesive bandage on a paper cut), or may be required to maintain the condition of something like a broken bone, until the next stage of definitive care (usually an ambulance) arrives.
Basic principles, such as knowing to use an adhesive bandage or applying direct pressure on a bleed, are often acquired passively through life experiences. However, to provide effective, life-saving first aid interventions requires instruction and practical training. This is especially true where it relates to potentially fatal illnesses and injuries, such as those that require cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR); these procedures may be invasive, and carry a risk of further injury to the patient and the provider. As with any training, it is more useful if it occurs before an actual emergency, and in many countries, emergency ambulance dispatchers may give basic first aid instructions over the phone while the ambulance is on the way.
Training is generally provided by attending a course, typically leading to certification. Due to regular changes in procedures and protocols, based on updated clinical knowledge, and to maintain skill, attendance at regular refresher courses or re-certification is often necessary. First aid training is often available through community organizations such as the Red Cross and St. John Ambulance, or through commercial providers, who will train people for a fee. This commercial training is most common for training of employees to perform first aid in their workplace. Many community organizations also provide a commercial service, which complements their community programmes.
In Australia, nationally-recognized first aid certificates may only be issued by registered training organisations that are accredited on the National Training Information System (NTIS). Courses are based on the delivery and assessment of units of competency from various training packages. Most first aid certificates are issued at one of three levels::
- Provide Basic Emergency Life Support. Formerly Level 1 (or “Basic First Aid”, or “Basic Life Support”) this is a 1-day course covering primarily life-threatening emergencies. It involves the training and assessment of HLTFA201A from the HLT07 Health Training Package
- Apply First Aid. Formerly Level 2 (“Senior First Aid”) is either a 2-day face to face course or 1 day face to face combined with 4 - 8 theory work at home or online. It involves the delivery and assessment of HLTFA301B Apply First Aid. It covers all the aspects of training in "Provide Basic Emergency Life Support, as well as specialized training for treatment of burns, bites, stings, electric shock and poisons and the use of an AED. Apply First Aid must be re-accredited every three years to remain current for use in the workplace Reaccreditation of the CPR component (HLTFACPR201) is generally required annually, although individual states set the specific requirements.
- Apply Advanced First Aid. Formerly Level 3 (“Occupational First Aid”) is a one day course covering advanced first aid, use of oxygen and automated external defibrillators and documentation. It is suitable for workplace first aiders and those who manage first aid facilities. It is based on the training and assessment of a group of units of competency - HLTFA301B Apply first aid, HLTFA402B Apply advanced first aid and HLTFA403A Manage first aid in the workplace - that are generally delivered together.
Other courses outside these levels are commonly taught, including CPR-only courses, Advanced Resuscitation, Remote Area or Wilderness First Aid, Administering Medications (such as salbutamol or the EpiPen) and specialized courses for parents, school teachers, community first responders or hazardous workplace first aiders. CPR Re-accreditation courses are sometimes required yearly, regardless of the length of the overall certification.
In Canada, first aid certificates can be issued under the auspices one of four training organizations that authorize 'course providers' to provide their particular "brand" of first aid training in up to ten provinces and three territories (thus, nationally): Canadian Red Cross Society, (Royal)Lifesaving Society (Canada), St. John Ambulance, and Canadian Ski Patrol. Besides first aid courses for the general public, such as "Emergency" and "Standard" first aid, which incorporates and includes CPR, most of these organizations also administer more specialized training, for example "Aquatic Emergency Care" for life guards (Lifesaving Society), "Wilderness First Aid" (St. John Ambulance), first aid that meets regulations for employment as a child care worker (Cdn. Red Cross Society) and first aid training that meets regulations for first aid attendants employed in the workplace.
Workplaces can come under occupational health and safety and insurance regulations that are either provincial (e.g. construction work sites) or federal (e.g. air, rail or marine transportation). Therefore, these national first aid training organizations offer workplace first aid training that complies with the specific training requirements, standards and syllabi set either by a given province or else by the particular federal regulatory requirement (for example, maritime industry first aid for ships crew and officers, or commercial aviation first aid for air transport crew such as airline flight attendants and pilots.
First aid training leading to certification that meets provincial workplace standards can also be offered through private training companies that have to be accredited and authorized by the relevant provincial regulatory agency or ministry. For example, the British Columbia provincial Workers Compensation Board (Worksafe BC) sets out OFA Occupational First Aid training and certification standards and requirements at 3 levels ranging from 8 to more than 40 hours.
Beyond 'first aid' training and certification are standards for 'pre-hospital care' such as 'first responder', 'emergency medical responder', paramedic and other titles. For example, fire-rescue personnel and paramedical personnel provide care that goes beyond 'first aid'. Yet a police officer might only be required to hold a first aid, not a pre-hospital care first aid 'ticket' as part of his or her current qualification. The military train in first aid and pre-hospital emergency care that is oriented to combat and other military situations and environments.
The training syllabi (course content) for "Emergency" First Aid (around 8 hours; 8 hours when recertifying; basically CPR along with treatment for shock and a few other life threatening conditions such as anaphylaxis and severe bleeding) and "Standard" First Aid (around 16 hours, but 8 hours to recertify within a certain recurrency period - otherwise re-do the 16 hours) are set out by Health Canada, a federal department of the Government of Canada which accredits a training organization as a course provider of these two basic certificates, needed by those people employed in federally regulated workplaces.
Workplace safety regulations and standards for first aid vary by province depending on occupation. However, as some occupations are governed by federal, not provincial, workplace safety regulations, such as the transportation industry (marine, aviation, rail), trainees need to confirm with their employer as to exactly what specific training and certification standards comply with the applicable regulatory agencies, federal or provincial.
- Emergency First Aid: is an 8-hour course covering primarily life-threatening emergencies: CPR, bleeding, choking and other life-threatening medical emergencies.
- Standard First Aid: is a 16-hour course that covers the same material as Emergency First Aid and will include training for some, but not all, of the following: s; burns; poisons, bites and stings; eye injuries; head and neck injuries; chest injuries; wound care; emergency child birth; and multiple casualty management.
CPR certification in Canada is broken into several levels. Depending on the level, the lay person will learn the basic one-person CPR and choking procedures for adults, and perhaps children, and infants. Higher-level designations also require two-person CPR to be learned. Depending on provincial laws, trainees may also learn the basics of automated external defibrillation (AED).
- Level A is the lowest level of CPR training. Trainees learn how to perform the standard one-rescuer CPR and choking procedures on adults.
- Level B requires the same procedures as Level A, but trainees learn to perform these maneuvers on children and infants in addition to adults.
- Level C requires the same maneuvers as Level B, and trainees are also taught how to perform two-person CPR.
- Level HCP (Health Care Professional) was introduced in Canada in response to new guidelines set by the International Liaison Committee on Resuscitation. In addition to the techniques taught in Level C, artificial resuscitation, AED use (to certification standards), and bag-valve-mask use is taught. Anyone with CPR-HCP certification is considered AED certified.
In France, first aid certificates are delivered by organisations that are approved by the Minister of the Interior, following the official national reference document (Référentiel national, RN). There are about 20 approved associations (Croix-rouge française, Fédération Nationale de Protection Civile, Fédération des secouristes français Croix-Blanche, Œuvres hospitalières françaises de l'ordre de Malte, Union nationale de protection civile, Association nationale des premiers secours, …); many administrations — army, fire services, national education, … — are also approved.
- at school: basics must be taught at the primary school
- grande das. Tou
section de maternelle (5 years old): to detect a danger, to look for an adult,
- cours élémentaire 1 (CE1, 7 years old): to protect oneself, to call for help,
- cours moyen 2 (CM2, 10 years old): to make a complete phone call, to place a casualty in an adapted position (sitting, lying, recovery position);
- at the Journée défense et citoyenneté (Information to the army careers): IAPS, Initiation à l'alerte et aux premiers secours (initiation to call for help and first aid)
- Calling for help.
- The casualty is not alert (recovery position).
- The casualty is not breathing (CPR, AED).
- PSC1: Prévention et secours civiques de niveau 1 (Prevention and civic aid, level 1): 10 hours,
- Securing (including emergency casualty movement).
- Calling for help.
- The casualty is choking.
- The casualty bleeds deadly.
- The casualty is not alert (recovery position).
- The casualty is not breathing (CPR, AED, including children and babies).
- The casualty complains about illness (including strokes and heart infarction).
- The casualty complains after a trauma (burns, wounds, broken bones, joint sprains and dislocations).
- SST: Sauvetage-secourisme du travail (first aid at work): similar to PSC1, with a study of the specific risks of the activity of the worker;
- PSE: premiers secours en équipe (team first aid, certified first responders):
- PSE1 (level 1): 35 hrs, acting as a member of a first aid organisation
general principles (managing stress, relationships to the casualty and the bystanders, hygiene, being part of a team, security, basic anatomy), advanced assessment (check pupils, check pulse, pain assessment), cervical collar, suction, oxygen first aid, basic bandages and tourniquets, methods with two team members (emergency movements, recovery position, removal of a helmet, jaw thrust, CPR), specific cases (amputations, casualty in a car, drowning), simple patient transport (walking, sitting in a chair);
- PSE2 (level 2): 35 hrs, acting as a member of a rescue team
managing the medical wastes, cleaning an ambulance and the first aid material, reacting to an accidental contact with blood, complete assessment (including blood pressure cuff, pulse oximeter, ear thermometer), two-way radio, specific cases (bites, stings, intoxication, blast, rhabdomyolysis, heat stroke, hypothermia, hanging and strangulation, convulsions, diabetes, anaphylaxis, pregnancy, behaviour disorders), advanced bandages, preservation of an amputated limb, member realignment and splints (including cervical collar, KED, long spine board with side head supports, vacuum mattress, Donway traction splints), casualty lifting (including standing casualty with a spine trauma, casualty lying face-down or in recovery popsition, different lifting device, stretchers and chairs), casualty transport (including obstacles passing, stairs), situations with multiple casualties (including disasters, plan rouge, plan Orsec, chemical hazard).
- PSE1 (level 1): 35 hrs, acting as a member of a first aid organisation
In Ireland, the workplace qualification is the Occupational First Aid Certificate. The Health and Safety Authority issue the standards for first aid at work and hold a register of qualified instructors, examiners and organisations that can provide the course. A FETAC Level 5 certificate is awarded after passing a three-day course and is valid for two years from date of issue. Occupational First Aiders are more qualified than Cardiac First Responders (Cardiac First Response and training on the AED is now part of the OFA course) but less qualified than Emergency First Responders but strangely Occupational First Aid is the only one of the three not certified by PHECC. Organisations offering the certificate include, Ireland's largest first aid organisation, the Order of Malta Ambulance Corps, the St John Ambulance Brigade, and the Irish Red Cross. The Irish Red Cross also provides a Practical First Aid Course aimed at the general public dealing primarily with family members getting injured. Many other (purely commercially run) organisations offer training.
In Russia, first aid education is mandatory for police officers, rescues and EMERCOM staff. In secondary school, teenagers are trained in basic first aid skills. Adults can be trained in commercial organizations. Such training is based on the international guidelines, there are no country-specific guidelines for first aid in Russia. Providing first aid to the victims is the right of every man, but medications can be used by certified ambulance crews, physicians and hospital staff only. There are no national first aid certificates in Russia.
In Singapore, the workplace qualification is the Occupational First Aid Certificate. The Ministry of Manpower (Singapore) issue the standards for first aid at work and qualifies first aid instructors, occupational nurses and doctors and registered safety officers as examiners and organisations that can provide the course. Instructors are required to undergo an ACTA certification, a nationally recognised training standard endorsed by the Workforce Development Agency. Workplaces with more than 25 employees are required to have certified Occupational First Aiders. The Occupational First Aid Course recently incorporated a CPR and AED segment which is accredited by the National Resuscitation Council of Singapore and is valid for 2 years. Occupational First Aiders learn more workplace related topics than Cardiac First Responders and is the industry standard in Singapore. However, they may be less qualified than EMTs.Also in schools basic training is given of first aid.
In the Netherlands basic level lay firstaid training is mostly provided by the Dutch Red Cross, local Lifeguard organizations, first aid association or commercial companies. First aiders are mostly certified by the "Dutch Red Cross" and the foundation "Het Oranje Kruis". The foundation "LPEV" certifies mainly advanced and first responder level' firstaid training.
Medical firstaid must always be provided by certified ambulance crews, physicians and hospital staff.
In the UK, as well as general and practical first aid courses for the public environment, there are also two main types of first aid courses offered for the workplace environment as required by the Health and Safety (First Aid) Regulations 1981; Emergency First Aid at Work and First Aid at Work. An “Emergency First Aid at Work” course typically lasts one day, and covers the basics, focusing on critical interventions for conditions such as cardiac arrest and severe bleeding, and is usually not formally assessed. A “First Aid at Work” course is usually a three-day course (two days for a re-qualification) that covers the full spectrum of first aid, and is formally assessed by recognized Health and Safety Executive assessors. Certification for the “First Aid at Work” course are issued by the training organization and are valid for a period of three years from the date the delegate qualifies. Other first aid courses offered by the major UK training organizations such as St. John Ambulance, St Andrew’s First Aid or the British Red Cross include Sports First Aid, Baby and Child courses, manual handling, people moving, and courses geared towards more advanced life support, such as defibrillation and administration of medical gases such as oxygen and entonox.
The British Armed Forces use First Aid ranging from levels 1–3, to assist the medical staff on their Ship, Squadron, Section, Base or any other purpose required. They are trained in both Military (battlefield injuries) and Civilian First Aid and often utilise their knowledge in aid stricken regions around the world. First Aid is vital on board warships because of the number of people in a small area and the space given to perform their task, it is also vital for the Army and Royal Marines to know basic first aid to help the survival rate of injured soldiers when in combat.
In the United States, there is no universal schedule of First Aid levels that are applicable to all agencies that provide first aid training. Training is provided typically through the American Red Cross, but may also be completed by local fire departments and the American Heart Association (AHA) in terms of CPR. The American Red Cross, however, offers the following courses:
- CPR-Adult (CPR-A)
- CPR-Child and Infant (CPR-CI)
- CPR-Adult and Child (CPR-AC)
- CPR-Adult, Child, and Infant (CPR-ACI)
- CPR/Automated External Defibrillator (AED)
- CPR/AED-Adult (CPR/AED-A)
- CPR/AED-Adult and Child (CPR/AED-AC)
- CPR/AED for the Professional Rescuer
- First Aid
- First Aid Basics
- Standard First Aid
- First Aid - Responding to Emergencies
- Wilderness and Remote First Aid
- Emergency Medical Response
- Administering Emergency Oxygen
- Bloodborne Pathogens Training
- Lifeguarding (Lifeguard training)
- Epinephrine Auto-Injector Use
- First Responder in the Workplace training (CPR/AED/First Aid)
- Dog, Cat, and Dog/Cat First Aid
- Babysitter's Training
- Instructor Certification
Red Cross training programs may vary by Chapter and season. Lay First Aid Providers in the United States are subject to Good Samaritan law protections as long as their treatment does not extend beyond training or certification. First Aid training in the United States is limited to basic life support functions needed to sustain life, and training instills the importance of activating the Emergency Medical System before beginning assistance (through the Three C's: Check, Call, Care). Training classes range from a few hours for a specific course, or several days for combination, specialty, and instructor courses. Red Cross volunteers are required to be Standard First Aid plus CPR/ACI certified (AED is encouraged but not required as of 2009), as well as passing the FEMA NIMS Introductory certification.
There are several types of first aid (and first aider) which require specific additional training. These are usually undertaken to fulfill the demands of the work or activity undertaken.
- Aquatic/Marine first aid is usually practiced by professionals such as lifeguards, professional mariners or in diver rescue, and covers the specific problems which may be faced after water-based rescue and/or delayed MedEvac.
- Battlefield first aid takes into account the specific needs of treating wounded combatants and non-combatants during armed conflict.
- Hyperbaric first aid may be practiced by SCUBA diving professionals, who need to treat conditions such as the bends.
- Oxygen first aid is the providing of oxygen to casualties who suffer from conditions resulting in hypoxia.
- Wilderness first aid is the provision of first aid under conditions where the arrival of emergency responders or the evacuation of an injured person may be delayed due to constraints of terrain, weather, and available persons or equipment. It may be necessary to care for an injured person for several hours or days.
- Hydrofluoric Acid first aid is taught to first aiders in the chemical industry where hydrofluoric acid may be used. Instructs the first aider how to initially treat (with calcium gluconate) any skin that has been splashed with the acid.
- Mental health first aid is taught independently of physical first aid. How to support someone experiencing a mental health problem or in a crisis situation. Also how to identify the first signs of someone developing mental ill health and guide people towards appropriate help.
- Equine first aid is the provision of first aid for horses, mules and donkeys under conditions where the arrival of a verinarian or other professional may be delayed due to distance, constraints of terrain, weather, and available persons or equipment. It may be necessary to care for an injured animal for several hours.
Although commonly associated with first aid, the symbol of a red cross is an official protective symbol of the Red Cross. According to the Geneva Conventions and other international laws, the use of this and similar symbols is reserved for official agencies of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent, and as a protective emblem for medical personnel and facilities in combat situations. Use by any other person or organization is illegal, and may lead to prosecution.
The internationally accepted symbol for first aid is the white cross on a green background shown below.
Some organizations may make use of the Star of Life, although this is usually reserved for use by ambulance services, or may use symbols such as the Maltese Cross, like the Order of Malta Ambulance Corps and St John Ambulance. Other symbols may also be used.
Conditions that often require first aid
Also see medical emergency.
- Altitude sickness, which can begin in susceptible people at altitudes as low as 5,000 feet, can cause potentially fatal swelling of the brain or lungs.
- Anaphylaxis, a life-threatening condition in which the airway can become constricted and the patient may go into shock. The reaction can be caused by a systemic allergic reaction to allergens such as insect bites or peanuts. Anaphylaxis is initially treated with injection of epinephrine.
- Battlefield first aid—This protocol refers to treating shrapnel, gunshot wounds, burns, bone fractures, etc. as seen either in the ‘traditional’ battlefield setting or in an area subject to damage by large scale weaponry, such as a bomb blast.
- Bone fracture, a break in a bone initially treated by stabilizing the fracture with a splint.
- Burns, which can result in damage to tissues and loss of body fluids through the burn site.
- Cardiac Arrest, which will lead to death unless CPR preferably combined with an AED is started within minutes. There is often no time to wait for the emergency services to arrive as 92 percent of people suffering a sudden cardiac arrest die before reaching hospital according to the American Heart Association.
- Choking, blockage of the airway which can quickly result in death due to lack of oxygen if the patient’s trachea is not cleared, for example by the Heimlich Maneuver.
- Cramps in muscles due to lactic acid build up caused either by inadequate oxygenation of muscle or lack of water or salt.
- Diving disorders, drowning or asphyxiation.
- Gender-specific conditions, such as dysmenorrhea and testicular torsion.
- Heart attack, or inadequate blood flow to the blood vessels supplying the heart muscle.
- Heat stroke, also known as sunstroke or hyperthermia, which tends to occur during heavy exercise in high humidity, or with inadequate water, though it may occur spontaneously in some chronically ill persons. Sunstroke, especially when the victim has been unconscious, often causes major damage to body systems such as brain, kidney, liver, gastric tract. Unconsciousness for more than two hours usually leads to permanent disability. Emergency treatment involves rapid cooling of the patient.
- Hair tourniquet a condition where a hair or other thread becomes tied around a toe or finger tightly enough to cut off blood flow.
- Heat syncope, another stage in the same process as heat stroke, occurs under similar conditions as heat stroke and is not distinguished from the latter by some authorities.
- Heavy bleeding, treated by applying pressure (manually and later with a pressure bandage) to the wound site and elevating the limb if possible.
- Hyperglycemia (diabetic coma) and Hypoglycemia (insulin shock).
- Hypothermia, or Exposure, occurs when a person’s core body temperature falls below 33.7°C (92.6°F). First aid for a mildly hypothermic patient includes rewarming, but rewarming a severely hypothermic person could result in a fatal arrhythmia, an irregular heart rhythm.
- Insect and animal bites and stings.
- Joint dislocation.
- Poisoning, which can occur by injection, inhalation, absorption, or ingestion.
- Seizures, or a malfunction in the electrical activity in the brain. Three types of seizures include a grand mal (which usually features convulsions as well as temporary respiratory abnormalities, change in skin complexion, etc.) and petit mal (which usually features twitching, rapid blinking, and/or fidgeting as well as altered consciousness and temporary respiratory abnormalities).
- Muscle strains and Sprains, a temporary dislocation of a joint that immediately reduces automatically but may result in ligament damage.
- Stroke, a temporary loss of blood supply to the brain.
- Toothache, which can result in severe pain and loss of the tooth but is rarely life threatening, unless over time the infection spreads into the bone of the jaw and starts osteomyelitis.
- Wounds and bleeding, including lacerations, incisions and abrasions, Gastrointestinal bleeding, avulsions and Sucking chest wounds, treated with an occlusive dressing to let air out but not in.
- First Aid: From Witchdoctors & Religious Knights to Modern Doctors, retrieved March 23, 2011.
- . The earliest days of first aid John Pearn BMJ 1994;309:1718 20
- Industrial Revolution: St. John Ambulance, retrieved December 10, 2006.
- American Red Cross -- Museum, retrieved March 23, 2011.
- "Accidents and first aid". NHS Direct. Archived from the original on 2008-05-03. Retrieved 2008-10-04.
- NTIS Health Training Package - http://www.ntis.gov.au/?/trainingpackage/HLT07/unit/HLTFA201A
- For example in New South Wales - http://www.workcover.nsw.gov.au/trainingassessment/OHScourses/Pages/Firstaid.aspx
- "Communiqué - CPR Training for Alberta Health Care Providers" (PDF) (Press release). Lifesaving Society of Canada. 16 January 2007. Retrieved 25 August 2009. "Together, all five members of the ECC agreed upon the new Canadian levels for CPR and the content and skills required for each level."
- "2005 American Heart Association Guidelines for Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation and Emergency Cardiovascular Care". Circulation (United States: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins) 112 (24 Supplement): IV–12. 2005. doi:10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.105.166552. ISSN 0009-7322.
- Taken from Grand Canyon Chapter of the American Red Cross Course Catalog as example list of training 
- Cymerman, A; Rock, PB. Medical Problems in High Mountain Environments. A Handbook for Medical Officers. USARIEM-TN94-2. US Army Research Inst. of Environmental Medicine Thermal and Mountain Medicine Division Technical Report. Retrieved 2009-03-05.
- Longphre, John M.; Petar J. DeNoble; Richard E. Moon; Richard D. Vann; John J. Freiberger (2007). "First aid normobaric oxygen for the treatment of recreational diving injuries.". Undersea and Hyperbaric Medicine 34 (1): 43–49. ISSN 1066-2936. OCLC 26915585. PMID 17393938. Retrieved 2009-03-05.
- Sterba, JA (1990). "Field Management of Accidental Hypothermia during Diving". US Naval Experimental Diving Unit Technical Report. NEDU-1-90. Retrieved 2013-03-15.
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- First Aid Guide at the Mayo Clinic
- What is CPR
- First aid from the British Red Cross - including first aid tips and first aid training information