First Aid

First aid is the provision of initial care for an illness or injury. It is usually performed by a non-expert person to a sick or injured person until appropriate medical treatment can be accessed in a hospital or by going to a doctor.

There are different ways of providing first aid in different cases of accidents and illnesses. Let us take some specific cases and know how first aid is provided:

First aid for Drowning

Many deaths occur because of drowning. Death by drowning occurs when air cannot get into the lungs because of the entrance of a small amount of water into the lungs.

In this particular situation, the aim of the first aid is to restore breathing, to keep the person warm and to arrange for taking him/her to hospital. The following steps may be taken:

Step 1: Rescue the person and get him/her to the dry land. Keep the person’s head lower than the rest of the body to reduce the risk of inhaling water.

Step 2: Lay down the person on his/her back. Open the airway and check breathing. If required, give CPR (Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation) with chest compression.

Step 3: Treat the person for Hypothermia (low body temperature). Remove wet clothes and cover him/her with dry blanket. If the person regains full consciousness, give him/her a warm drink.

Step 4: Call for a doctor or ambulance to transport the person to the nearest hospital as soon as possible, even if she/he appears to have recovered fully.

First aid for Fire Injuries

When the skin comes in direct contact with fire, it gets damaged. This is known as dry burn. As, the kind of the burns vary, so does the kind of first aid needed for various kind of burns:

(a) First Aid for Severe Burns

In this case, the first aid is given to:

  • stop burning and relieve pain;
  • treat the associate injuries;
  • minimise the risk of infection;

Step 1: Help the casualty to lie down. Do not allow the injury area to come into direct contact with the ground.

Step 2: Pour cold water on the burn for a minimum of 10 minutes, but at the same time, arrangement of transport for taking the casualty to hospital should be made. Continue cooling the affected area until the pain is relieved.

Step 3: Gently remove any ring, watch, belt and shoes before the tissues begin to swell. Carefully remove burnt clothing, if it is not sticking to the skin.

Step 4: Cover the injured area with a sterile dressing to protect it from infection.

Step 5: Gather and record details of the injury. Record the level of response, pulse and breathing carefully.

Step 6: While waiting for the help to arrive, keep reassuring the casualty. In case of burn of the face, do not cover the injury because it may cause discomfort to the victim. Keep cooling the area till the doctor arrives.

(b) First Aid for Mild Burn

In case of mild burns, first aid is given to:

  • stop burning.
  • relieve pain and swelling.
  • minimise the risk of infection.

In case of mild burns, one should:

Step 1: Pour cold water on the injured part for minimum 10 minutes, to relieve pain. If water is not available, then any harmless cold liquid (for example, milk) may be used.

Step 2: Remove gently any ring, watch, belt and shoes before the tissues begin to swell. Carefully remove burnt clothing, if it is not sticking to the skin.

Step 3: Cover the area with a sterile dressing and bandage loosely on the affected area.

Step 4: If a blister is caused by the burn, apply a nonadhesive dressing that extends well beyond the edges of the blister and keep it in place until it subsides.

(c) First Aid for Injuries on the Play Field:

There are various types of sports injuries.

  • Skin injuries
  • Soft tissue injuries
  • Joint injuries
  • Bone injuries


Since prevention is better than cure, it then becomes essential to take appropriate precautions. In order to prevent injuries proper warm up is required prior to executing vigorous movements.

First aid for strains, sprains, contusions is packaged in the abbreviation RICE which is Rest, Icing, Compression and Elevation.


  • Stop using injured part or discontinue activity. It could cause further injury, delay healing, increase pain and stimulate bleeding.
  • Use crutches to avoid bearing weight on injuries of the leg, knee, ankle and foot.
  • Use splint for injuries of the arm, elbow, wrist and hand.


  • Ice application contracts blood vessels.
  • Helps stop internal bleeding from injured capillaries and blood vessels.
  • Hastens healing time by reducing swelling around injury.
  • Keep damp or dry cloth between skin and ice pack.
  • Do not apply ice for longer than 15 to 20 minutes at a time.
  • Apply every hour for 10 to 20 minutes.
  • Apply ice as long as pain or inflammation persists.



  • Hastens healing time by reducing swelling around injury.
  • Decreases seeping of fluid into injured area from adjacent tissues.
  • Use elasticised bandage, compression sleeve, or cloth.
  • Wrap injured part firmly.
  • Do not impair blood supply.
  • Too tight bandage may cause more swelling.
  • Wrap over ice.
  • Loosen the bandage if it gets too tight.


  • Elevate injured part above the level of heart.
  • Decreases swelling and pain.
  • Use objects and pillows.