May 7, 2014

What to do after providing first aid to somebody?

Giving first aid to somebody might encompass a wide range of assistance ranging from potentially giving lifesaving treatments such as CPR, to providing care for minor grazes and scratches. But having provided first aid for somebody what should you do ? Here’s a guide to the important things you should do after giving first aid, whatever the situation.

1. Make sure your casualty is ok.

It might sound obvious but you really need to make sure that the person you have been looking after has got the right sort of help and this could extend beyond the first aid you have provided. Of course in serious cases you’ll have already handed the casualty on to the emergency services, but even is cases which appear less serious you need to make sure that the casualty gets the medical help they need. Don’t be put off by people saying that they don’t need or don’t want help they might just be embarrassed or not realise that they need professional attention. A few reassuring words and an explanation of why you want them to go to the hospital, clinic or doctor often does the trick, you’ll need to be firm but friendly and confident. If you are in any need of guidance call NHS 111.

2. Ensure the area is safe.

One of the things about being a first aider is that you’ll occasionally end up dealing with a situation involving human body fluids, most commonly blood but possibly also vomit, urine etc. So make sure the area is properly cleaned and sanitised, also that you dispose of any soiled dressing, bandages, gloves etc.

3. Make sure that you are ok.

Being involved with a first aid situation can be very stressful to all concerned. You might not feel it at the time but giving emergency care can have a lasting impact on the first aider. Obvious injuries and illnesses often elicit a sympathetic reaction from colleagues, friends and family but less obvious is the harm to your mental health that being exposed to emergencies can cause. One of the most immediate things you can do is talk in confidence about what has happened to a trusted friend or colleague, if there is an opportunity at work for a formal debrief, then take part in this.
In the weeks and months following an incident watch out for signs which could indicate you need to seek professional advice – these include depression, lethargy, mood swings, avoiding people or situations which remind you of the incident.

4. Set the record straight.

If you’re in the workplace there’s an obligation to make a record of any accident which occurs to an employee. In general terms this means that you’ll have to fill out the accident book or form. Depending on your company’s procedure this could be online, via email or the traditional paper and pen method. However you do it make sure that the incident is recorded and the record is accurate.

Remember nothing can replace the value of taking a proper first aid course, as a properly trained first aider you’ll know what to do and how to help in an emergency.

Check out our HSE Approved qualifications on offer with the 1 day Emergency First Aid at Work course.


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