What is First Aid?
First aid is the immediate treatment administered to an individual who is suffering from a sudden illness or an injury. The type of first aid applied, and the way it is administered depends heavily on the severity of the emergency and could range from bandaging a non-fatal wound to performing effective CPR. First Aid is primarily performed to save lives and is the pit stop between the site of injury, and the permanent healthcare unit. Most accidents require first aid or emergency assistance before the victim can be safely transported to a hospital, clinic or other health units. Hence First Aid has significant importance in our daily lives and knowing how to properly administer it can be the deciding factor in a life-and-death situation, necessitating the need for first aid training.
First aid training is a skill that every individual must possess, and it should be ideally taught to children from a very young age as one can never anticipate the gravity, location or timing, of an emergency. While most people learn first aid by observing their peers, parents and doctors alike, it is important to acquire professional first aid training since in some severe cases, only a First Responder or someone officially trained in first aid can assist in mitigating the situation and saving lives. Yet first aid training is an undermined, foreign concept to most locals. But Ziqitza Health Care Limited (ZHL) is well aware of the innumerable benefits that accurately performed first aid can lend to an emergency situation, and hence is a pioneer in providing first aid training in India.
When delivering First Aid
Prior to carrying out any form of first aid, certain steps must be undertaken like evaluating the safety of the scene and sanitisation. While trying to hastily save the person’s life, the individual performing first aid may be exposing them to other potential dangers like incoming traffic, stale water and so on. To avoid this, the patient must be removed from the proximity of these possible dangers. Another critical step which is important for sanitation but heavily ignored is hand washing, and wearing personal protective gear. The patient on whom the first aid is being administered is extremely susceptible to outside infection and so is the person administering the first aid, owing to any exposed wounds or the patient’s illness. Hence it is important to wear gloves, wash one’s hands, use sanitizers and adopt other techniques to protect oneself and the patient, from the externalities of the injury or illness. Finally, before administering first aid it is mandatory to have a first aid kit ready for use, and a basic first aid kit must be available at all times, and in every environment. Ready-made kits are easily available in stores, if not, a basic first aid kit can be put together at home. Usually, these kits come with bandages, tape (sterile), gauze, antiseptic wipes and swabs, antibiotic cream, burn ointment, a first aid reference guide and other essential items. An individual who has undergone first aid training would be aware of the above indispensable steps while performing first aid, but an amateur or an untrained professional may be oblivious to these measures, and this could lead to possibly disastrous consequences.
Who administers First Aid?
An individual who has first aid training is the appropriate choice to administer first aid. Officially trained people are called First Responders who are the first to arrive at the scene of an emergency, and who can accurately assess the situation, and have been given specialized training on how to handle it. These include paramedics, police officers, firefighters, rescuers and the like, who are aware of simple life-saving techniques that can stabilize the situation within the ‘golden hour’. After evaluating the emergency, the First Responder activates the ERS, and mitigates the extremity of the situation so that the patient can be transported to a permanent health unit for further care and management. It is well known that due to operational difficulties and traffic issues, very rarely do First Responders reach the emergency site in India within the golden hour. Therefore, it is imperative for the people at the site who are closest to the patient, to be aware and prepared with certain life saving techniques which can be executed using minimal equipment.
Where to undertake First Aid training?
Apart from providing the best emergency medical care, Ziqitza Health Care also believes in furnishing ordinary citizens with the skills to stabilize emergency situations. Recognising the delay in providing professional care in an emergency, owing to the country’s logistical issues, ZHL offers a range of First Responder Programmes (FRP) to empower ordinary citizens on the efficient and effective ways to respond to any medical emergency. It conducts mass training of citizens in schools, colleges and organisations to provide them with First Aid and Basic Life Support techniques. By providing first aid training and imparting Basic Life Support techniques, Ziqitza Health Care wants to ensure that the next emergency that occurs, doesn’t lead to dire consequences but has a favourable outcome for every person involved. Since its inception, ZHL has successfully trained over 5 lakh people in first aid across the country.
Why is First Aid training important?
While any layman can answer this fundamental question, most people still refuse to voluntarily take part in First Aid training programs due to trivial excuses like being busy with work, not knowing where to go, assuming that they have sufficient knowledge or being overconfident that emergencies occur to other people, and not their own close associates. Yet every individual who has undergone a First Aid training program is highly satisfied and grateful with the outcome, because first aid doesn’t just help save lives, but has countless beneficial outcomes. Training makes the person administering First Aid calmer, and more in control of the situation, while also simultaneously increasing the patient’s comfort, as a trained individual is better prepared, hence the patient’s confidence in them is higher. Effective administration of first aid could also help lessen the patient’s recovery time and when given appropriately, it could alleviate the intensity of the situation, consequently saving more than one life. Overall, undergoing first aid training helps stimulate confidence in one’s abilities to perform in high-pressure situations, and increases a healthy and safe lifestyle since first aid training modules don’t just teach the person how to take care of others, but also teach them how to look after themselves, and this creates a more alert and conscious citizen.