First aid is any emergency care or treatment given to an ill or injured person before regular medical aid can be administered. Although some aspects of first aid require training, such as CPR, most first aid can be administered by a lay person using common sense and minimal equipment for minor injuries.

Three main aims of first aid:

  1. Preserve life.
  2. Prevent further injury.
  3. Promote recovery.

The aims are met in the following ways:

  • Preventing heavy blood loss.
  • Maintaining breathing.
  • Preventing shock.
  • Getting the victim to a physician or emergency medical services (EMS).

For First-Aid Providers

People who provide first aid must remember the following:

  • Avoid panic.
  • Inspire confidence.
  • Do only what is necessary until professional help is obtained.

Remember, the first step in any serious emergency is to dial 911. Emergency medical dispatchers will give basic first-aid instructions over the phone while the ambulance is on its way.