World First Aid Day: Learn the Basics Skills of First Aid and Its Historical Significance!

World First Aid Day is observed each year to spread awareness about first aid training to save lives.

Ever since its inception in the year 2000, World First Aid Day is observed on the second Saturday of September annually. This year, it was celebrated on September 11. As per the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), the World First Aid Day 2021 theme was ‘First aid and road safety.’ It is the first treatment a person with injuries gets, preventing their condition from getting worse. It can help keep them alive until they receive medical treatment.

History of First Aid Day

According to the IFRC, it is a “humanitarian act” and should be accessible to everyone. Henry Dunant, a Swiss businessman from Geneva, Switzerland, gave the concept of first aid care. After the battle of Solferino, he was moved by the suffering and injuries of the soldiers. He jotted down the experience in Memoirs of Solferino, where he discussed the idea of independent organizations providing care to the injured soldiers. After this, he founded the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and become the co-founder of the Red Cross.

Significance of First Aid

The lack of timely assistance leads to the death of many injured in road accidents, disasters, natural calamities, etc. Although first aid is never an alternative for proper medical treatment, it can prevent further aggravation of the injury. With the basic training, one can take the necessary measures required to stop the bleeding or CPR until the ambulance or medical intervention arrives. The day is celebrated to spread awareness about the need for training to save more lives during a time of crisis.

“Regardless of educational background, first aid can be learned by anyone in three to six hours. It is also not a very big investment when it comes to saving lives and people of any age group can train for it.”

7 Basic First Aid Skills To Learn

Here are the basic first aid skills you should know.

1. Stop the bleeding: If a person is bleeding heavily, you need to apply pressure on the wound to stop them from losing more blood. Use a towel, jumper, blanket, or a jacket to apply the pressure and call the ambulance meanwhile.

2. Perform CPR: If the person is unresponsive and not breathing, start the CPR. Place the heel of your hands on their chest and put your other hand on the top, interlocking your fingers. Position your body in a way that your shoulders are directly above your hands. Now begin compressions by pushing 2–2.5 inches into their chest.

3. Back blows or Heimlich maneuver: If a person is choking, give them back blows. Stand behind them, bend them forward and give five firm blows between the shoulder blades. Or place your arms around the person from behind and pull upwards and inwards on the abdomen below the rib cage. The pressure will force out whatever is blocking their airway.

4. Check the breathing: If a person passes out suddenly, check if they are breathing. If they are, move them to their side, tilt their head to open their airways. Call the ambulance meanwhile to get them the required medical attention.

5. Apply an ice pack: If someone trips and falls, you can apply an ice pack or frozen veggies to the affected area. Take them to the hospital to get them checked for broken bones or any other injuries.

6. Cool the burn under running water: In case of burns, use running cold water to alleviate the pain. You can also use cold milk, juice, or fizzy drink. Wrap the burn in a cling film or a plastic bag and take the person to the doctor immediately.

7. Spot a concussion: Many times, a blow on the head can be a concussion that can be dangerous if left untreated. Check for the signs of concussion such as dizziness, pupil dilation, coherence, etc. It’s better to seek medical attention right away in such cases.

You can also access the online learning course on the IFRC website and understand the basics of first aid care right from your home. It can be taught in schools and colleges to the students to take necessary steps until the help arrives.

India recently celebrated the 160th birth anniversary of its first woman doctor, Kadambini Ganguly. Read this blog to know more about her. You can also read our other blogs on the website.
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Image credits: freepik

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