Search results in 2012


Helping the victim of drowning may be dangerous to the first aider as, in many cases, rescue from the water is first necessary. Apart from the dangers of an uncooperative and struggling casualty who may render the potential rescuer in need of urgent rescue from drowning, there are other hazards. Open water can be cold, even during the summer months. Temperatures in the range of 3 o-15 o C (37 o -59 o F) are common, with inland waterways in some countries freezing at times during the winter. Nor

Food Poisoning

A poison if gains entry into the body, can cause damage: this may be for a short period or may be permanent. Poisons can be taken into the body by a wide variety of routes. Poisons find their way into the body by being swallowed, inhaled, absorbed or injected. The effects can vary greatly depending on the poison involved. Most commonly, poisoning occurs accidentally and involves ordinary substances that are found in and around the house.Poisoning can also be due to misuse of drugs, over-indul

Panic Attacks

Some people respond abnormally when under stress or faced with an alarming situation, i.e. an accident or on hearing bad news affecting their family. The person becomes agitated and panicked and on occasion may be labelled by some as being hysterical. You may notice The casualty hyperventilates, with fast and unusually deep breathing.The casualty trembles: this can be so severe as to cause loss of coordinated movements.Sweating.Palpitations.Loss of control: shouting, screaming, and display


A miscarriage is the loss of foetus within the first 28 weeks of pregnancy. In a number of cases the women concerned experience a late and heavy period without realising that they have been pregnant. If a woman is aware she is pregnant, and experiences a possible miscarriage, she is likely to be extremely concerned and upset.If at all possible, a female first aider should tend to the woman; if this is not possible, the male first aider should try to obtain female support to act as a chaperone a

Heart Problems

The heart is a muscular pump that ’beats’ regularly throughout life. Each heartbeat is the result of an electrical stimulation that originates from within the heart. Because it is a live organ the heart requires its own supply of blood that provides life-giving oxygen.Heart disease is the single largest cause of death in the world. The most common cause of heart disease is is chaemia, a reduction in the amount of oxygen-carrying blood reaching the heart muscle due to a narrowing of the artery o

Head Injuries

The single most useful indicator of a head injury is that the casualty suffers an altered state of consciousness. Head injury is a fairly broad term that covers any injury to the head and may involve impairment to the casualty’s level of consciousness.All casualties suffering a head injury need to be seen by a doctor and often if a period of unconsciousness has occurred, the casualty may be detained in hospital for observation. Scalp wounds, if present, will bleed profusely, and indicate the po


Fever is a raise in temperature beyond the normal body level of 98.4oF most commonly, it is caused by an infection such as chicken pox, measles, flu, etc. it can also be due to overheating through sunstroke.SymptomsA raised temperature.The child complains of feeling hot/or cold.Flushed skin that is hot to touch.Sweating or dry skin.General aches and pains.Signs of illness e.g. rash. WHEN TO CALL A DOCTORThe child’s temperature is (100.4oF) and the child is unwell.The child’s temperature is 39o


The most common cause is a very high temperature (fever), due to the young child’s brain being less tolerant of variations in body temperature so that a fit (febrile convulsions) results. These fits should not be confused with temper tantrums.Young children and infants can suffer from fits (convulsions) for a number of reasons Febrile convulsions SymptomsThat the child has a fever.That the child is very hot, has flushed skin and may be sweating.That the child is fitting: arched back, mus


A faint is a brief collapse involving loss of consciousness. It is caused by a reduction in the blood flow to the brain. Fainting can be a reaction to shock, pain or lack of food. Most commonly, however, it occurs when someone is inactive for a prolonged period, such as through standing still, and a significant amount of blood pools in the legs, thus reducing the flow to the brain. A faint is a minor event, but on occasions, the casualty may injure him/herself when falling. You will noticeTh

Eye Problem

The eye is a very delicate organ. If scarring occurs, on the surface of the eye, blindness may result. The eye can become sore for a number of reasons, and it is important for the first aider to be able to recognise when it is necessary to seek medical aid. SEEK MEDICAL AIDWhen there is a cut to the surface of the eye.When the eye has been burned.When the eye has a discharge.If you suspect an infection.When an object is embedded in the eye.Eye infection You will noticeComplaint of a sore ey


The back of the throat is a very sensitive area that, if stimulated by a first aider trying to remove an object with the fingers, may cause the top of the windpipe to close completely through muscle spasm. Anything that lodges at the back of the throat, or within the windpipe, will cause the casualty to choke. The treatment for choking has been recently revised and the methods used for small children and babies vary from those used for adults. You will noticeDifficulty in speaking and cryin

Child Birth

Childbirth is usually prolonged process that gives time for help to arrive. Very rarely, a woman will have a rapid labour and deliver a baby before professional help is at hand. Often, a sense of panic sets in when a woman starts to experience her labour pains. If the waters should break, then the delivery is expected to be imminent and panic increases.It is worth remembering that women have been giving birth for thousands of years and for much of that time there was no midwifery or medical care


Sunburn is a burn caused by the sun . Over-exposure can cause severe burns and considerable discomfort. Sunburn can also be caused by sunlamps and sunbeds. Certain prescribed drugs can make the skin more sensitive to the sun and cause earlier and more rapid sunburn. For sunburn to occur, it is not always necessary for it to be a bright and sunny day. ’skyshine can cause serious burning. Many skiers have become sunburned due to the reflection of the sun off the snow. You will noticeAn area o

Burns and Scalds

Burns are due to dry heat (including friction) whereas scalds are due to wet heat. It is most important that burns and scalds are treated promptly and correctly so as to limit the effects of injury and to prevent possible long-term scarring. Assessing a burn/scald There are two factors in assessing the severity of burns and scalds; depth and extent of the injury. Depth of burns/scaldsSuperficial The skin is reddened and may be swollen. This type of burn/scald is painful. Partial

Breathing Problem

Causes of Breathing problems can be due to illness such as asthma from infection, abdominal pain, stress (hyperventilation) or as a result of injury. Whatever the cause, problems occur when someone cannot breathe properly and their body’s oxygen level becomes lowered. Hypoxia If the problem is severe, the casualty will become extremely unwell due to the effects of a severly lowered oxygen level (hypoxia). You will notice- Rapid, very distressed breathing. - Irritability and aggression.


Blood is normally contained within the circulatory system: the heart, arteries, capillaries and veins. When these are torn or damaged, bleeding occurs. This can be on the outside of the body through a visible wound or on the inside of the body (internal bleeding).Blood carries oxygen from the lungs to the heart along the arteries to the tissues and through the tissues in the capillaries where the oxygen is made available for use. Veins carry the deoxygenated blood back to the heart. Types of

Bites and Stings

Many bites and stings are minor and, although irritating, respond well to simple first aid. Bites from humans and animals may be more serious. Because their mouths harbour many germs that can cause infection,these wounds always require medical attention. Snake bites pose a problems due to the venom that may be injected. Insect stingsMany insect stings are painful but rarely present any danger to life. Occasionally, someone may be allergic to particular insect stings and suffer a more serious


Asthma is a condition that makes breathing out difficult. It affects the air passages in the lungs and can be trigged by a variety of causes including allergy, stress or smoke. However, there is not obvious cause to the asthma attack. Attacks are sudden and can be alarming, both to the casualty and onlookers. Many asthmatic carry medication which they take during an asthma attack. Usually, this is taken as an inhaler. Symptoms- Difficulty with breathing (particularly breathing out). - A


Allergies are adverse reactions by the body to substances which comes in contact. These substances may be touched, swallowed, inhaled or injected. The allergy may exhibit itself in a number of way in some cases there may be more than one allergic response TREATMENTThere is little a first aider can do to alleviate an allergic reaction beyond providing simple relief. When should you call a doctor If the allergy is causing discomfort or distress and the casualty cannot achieve symptomatic

Abdominal pain

A relatively common complaint, Abdominal pain can be less serious if due to indigestion, wind, etc., but may be serious when caused, for example, by a perforation in part of the bowel or by appendicitis. As it is a area first aid for which it is very difficult to give precise Guidelines, common sense has to be used. Colic It is common with wind (causing distension of the bowel) or an obstruction in the bowel. It fluctuates in its severity and often causes periods of very severe pain.You may

The material on this web site is provided for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the medical advice of your doctor or other healthcare providers. Only medical professionals who examine you can give you medical advice or diagnose your medical problem. We do not intend to create a physician-patient relationship. Your reliance on the information you get from is solely at your own risk. If you have a specific health question, contact your physician. Also note that while frequently updates its content, medical information changes rapidly. Therefore, some information may be out of date.