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The article introduces the basic knowledge of first aid and the organisations that provide first aid training.

The Importance of First Aid

First aid is the immediate care given to a person who has been injured or has been suddenly ill.  It includes both self-help and home care if medical assistance is not available or delayed.  First aid knowledge not only means the difference between life and death, but also helps you to determine the sequence and the priority of first-aid treatments during an emergency situation so that the greatest possible good may be accomplished for the greatest number of people.

Basic First Aid Knowledge

First aid knowledge and skills promote safety awareness in home, at work, at play, on streets and highways. Through studying first aid, a person is prepared to assist others wisely.  He is able to distinguish between what to do and what not to do.  Below are some basic steps for treating bleeding and burns examples.

Bleeding

  • Position the injured person properly and keep the injured limb elevated (except for fracture victims).
  • Inspect the wound, flush with distilled water, exert direct pressure by hand over a dressing, and bandage the wound.
  • Do not bandage the wound too tightly that obstruct normal blood circulation to the injured limb.
  • Leave the impaled objects and protruding bones in place and protect the injured from further movement.  Exert direct pressure on the edge of the wound to stop bleeding.
  • Recheck blood circulation of the injured limb after bandaging.

Nose Bleeding

  • Sit the injured down with his head leaning forward.
  • Ask the injured to breathe with his mouth, forcefully pinch the soft part below his nasal bone and apply a cold dressing to the forehead.
  • Ask the injured not to swallow the blood lodged in his throat.
  • Loosen his tight clothing.
  • If bleeding continues after pinching the nose for 10 minutes, continue to do so for another 10 minutes.
  • If bleeding still continues, send the injured to the hospital at once.

General Treatment to Burns

  • Move the injured away from the heat source.
  • Check the breathing and pulse of the injured.
  • Check the extent and depth of his burns.
  • Flush the burned area with waterto alleviate pain.
  • Cover the wound with a sterilised dressing.
  • For facial burns, use sheet or triangular bandage to cover the burnt area. Provide openings on the sheet or triangular bandage for eyes, nose and mouth for the injured.

Heatstroke

To avoid heatstroke, you should halt strenuous activity in hot and humid weather. If you are still determined to go outdoors, you should:

  • wear light loose-fitting clothing.
  • rest in a cool place as often as possible.
  • replenish your bodily fluids by regularly drinking electrolyte drinks or fruit juice.

You should also avoid alcoholic beverages under such circumstances.

Someone Who is Unconscious

If one of your companions falls unconscious or you come across someone else who is already unconscious, you should:

  • stay calm and immediately call the emergency hotline at 999 for an ambulance.
  • roll the person on his or her side to drain any saliva or vomit from the mouth.
  • loosen any constricting clothing around the neck, chest and waist.
  • keep the person warm and covered with a blanket or clothing.
  • stay with the person until the ambulance personnel arrive.

You should not:

  • place anything such as pillow under the person’s head.
  • sit him or her up.
  • Feed him or her anything, no matter it is solid food or liquid.

Further information on emergency care is available on the links below.

In case of medical emergency, please call 999 immediately.

First Aid Training

Below are some of the organisations that provide first aid certificate courses recognised by the HKSAR Government, including the Hong Kong St. John Ambulance, the Hong Kong Red Cross, the Occupation Safety and Health Council and the Auxiliary Medical Service. Check out the details from their websites below.

The Fire Services Department offers a training course of cardiopulmonary resuscitation for family members and friends of cardiac patients free of charge. For more information, you can call the Fire Services Ambulance Command Training School at 2640 3708.

First Aid Coverage

The Auxiliary Medical Service (AMS) provides first aid coverage for non-profit making organisations on request. To allow sufficient time for application processing, applicants should forward their applications to AMS Headquarters at least 14 working days in advance.

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Last review date: March 2014

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