Wim Van Dijk
A few thoughts on First Aid

This is the scenario: you are on your own in a trail event, and come around a corner to see another entrant lying immobile ahead.

Should your first thought be:

A. “I wonder how he got into that state?”
B. “The nearest marshalls were a minute ago, I’ll nip back to them”
C. “Excellent, one less person in front of me!”
D. “I better examine him to see if he is breathing”

Every first aid course will recommend the same answer, which I’ll get to later. The most important thing for a first aider is a clear idea of what you are trying to do … in my opinion a clear head matters more than medical knowledge, though of course the latter comes in useful!

Your role is to minimise the amount of injury/illness in the entire situation. Since you can’t help anyone if you get hurt, first priority is to protect yourself, then any bystanders, then the patient. So answer A, is the correct one: if something fell on him, or hit him, then you have deal with those threats before doing anything else.

Here is another way to look at the same thing – prioritise the following in a first aid situation. I’ve added a red letter beside each one, so what you have to do is come up with the correct sequence of letters. Here is a hint, it isn’t “CRASDB

Bonus point – nowadays there is an extra D for Defibrillator. Where would you put that in the sequence?

So let’s be practical here, how many of these dramatic injuries have you come across? My bet is that the usual pyramid rule applies, and that 90% of the time your first aid needs will only stretch to a bandaid. Obviously you should have some bandaids in your kit bag, but you should also be mentally prepared for the 1% of situations when you could save someone’s life.   The first rule for those is – Don’t Panic.

There is lots of information about first aid on the internet, for example http://www.firstaidquiz.com/index.php , but none of these is as good as attending a certified first aid course.

PS. the correct sequence is DRSABCD with the first D being Danger and the second D stands for Defibrillator

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