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First aid

Updated 25 July 2012

First aid: the basics

First aid is immediate care given to someone with an injury or sudden illness - until this is resolved or more advanced care reaches them.

First aid is immediate care given to someone with an injury or sudden illness - until this is resolved or more advanced care reaches them. It ranges from putting a plaster on a cut to performing CPR.

  • Preserve life (including the first aider's, who should never endanger his own life)
  • Prevent further injury
  • Promote recovery

The following steps aim to keep an ill or injured person alive and protected from further harm while waiting for emergency medical services:

  • 112 on a cellular phone
  • 10177 National medical emergency number for ambulance services
  • 082 911 Netcare
  • 084 124 ER24

  • Apply firm pressure directly to a bleeding wound (but around any embedded object) with a clean cloth.
  • Elevate and immobilize an injured limb. Splint a fractured limb if you have been trained to do so.

  • Have the person lie down.
  • Raise the legs higher than the head.
  • Cover the person to keep them warm.
  • Give nil by mouth.

Last updated: July 2009

 

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