First aid in any case: fainting, injury, waterboarding, electrocution, AED

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Louise Barnett
Louise Barnett
I'm Louise Barnett, the editor at, where my days are filled with the exploration of myriad subjects that pique my curiosity and feed my ever-growing appetite for knowledge. From the latest in laser cutting technology to the timeless wisdom of yoga and meditation, my work allows me to dive deep into topics that not only fascinate me but also have the potential to improve our daily lives. I have a particular interest in how ancient practices meet modern life, leading me to explore everything from Ayurveda to minimalism and beyond. My journey has taught me the importance of balance—between innovation and tradition, action and reflection, and between the digital and the natural world. Each article I publish is a step towards understanding this balance better, hoping to inspire others along the way.

First aid can save someone’s life. Do you know how to give first aid to someone in need? From this article you will learn how to help a person after fainting, how to perform heart massage, how to arrange the body before medical help arrives.

First aid basic principles

Often we think that situations in which it will be necessary to give someone first aid do not concern us. Yet accidents happen every day everywhere in the world. Pre-medical first aid can save someone’s life before an ambulance can reach the scene. What is first aid? It involves the immediate care of an injured person, and is most often applied after an accident, injury or sudden illness. The basic steps of providing assistance are:

  • protecting the life of the injured person,
  • observer
  • rescuer
  • making sure the scene is safe,
  • providing pain relief
  • preventing deterioration of the injured person’s condition.

The scope of first aid varies and depends on the circumstances and the incident, as we discuss later in this article.

Step-by-step first aid scheme

The first important step at the time of the incident, is to call for help. It is necessary to immediately get the attention of those around you for several reasons. One is the chance that someone may support you in administering first aid before the ambulance arrives. The second reason is to call an ambulance immediately if the condition of the victim requires it.

First aid scheme

  • Examine the territory – once you have paid attention and called for help, make sure that administering first aid will not put your life in danger. The idea is to check for flames, toxic fumes. If the incident occurs on ice, for example, check whether the ice is hard enough to prevent it from cracking so that you yourself may be injured.
  • Assess the situation – in case the victim is conscious, you should immediately ask what happened. It is also necessary to obtain information about any allergies, medications taken or illness. It is a good idea to write down the information so that you can pass it on to rescuers. Then determine whether the situation requires first aid, and if there is a small wound, it should be cleaned and treated.
  • Evaluate vital functions – if the victim is not conscious, check whether his airway is clear and whether he is breathing. To do this, make sure that the victim’s tongue has not collapsed against the back wall of the throat. It is necessary to assess the state of consciousness of the person you are helping, check this by short commands, light shaking to see if he responds to commands. Check the victim’s breathing – that is, chest movement to make sure he is breathing. Lean over the face of the person you are helping by assessing whether you can hear the exhaled air and feel his breath on your cheek. Then decide whether, in the victim’s current condition, he can be moved to another location. If he has injuries to his back, head or neck, he should not be moved, as any movement could represent a worsening of his condition or even loss of life. Moving the injured person can be done only if this activity does not threaten his health and life.
  • Immediate assistance – when the injured person needs help, immediately start a series of actions described in the above points, only when you assess that professional medical help is required, call an ambulance after giving the injured person first aid. If there are other witnesses to the incident around you, ask one of them to call for help, and proceed to administer first aid to the victim yourself.

Safe position how to perform it correctly?

Thesafe position is the basic action to prevent choking and choking in an unconscious person. When a victim lies on his back, he carries the risk of choking on his tongue, saliva, vomit or blood. Doing so therefore prevents the tongue from collapsing, while reducing the risk of choking during vomiting and ensuring stable body positioning. In addition, it makes it easier to check whether the victim is breathing.

Safe straight position step by step

What steps should be taken to properly place the victim’s body in the safe position?

  1. If the victim has glasses, remove them.
  2. Kneel by the victim and straighten his legs.
  3. Make his airway clear by bending his head and extending his jaw.
  4. Put the injured person’s hand that is closer to you at a right angle to the body. Then bend it at the elbow joint, with the palm facing up.
  5. Place your other hand (which is farther away from you) across his chest, and hold the back of his hand against his cheek.
  6. Grasp the leg that is farther away from you above the knee and pull it upward, leaving the foot on the ground.
  7. Then pull this leg of the victim so that you turn the victim toward you.
  8. Arrange the limb by which you turned the casualty in such a way that his knee is at a right angle to the body.
  9. Gently bend the victim’s head back.

You should also regularly check that the victim is breathing, and check circulation in the lower arm. If you have to wait more than 30 minutes for help, turn the victim on his other side after this time. This will release the pressure on the lower lying arm.

Heimlich handstand how to perform

TheHeimlich manoeuvre or Heimlich maneuver is a method of first aid for choking. When a foreign body enters the airway, the victim’s diaphragm should be compressed in such a way that the foreign body escapes from the respiratory system. When choking occurs in an adult and conscious (healthy) person, the first thing she should do is lean her body forward and try to cough out the foreign body. You can help her by hitting her back, between the shoulder blades, with the palm of your hand. However, if this action does not have the desired result or the victim is unconscious, the Heimlich manoeuvre should be performed. How to properly perform the Heimlich maneuver?

  1. Embrace the injured person at waist level by standing behind him and leaning him slightly forward.
  2. Clench one hand into a fist and embrace the person with the other hand. Then very vigorously press the diaphragm in your direction and slightly upward.
  3. The palms should be positioned between the gladius process and the navel.

The maneuver performed in this way should lead to the expectoration of the foreign body from the airway. The Heimlich manoeuvre can be performed five times in a row, and then take a break in the maneuver and pat the victim’s back. After this action, the grip can be performed again.

Fainting and fainting spells how do they differ?

Syncope and fainting are often used interchangeably, as synonyms. However, they are two completely different conditions, although one can lead to the other. Fainting is a state of unconsciousness. Fainting, on the other hand, can manifest itself through dizziness, nausea, cold sweats, vision problems, impaired consciousness, and decreased muscle tone. Fainting lasts up to several seconds and is a brief loss of consciousness. It can be characterized by pale face, blue lips, and cold sweats. After falling to the ground, the fainting person remains motionless, his body is limp, and he has cool limbs and a weak pulse. In the case of fainting, we follow the basic steps from the first paragraph of the article First aid basic principles.

Fainting how to give first aid

First aid for fainting should be performed according to the following scheme:

  1. Lay the injured person on his or her back, that is, in a supine position with the legs raised above the level of the torso.
  2. If for some reason this position cannot be performed, the person who has suffered a fainting spell should assume a sitting position with his head bowed and his elbows or hands resting on his thighs or knees. The above-mentioned positions promote blood pressure equalization.
  3. It is a good idea to provide the person after fainting with access to fresh air – so open a window if the incident occurred in a closed room. If it happened in an open space, and there is a crowd of onlookers around, you should ask them to withdraw so that the injured person can get some air.
  4. An additional action to help the injured person is to unbutton his or her clothes at the neck or pull off a scarf or other piece of clothing that may tighten around the neck.

Fainting can occur for many different reasons, including:

  • a sudden drop in blood pressure by a disordered heartbeat,
  • high temperature or a stuffy room,
  • dehydration,
  • a drop in blood sugar levels,
  • poisoning by stimulants, as well as carbon dioxide or intoxication by odor,
  • extreme emotional states.
first aid injuries
first aid injuries/ photo:

Bone and joint injuries first aid

Bone and joint injuries include fractures, dislocations and sprains. What are the differences?

  • Fracture – is a break in the continuity of a bone. A fracture can be caused by an accident or trauma, but also by a disease, such as osteoporosis. In the latter case, a fracture can occur under the influence of the body’s own weight, as when changing position when lifting. Among the types of fractures, we distinguish: closed fracture, when the broken bones remain under the skin, and open fracture, when the bone pierces the skin tissue.
  • Dislocation or sprain – while fractures involve bones, dislocations and sprains are associated with joint injuries. These injuries occur when a joint is at an excessive non-physiological articulation or twist.

First aid for fractures

In the case of a closed fracture, we visualize and immobilize the fracture site, and then go to the trauma outpatient clinic/hospital if the injured person has no major mobility difficulties. Otherwise, it may be necessary to call medical assistance to the scene. When an open fracture occurs, proceed as follows:

  • visualize and immobilize the fractured body part,
  • apply a dressing (preferably sterile),
  • stabilize the fracture site,
  • call for medical assistance.

Open fractures are most often treated with surgery.

First aid for qurotoid

Ahemorrhage is a loss of blood that is caused by disease or injury. As a result, blood vessels are damaged. In the case of a damaged artery, we speak of arterial hemorrhage, while when a vein is damaged we have venous hemorrhage. Pre-medical first aid is mainly concerned with external hemorrhages, since stopping an internal hemorrhage is possible only with specialized hospital equipment. Diagnosis of hemorrhage, is not difficult. Of course, its main symptom is the flow of blood. If the blood is bright red and flows out of the wound in a pulsating stream, it is arterial hemorrhage. Dark red blood that flows out of the wound slowly and steadily indicates venous hemorrhage. In both cases, stopping the hemorrhage should be done as soon as possible, as it can even lead to the death of the victim.

first aid hemorrhage
first aid hemorrhage/ photo:

Stopping hemorrhage

When stopping a hemorrhage, you should first take care of your safety. You can contract serious diseases through contact with blood. Therefore, first of all, wear disposable gloves or a plastic bag that does not have holes through which blood can enter. Be careful that blood does not get into your eye, nose or mouth. In the event that you cannot protect yourself from contact with blood, instruct the injured person on how to stop the hemorrhage himself by making a bandage available to him.

How to stop the hemorrhage?

If you can stop the hemorrhage in the injured person, follow these steps:

  1. When possible, ask the injured person to sit down while you kneel by his side.
  2. Apply direct pressure to the bleeding site with a bandage or your hand. The dressing can be sterile gauze, a rolled-up bandage, but also parts of your clothing, such as rolled-up socks or a T-shirt. Absorbent materials like towels do not stop bleeding but absorb blood – so do not use them.
  3. Fix the bandage with a bandage without reducing pressure on the wound. If you can’t or don’t put a bandage on, apply pressure to the wound by hand.
  4. If blood continues to pour despite the dressing, improve the pressure and add more layers of dressing. Do not release the pressure.
  5. Remember to call the emergency room and set your phone to hands-free mode. This will allow the dispatcher to instruct you until the ambulance arrives.


If there is a nosebleed, ask the victim to sit on the ground with his head bent forward. Then instruct him to clench the wings of his nose with two fingers on either side for 10 minutes. If he is taking anticoagulants, the clamp should last 20 minutes. Inform the victim not to swallow the blood, but to spit it out. In case of difficulty in stopping the hemorrhage, pallor, severe weakness or unconsciousness, be sure to call the emergency services.

Waterlogging – first aid for waterlogging.

If you witness a situation in which a person in the water is drowning. First of all, assess whether you are able to help her yourself – call a water rescuer or medic, call for help. Someone in the environment can support you in rescuing the victim. How do you recognize that a person in the water is drowning? A drowning person does not scream because he or she is swallowed by water. On the other hand, he may make uncoordinated movements with his hands, while his legs are immobile and the drowning person is in an upright position. If you know that you are able to help the drowning person to tow him to shore, remember that the drowning person is often very panicked and may pull the rescuer underwater.

Waterlogging – step-by-step help

The victim should be pulled from the water in a horizontal position with the head lowered. Next, it is necessary to secure the cervical spine, since a spinal injury should always be suspected in a drowning person. If the drowning person is towed to shore, the following steps should be taken:

  • Check whether the victim is conscious.
  • If he is not, clear the airway without tilting the head back and check breathing. Lack of breathing requires performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation, that is, 2 rescue breaths and 30 chest compressions, performed alternately.
  • If the victim is breathing, place him in the lateral position, with his head slightly above the torso.
  • Call for medical assistance and protect the victim from heat loss.

Secondary and dry drowning

Dry d rowning occurs within an hour of the incident and is characterized by symptoms such as breathing problems, coughing, shortness of breath, chest pain, agitation and irritability, very high drowsiness and fatigue. Secondary drowning occurs from several to dozens of hours after water enters the lungs. Therefore, the injured person must be under the observation of a doctor after the accident. Sometimes it may be necessary to use anti-edema drugs and even connect to life support.

Heart attack first aid

In the event of a heart attack, it is necessary to respond immediately. We deal with a heart attack when the patient has such symptoms as: severe chest pain, which often radiates to the neck, left arm, and sometimes the abdomen. Shortness of breath, pallor, sweats, palpitations, accelerated heartbeat, fainting, abdominal pain, nausea, subfebrile state are also common. If a patient has a heart attack, the first thing to do is to call an ambulance, and then give the person in need first aid.

Heart attack first aid step by step

The victim should be placed in a semi-sitting position with his torso slightly elevated. His back should be supported by a stable and comfortable backrest.

  • Then loosen his clothes to facilitate breathing. In this case, you can unbuckle the belt of the pants, bra, remove the tie and open the windows.
  • Cover the affected person with a blanket to ensure his or her thermal comfort.
  • Do not give a person with a suspected heart attack something to drink and eat. If it is possible, and the patient is conscious, you can give him medication to limit the progress of cardiac necrosis and aspirin.
  • In the event of a cardiac arrest, immediately begin CPR until the ambulance arrives. To do this, braid the fingers of your hands lying one on top of the other in the center of your chest and without bending your elbows. Compress the chest to 1/3 of its depth. Resuscitation breathing for your safety should be performed by a rescue mask. Perform chest compressions alternating with breathing – 30 compressions for 2 breaths. Continue compressions at a rate of 100/min until the ambulance arrives.

AED first aid

AnAED is an automatic external defibrillator that is often found in public places. It is used in cases of cardiac arrest. It triggers an electrical impulse to stop ventricular fibrillation and restore normal heart rate. How to use the AED?

  • Turn on the AED and listen to the device’s voice commands.
  • Apply the electrodes to the exposed chest (according to the diagram on the electrode package), that is, under the right clavicle along the torso and under the left armpit along the torso.
  • Move away from the injured person, because after the electrodes are applied, rhythm analysis takes place, during which you must not touch the injured person.
  • If after the analysis you hear the message: Electrical discharge indicated, move away from the victim and press the shock button on the device. Do not touch the injured person during the discharge!
  • After discharge, immediately start respiratory and circulatory resuscitation, that is, chest compressions and rescue breaths (30 compressions: 2 breaths).
  • Do not peel off the electrodes, as there will be an automatic subsequent analysis of the heart rhythm.
  • If the message electric discharge is inadvisable appears, perform chest compressions and rescue breaths again. Follow the above-mentioned rules and messages of the device, until the next heart rhythm analysis and the arrival of medical assistance.

Electrocution first aid

If you witness electrocution, you should use extreme caution. Symptoms of electrocution are muscle spasms, severe pain and skin burns. What steps should you take in case of electrocution?

  • Under no circumstances touch the injured person before you disconnect him from the voltage source. Otherwise, you yourself may be injured. Disconnect the fuses and remove the plug from the electrical appliance outlet. Use an object that does not conduct electricity, such as a piece of plastic or wooden stick, to do this. Never in this case, use metal or copper tools.
  • Once the electrocuted person is out of electrical range, check to see if he is conscious and breathing and call an ambulance.
  • If the victim is conscious, calmly wait for the ambulance. If he is not responding to questions or pain stimuli, but is breathing and you can rule out spinal injury, place him in the lateral position.
  • When cardiac arrest occurs, perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation.
  • If you find symptoms of shock in the victim, that is, his skin is pale, cold, he is shivering and his pulse is racing, put him in the anti-shock position – on his back, with his legs raised.

Legal basics of first aid

Giving first aid to an injured person is not just a matter of conscience, or a moral duty of a witness to an incident. Providing first aid is a legal obligation. Of course, the duty to render aid is when it does not involve risk, i.e. when the person rendering first aid is not himself in a life-threatening situation. For example, if you can’t swim, don’t throw yourself into the water to save a drowning person, but call for help. Thus, the law applies to negligent rendering of aid, while it does not apply in cases of misapplication. If the injured person dies as a result of his injuries, the rescuer cannot be punished for bodily injury or causing death. Instead, he or she may face legal consequences for failing to provide assistance. So if you witness an accident, don’t turn around, don’t drive away from the scene, call 911, call for help. The ambulance dispatcher will instruct you until the ambulance arrives.

Duty to provide first aid

According to Article 4 of the Law on State Emergency Medical Services:

“Whoever notices a person or persons in a state of health emergency or witnesses an event causing such a state, shall, to the best of his or her ability and skill, immediately take action to effectively notify entities statutorily established to provide assistance to persons in a state of health emergency.

So remember that providing first aid is your responsibility – even if you don’t have the ability or knowledge to give the injured person the necessary support, call for help – and don’t be afraid to call for it. There may be someone around you who will take the necessary action that can save the injured person’s life. Otherwise, you may face consequences under Article 162 of the Criminal Code:

Article 162 of the Criminal Code

“Whoever fails to render aid to a person in a position of imminent danger of loss of life or grave bodily harm, being able to do so without exposing himself or another person to the danger of loss of life or grave bodily harm, shall be subject to the penalty of deprivation of liberty for up to 3 years.

He doesnot commit an offense who fails to render assistance for which it is necessary to undergo medical treatment or under conditions in which immediate assistance from an institution or person appointed for this purpose is possible.”

Don’t turn around and react – you could save someone’s life!

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