Introduction to First Aid

The Five Fears of Rescue

  • Fear of Disease
    Solution: Universal precautions. Whenever the possibility of coming in contact with bodily fluids exists, wear personal protective equipment for every patient, every time.
  • Fear of Lawsuits
    Solution: Good Samaritan laws. States have laws that protect people from legal action who act in good faith to provide reasonable First Aid when the rescuer does not have a legal duty to respond.
  • Fear of Uncertainty
    Solution: Emphasis is placed on the role of CPR not merely on the number sequences. Even if numbers are forgotten, remember to push hard and push fast. This emphasizes the simplicity of basic life support.
  • Fear of Hurting a Patient
    Solution: Patients who are clinically dead can only be helped, not made worse with resuscitation efforts.
  • Fear of Unsafe Scene
    Solution: Never enter an unsafe scene! Rescuers are no use to patients if they become patients themselves.

Personal Protective Equipment

Putting On Gloves

Use disposable gloves when providing first aid care. If you have a latex allergy, use a latex alternative such as nitrile or vinyl. Before providing care, make sure the gloves are not ripped or damaged. You may need to remove rings or other jewelry that may rip the gloves.

Removing Gloves

Remember to use skin to skin and glove to glove. Pinch the outside wrist of the other gloved hand. Pull the glove off turning the glove inside-out as you remove it. Hold it in the gloved hand. Use the bare hand to reach inside the other glove at the wrist to turn it inside out trapping the other glove inside. Dispose of gloves properly. If you did it correctly, the outside of either glove never touched your exposed skin.

Use a Rescue Mask or Face Shield

If you have to provide rescue ventilations, use a rescue mask or face shield that has a one way valve. To prevent exposure, avoid giving direct mouth to mouth ventilations.