I know you are supposed to start the New Year with a resolution but I have decided to end with one instead.  I have neglected this blog as I have been very busy with other projects but I have decided that I have found a use for the blog and that is First Aid.  Every month I will blog a new subject/section of a first aid course.  Why? Well 2 reasons.

1)  It will help our students who pass their training courses stay up to date and keep the information fresh

2) We hope it will build interest and then get more people involved in first aid.

Lets get started and what better place to start than at the beginning.  Picture the scene:

You arrive at work and walk into the office to find that one of your colleagues is unconscious and laying on the floor.  Your natural reaction is going to be PANIC.  Your natural instinct will be to go to the person but wait………………………………………………..

It is important that a first aider fights the instinct to rush forward, when you find a casualty whether unconscious or conscious you need to:

STOP THINK ACT AND DECIDE what action is best to take. Remember Danger Response Airway Breathing procedures taught during your course.  Lets start with danger.


No matter how safe you think your workplace is, in an emergency there is the potential for the most harmless thing to be a danger, so stand back and look for them. Is there a possibility that the casualty is live from electricity, remember this can pass from one human to another. Are there sharp objects laying around that could harm you or them. Smell for gas before switching on lights.  Is there an animal such as dog near by that may harm you as they can become extremely protective when their owners are taken ill.  What about traffic where other staff members are arriving.  In any situation you need to make sure that you are not going to get hurt by what hurt them.  This is a small section of dangers that could be found.  If any dangers are highlighted then they must be dealt with before carrying out any treatment.


Now you know it is safe to enter the scene you need to see if the casualty is responsive.  Firstly introduce yourself “ Hello I am Colin the first aider, can I help you” of course don’t say Colin if that’s not your name as this could really confuse the issue. As you are walking towards them give an order “Don’t move your head stay still for me” this order is given as we do not know what injuries the casualty has sustained, so therefore we need them to lay still in case they have injured the neck or back.  Where possible try and walk towards the casualty from the feet end as if you walk from behind this may encourage them to twist their head to see who is coming.  Once in position take a final close up view of the area for danger and then place your hands on their shoulders lean into each ear and repeat “ Hello can you hear me, I am a first aider can I help you”. This is carried out in both ears as they might have hearing difficulties or the accident or illness they have suffered may have affected the hearing.  If no response is forthcoming then you need to shout for help “HELP HELP FIRST AIDER NEEDS HELP”


Whilst waiting for help we need to see if the casualty is breathing normally.  To do this you would talk to them and tell them what you are going to do.  “I am going to open your mouth to see if anything loose is in there” At this point open the mouth gently by moving the jaw. DO NOT PUT YOU FINGERS IN AND BLIND SWEEP THE MOUTH.  If you see a loose item such as a sweet then you are able to remove it carefully and quickly.  If no items or false teeth are found then place your hand closest to the top of their head palm down on their forehead. Next use you forefinger and middle finger to push on the chin bone from the underside at the same time using the hand on the head to tilt the head back.  There is a possibility that the casualty could start to breathe as the tongue is stretched back and this could unblock the airway and the casualty may start to breathe.  If this happens make sure the airways stay free you could do this by placing the casualty in the recovery position which will be discussed in another blog.

First aid course


Once the head is back place an ear over the casualty’s nose and mouth and have your head positioned so that you can see down the casualty’s chest to see if the chest is rising and falling (NORMAL BREATHING) you would carry this check out for up to 10 seconds.  If this is not the case and there are no breaths then you would need to start CPR (this will be covered in another blog)

The helper

Once the helper has arrived and you have carried out your DRAB survey then you must give clear and concise instructions to your helper “ Call an ambulance, we are at 14 Stapledon Road Peterborough. There is a male about 34 years old not breathing and tell them that I am about to start CPR. Can you come back with a first aid kit and a defibrillator and let me know how long the ambulance will be”

At this point you would ask the helper to repeat the information.

If no help arrives you should carry out the DRAB procedures discussed and then call the ambulance yourself.  (THIS MUST BE CARRIED OUT BEFORE DOING CPR)

This is just a reminder to qualified first aiders as to the procedures of the initial assessment.  This does not class as training.  In a situation like this then you must make sure that you get the ambulance on the way by calling 999 or 112.  For further information or to book a course please dial 01733237115 or email info@altta.co.uk

Next blog we will look at the secondary survey.

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