what is first aid

When an accident occurs, the initial few minutes might be crucial in determining what happened.

Here, the idea of first aid comes into play. But precisely what is it? And why is it so important?

Here’s what you need to know about first aid.

What is First Aid?

First Aid is the initial help or care given to someone injured or unwell until complete medical treatment is available or the crisis is addressed.

It might be as simple as applying a bandage to a cut or as complex as doing CPR (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation) when someone’s heart has stopped.

What Are the Three Aims of First Aid and the 3 P’s in First Aid?

  • Preserve Life: The primary objective of any first aid intervention is to preserve life. In other words, it involves providing necessary treatment and stabilizing the person to the best of one’s ability until professional medical assistance arrives, with the ultimate goal of saving lives.
  • Prevent Further Harm: The first aider ensures that the patient is kept safe and their pain doesn’t worsen.
  • Promote Recovery: Helping the person get better faster is also part of first aid. This could be done by putting a bandage on a small cut or giving CPR and helping the body return to normal.

It’s important to remember that First Aid differs from medical help from a doctor or nurse.

It is a crucial first step if you want to move quickly and effectively to help decrease severe injuries and increase the chances of survival.

Why Is It Important to Have a First Aid Kit?

Having a first aid kit is important for several reasons:

  1. Immediate Response: A first aid kit allows for immediate response and initial care in case of minor injuries or medical emergencies.
  2. Preservation of Life: In critical situations, readily available essential medical supplies can be life-saving. Items like bandages, antiseptics, and even a CPR mask can make a huge difference.
  3. Preventing Infection: Properly cleaning and dressing wounds with supplies from a first aid kit can help prevent infections.
  4. Stabilizing Injuries: A well-equipped first aid kit can provide tools for stabilizing injuries until proper medical attention can be obtained.
  5. Emergency Preparedness: In natural disasters, accidents, or unexpected emergencies, a first aid kit can provide essential supplies for immediate care.
  6. Compliance with Regulations: In many workplaces and public settings, having a first aid kit is not just advisable but legally required. It helps businesses and organizations comply with health and safety regulations.

First Aid Procedures in the Workplace

First aid is emergency care given for an accident or illness before emergency medical treatment is available.

A workplace first-aid provider has been trained in delivering initial medical emergency procedures, utilizing an insignificant amount of equipment to do a primary assessment and intervention while waiting for emergency medical service (EMS) personnel to arrive.

A workplace first-aid program is part of a complete safety and health management system that incorporates the four essential aspects listed below:

  • Management Leadership and Employee Involvement Workplace Analysis
  • Hazard Prevention and Control
  • Safety and Health Training

OSHA Requirements

According to OSHA, workplaces without immediate access to medical facilities must have trained first-aid providers on hand.

CPR training is also mandated for specific scenarios, as cardiac emergencies can arise.

It’s important to note that while considered first aid, specific medical procedures may be deemed medical treatment for OSHA record keeping. In such cases, the injury or illness must be recorded on the OSHA 300 Log.

OSHA’s First Aid Guide provides essential information for workplace first-aid providers, emphasizing the importance of timely and proper care.

First Aid Statistics

About 70% of people feel helpless during a medical emergency due to a lack of first aid knowledge.

In the U.S., workplace injuries occur approximately every seven seconds. Around 12 million people in the United States annually undergo first aid training.

Workplace Statistics

Out of 2,000 employees across corporate offices, hospitality, education, and industry/labor sectors:

  • 55 percent still need first aid, CPR, or training from their employer.
  • When training is provided, it typically focuses on either CPR or first aid, but not both.
  • Half of the U.S. workforce cannot pinpoint the location of an AED in their workplace.
  • Within the hospitality industry, 66 percent of employees cannot locate an AED.

American Healthcare Compliance

American Healthcare Compliance offers Workplace First-Aid Training to help employers establish a safe and healthy work environment.

Upon completing the training, the learner will receive a certificate of completion.

You Will Learn:

  • The Risks: Injuries, Illnesses and Fatalities
  • First-Aid Program for the Worksite
  • OSHA Requirements
  • First-Aid Supplies and Automated External Defibrillators


Should everyone learn first aid?

Yes, it is highly recommended that everyone learn basic first-aid skills. Accidents and emergencies can happen anywhere, and knowing first aid can save lives.

What are some everyday situations where first aid is needed?

First aid may be needed in situations like cuts and wounds, burns, choking, heart attacks, strokes, fractures, and other medical emergencies.

What should be included in a basic first aid kit?

A basic first-aid kit should include the following:
● Bandages.
● Adhesive tape.
● Antiseptic wipes.
● Scissors.
● Tweezers.
● Disposable gloves.
● Pain relievers.
● CPR masks.
● Personal medications.

How often should first aid training be refreshed?

It’s recommended to refresh first aid training every two to three years to stay updated on techniques and procedures. This helps ensure that you are prepared to respond effectively in emergencies.

Explore our course library and discover how to Enroll in our Workplace First Aid Training course.

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