The Basics of First Aid Tips and Techniques

What do you do if you are first on the accident scene?

  • Don’t Panic
  • Call 911 – police, fire and ambulance immediately.
  • Don’t – rush to scene without checking for hazards, such as traffic, chemicals spills, downed power lines and moving equipment, etc.
  • Keep People Out – of area unless you need their help.
  • Don’t – move victim if you suspect head or spinal injury (unless victim is in immediate danger)
  • Check – victim’s As and Bs and give CPR, if necessary.
  • Don’t – enter a confined space or try to clean a chemical spill unless you’re trained to.

How to Check Airway and Breathing

Check the As & Bs

A – Airway

  • Look into victim’s mouth to see if anything is blocking the airway, if you see any debris blocking airway, gently remove it.

B – Breathing

  • Look to see if the victim’s chest rises and falls.
  • Listen for sounds of normal breathing from victim’s mouth and nose.
  • Feel for exhaled air against your cheek.
  • If 10 seconds pass and you don’t see, hear or feel signs of normal breathing, give victim two breaths and begin CPR.

How to Give Adult CPR

If nobody trained in CPR is available:

  • Place Victim – face up on a flat and firm surface.
  • Open Airway – by tilting head back with one hand and lifting chin with other.
  • O pen Victim’s Mouth – and close nostrils.
  • Seal Mouth – tightly with your own.
  • Blow Into Mouth – give 2 breaths of 1 second each using just enough force to make chest rise.
  • If Chest Doesn’t Rise – use the head tilt-chin lift method and give another set of 2 breaths.
  • If Victim Is Unresponsive and Not Breathing – push down 1.5 to 2 inches on chest 30 times at a rate of about 100 compressions per minute.
  • Continue – with 2 breaths and 30 chest compressions until breathing resumes or help arrives.

How to Treat Severe Bleeding

Five step procedure:

  • Wear Gloves – or otherwise cover your hands.
  • Keep Direct Pressure – on wound using victim’s or third person’s gloved hand.
  • Put Clean Bandages – around wound and secure with another roller bandage – tightly but without restricting circulation.
  • Wrap Over – bloodstained bandages—don’t remove them.  Don’t Apply A Tourniquet.

How to Treat Shock

Be aware, check and treat.

  • Be Aware – severe bleeding can lead to a life threatening condition called shock.
  • Check – for signs of shock:
    Rapid breathing,
    Pale, moist, cool skin,
    Drifting in and out of consciousness.
  • Treat – help victim lie down or rest comfortably. 
    Lift the legs about 12 inches unless you suspect spinal injury.
    Keep victim warm but not overheated.
    Don’t let victim eat or drink even if they request food or drink.

How to Treat Victims of Poison


  • If Swallowed – remove anything still in victims mouth.  Call Poison Control Center & check MSDS of poison for instructions.  Don’t induce vomiting or give victim a drink unless told.
  • If in Eyes – rinse eyes with low pressure running water for 15 to 20 minutes.
  • If on Skin – remove contaminated clothing.  Rinse skin with running water for 15 to 20 minutes.
  • If Inhaled – get victim to fresh air immediately.  Avoid breathing fumes, vapors and particles.  Use a respirator if necessary.

In All Cases – Call your local poison helpline.  (1-800-222-1222). Give CPR and call 911 if victim is unresponsive and not breathing.

How to Treat Burn Victims

“Do’s” and “Don’t”

  • Put Out – the flame or remove victim from source of burn.
  • C ool – burn with lots of cool water (unless it’s an electric burn).
  • Flush – chemical burns to skin or eyes with running cool water for at least 15 minutes (unless chemical’s MSDS instructs otherwise).
  • Cover – burn with dry and sterile dressing.
  • Keep  - victim comfortable and protect against chill and overheating.

Always Put – ice (in a bag of cold water and/or wrap in towel) place on burns at 15 minute intervals.

Never Put – ice directly on skin or burn—it will freeze the skin and make the burn more severe.

Don’t Touch – a burn with anything but sterile coverings.

Don’t Pull Back – clothing or materials sticking to burn.

Don’t Try to Clean – a bad burn or break a blister.

How to Treat Heat Illness

Recognize Signs and Treat

Heat Cramps Signs – Muscle pain, heavy sweating.

Treatment – get victim to a cool spot, give cool drinks with salt (not salt tablets) and loosen clothing, then call for medical help.

Heat Exhaustion Signs – Fatigue, weakness, dizziness, heavy sweating, rapid pulse and shallow breathing.

Treatment –  Medical emergency – get immediate help.  Check their As and Bs and then administer CPR if needed.

Heat Stoke Signs – Hot skin (usually no sweating) headache, nausea, irregular pulse, shallow breathing, possible seizure and loss of consciousness.

Treatment – Medical emergency – get immediate help.  Check their As and Bs and then administer CPR if needed.