In an emergency, quick actions by trained employees can save lives. The definition of first aid is medical attention that is usually administered immediately after the injury occurs and at the location where it occurred. First aid can include cleaning minor cuts, scrapes, or scratches; treating a minor burn; applying bandages and dressings.

For non-trained first-aid responders, there are three main areas to focus on.

  • Scene Assessment
  • Knowing the types of first aid to administer
  • Documentation requirements

Assessing the scene is critical to know what emergency is taking place, and how best to respond. For instance, when and for what emergencies should you call 911? Ask yourself, is the scene safe, is the victim safe, and are they conscious?

Some examples of the types of incidents that typically require Emergency Medical Services (EMS) include:

  • Inadequate breathing
  • Chest pain or other severe pain
  • Severe burns, bleeding, or allergic reactions
  • Decreased mental status
  • Suspected neck and back injuries
  • Electrical injuries
  • Seizures
  • Pregnancy complications

Below is a helpful chart on how to handle some of the more common medical emergencies. For more information on first aid and emergency safety, check out the Mayo Clinic’s First Aid Resource page.

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