World First Aid Day
Every year, World First Aid Day is observed on the second Saturday of September to spread awareness of first aid and how it can prevent injuries and save lives in critical situations. Its main aim is to raise awareness of how first aid can prevent injuries and save lives every day and in a crisis. It also promotes the accessibility of first aid.
Unlike many International Days, World First Aid Day is observed not on a given date but on the second Saturday of September, every year. The observation of the day raises public awareness about first aid, and how it can save lives every day and during crises. It is also a campaign to promote the importance of getting trained.
The term “first aid” refers to the assistance given to anyone suffering a sudden injury or illness. First aid is not a replacement for emergency services. It is a vital initial step for providing effective and swift action that helps to reduce serious injuries and improve the chances of survival. Each year focuses on a different issue and in 2022 the focus will be on “Lifelong First Aid Learning”. It highlights the importance of learning first aid at all ages from babies & children to older adults.
The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) initiated World First Aid Day in 2000. For over 100 years, providing first aid services has been one of the main tasks of this organization. They were inspired by a book written by Henry Dunant A Memory of Solferino, who had witnessed horrifying agony and suffering after the battle of Solferino in 1859. He mobilized the civilians to take care of the injured and gave them the necessary supplies to create temporary hospitals. This has proven how important humanitarian actions were and still are.
Learning the basic first aid essentials is important and we need it in a lot of situations that might lead to the necessity of saving somebody’s life. The IFRC believes that first aid should be accessible to all, even the most vulnerable people. It should also be an integral part of a more comprehensive developmental approach. There is a need to continue to bring awareness about the need for first aid, more importantly training the people to provide first aid when the need arises.
How to celebrate the day
We should start learning the first aid essentials as early as possible, starting with school children. Teaching school children basic medical skills can one day become a life-saving activity. All children should know the importance of first aid, emergency numbers, and the equipment of the First Aid kit. We should be willing to learn first aid and spread the information about its importance whenever we can. You never know who may save your life.
Learning first aid doesn’t take much time, 3 to 6 hours are enough. Not a very big investment when it comes to saving lives. Having first aid skills enhances an individual’s capacity to take swift action to reduce or stabilize serious injuries and to improve a casualty’s chance of survival.
Ensure the availability of a first aid kit at home, at work, and in their vehicles, adding that it must contain several basic items. The items include a guidebook, medical forceps and swabs, adhesive wound tape, antibiotic ointment, gauze bandages, and an elastic lumbar band that helps treat fractures and sprained joints.
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Instances that require First Aid
Bleeding: Irrespective of its severity, all instances of bleeding must be controlled and monitored constantly. Possible first aid procedures to help in such cases include rinsing the wound with water (subject to the wound’s condition), wrapping the wound with a cloth or a bandage, and applying pressure to the wound to stop the bleeding.
Burns: Burns is one of the more common household injuries and immediate identification and necessary first aid procedure can limit their severity. First aid measures include cooling the burn with cool (but not icy) or lukewarm water for 20 minutes and keeping warm till the patient is brought to the Emergency.
CPR: In the case of a cardiac arrest, timing is crucial. An essential first aid procedure in such an instance is CPR (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation). Performing chest compressions and rescue breathing until medical officers arrive can be the difference between life and death.
Choking: Windpipe hindrance is a primary cause of choking, and first aid procedures for choking vary depending on the severity. The most obvious first aid procedure in the case of adults involves performing the Heimlich Maneuver.
Sprains: Primarily caused in connective tissues or ligaments, sprains can be caused by sudden wrenching or twisting of a joint. First aid procedures in such cases comprise limiting the activity that can worsen the injury, cold compresses over the injured area, compression, and keeping the injured area elevated. Sporting activities and exercise should be limited as a precaution until complete medical diagnosis to determine the cause of the sprain.
Observe “World First Aid Day”, and appreciate those who are giving their time and efforts in providing First Aid.
First Aid, yes, it is the aid one is provided first.
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