What Are The 4 Principles Of First Aid?

Emergencies can happen at any time of the day and to anyone. Therefore, it is always good to prepare yourself beforehand.

Of course, this is not to say that you should be walking around with the expectation that something bad will happen.

But at least, do your best to carry a first aid kit with you or buy one for your home. Besides, a first aid kit does not consume too much space.

So, it would not be an inconvenience to carry it around.

Purpose of a first aid kit 

Typically, a first aid kit would enable you to respond immediately in case of an emergency. Doing this helps you prevent further damage.

For instance, if you happen to wound yourself while fixing a flat tire, a first aid kit will come in handy.

You can nurse the wound and prevent further infections. Moreover, in accident scenes, first aid kits can help you to save lives.

Ultimately, ensure that you have a first aid kit in your car, workplace, and at home. You never know when this functional kit will be of help.

Nevertheless, you have to make an effort to understand all the components of a first aid kit and how each of them works.

So, let’s look at the four principles of first aid to understand better how to use this kit in case of an emergency.

Principles of First Aid

Preserve Life

One of the principles of first aid is to preserve life. As seen earlier, a first aid kit is often meant to provide an immediate solution to a health problem.

Therefore, the equipment in a first aid kit is not to solve the entire problem but rather keep the patient alive while he or she is getting rushed to a hospital.

Therefore, when using a first aid kit, check the exact underlying issue to be much easier to treat once you get to the hospital.

Let’s look at a real-life illustration. Picture this. An accident happens, and there are several casualties.

Leaving them unattended before the ambulance arrives only increases the risk of fatalities.

So, it would be best to get a good first aider who will prevent bleeding and keep the casualties breathing.

If you know how to use a first aid kit, then you can be of great help to the casualties.

Prevent deterioration

The second principle of first aid is to prevent deterioration. Simply this means that after you have done everything possible to preserve life, ensure that the casualty’s health problem does not escalate.

For example, if someone has fainted due to low sugar levels, you can look for over the counter meds to prevent a further sugar level drop after giving them something sugary.

On the other hand, if you were dealing with a broken bone, ensure the patient does not move their leg to escalate the issue after tying it.

Pain relief

The next principle of first aid is to relieve pain. When conducting first aid, do your best to make sure the patient is free from pain.

For example, if the casualty has a swollen foot, place ice on the affected area to reduce the pain.

Moreover, you can use over the counter pain killers to ease the pain.

Promote recovery

Another principle of first aid is to ensure that the casualty keeps getting better. What you do during first aid should aim for a patient’s recovery.

Avoid implementing procedures that may affect the patient in the long run as well as make treatment difficult.

For example, if you are dealing with a burn, ensure that you do everything possible to minimize the formation of permanent scars.

So, think of pouring cold water to the burn. Don’t use the wrong ointment to treat a fresh burn.

All in all, it is essential to know how to perform first aid. If you have no clue on how to go about first aid, get professional training.

You never know when it would be of help.

What are the common first aid practices?

Responding immediately

One first aid practice is offering an immediate response to the existing problem.

Taking immediate action helps in fulfilling the principle of preserving life.

Whenever you respond instantly to an existing problem, you save the life of the patient.

Additionally, responding immediately to an emergency makes treatment easier and faster.

Reducing tension

The second first aid practice is reducing the tension of the casualty and other people around the area. Anxiety and tension do nothing but make the situation worse.

So, it is good to keep the patient calm by assuring them that everything will be okay.

Also, make sure the people around the casualty provide nutritional support.

Remember, you don’t want your patient to become more traumatized than he or she already is.

Seeking professional help 

Another practice of first aid is seeking professional help. Keep in mind that performing first aid on a casualty does not provide treatment to the health issue.

It would be best to make sure the patient is in a dependable hospital as soon as possible.

Otherwise, the issue would become worse after hours. The majority of states have a hotline for emergency calls.

Call them and direct them to the scene and ask them how long they’ll take to get there. This way, you’ll know how to handle the patient.

But an ambulance should not take long to get to the scene. Once a certified medical expert arrives, they can take over and offer more advanced treatment.

Apply the relevant treatment

You should also be able to provide the right first aid treatment to the patient. That’s why we insist on knowing how a first aid kit works.

Otherwise, you put the life of the patient in more danger. Typically, what you have to do is:

  • Know the consciousness level of the patient
  • Ensure that all the airways of the patient are working
  • Then, identify whether the patient is breathing; if not, administer CPR
  • Pinpoint any bleeding. Tie the affected areas using a cloth or bandage to prevent further bleeding


First aid is often used to save lives in case of an emergency.

So, ensure that you familiarize yourself with how a first aid kit works.

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