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CRITICAL QUESTION 3 - WHAT

DOES THE INDIVIDUAL NEED TO


CONSIDER IN ADMINISTERING
FIRST AID?
Physical Environment

Infection Control and Protection

PHYSICAL ENVIRONMENT
Physical Environment
The nature of the physical environment may, in part, have
been responsible for the occurrence of the accident in the
first place. Eg drowning due to rapidly rising water. A
traffic accident may be due to oil on the road.
Whatever the circumstances, it is important that
protective measures be observed and strategies put into
place so that further injury does not occur.

PHYSICAL ENVIRONMENT
The first steps are vital and apply to all accident scenes:
1. Keep the accident area clear, which may include directing traffic.
This may be done by bystanders, also ask one of them to call
emergency services
2. Check for any other dangers, such as fallen wires, fuel or
explosive gases, shattered glass or sharp debris, rips in water or
fire
3. Check that all casualties have been located and assess the
priority of their injury management
4. When calling emergency services, you need to report the exact
location of the accident, number of casualties, type of accident
and injuries and what special services may need to attend the

TRAFFIC ACCIDENTS
Traffic Accidents
To secure control of a traffic accident scene, undertake the following:
Avoid danger from other traffic use hazard light, use bystanders to
aid with approaching traffic etc
Light up the scene with headlights (low beam)
Account for all occupants of each accident vehicle. Some occupants
may be hidden behind debris or thrown from the vehicle
Turn off the car engine where possible
Have fire extinguishers ready (if available)
Once the accident site is secure, continue with DRSABCD and injury
management.

TRAFFIC ACCIDENTS
Do not remove the casualty unless one or a number of the following
conditions is present:
There is evidence of increasing shock and the casualty is upright in
the car
The casualty is unconscious and an adequate airway cannot be
maintained
The casualtys position prevents access to control bleeding
There is danger of fire
CPR needs to be commenced and the casualty is not in a position
to do so

WATER ENVIRONMENT
Water Environment
When attending a water rescue, the safest rescue is if the first aider does not have to enter the
water. It is important that the first aider does not attempt a rescue beyond their own swimming
capabilities. Throwing a rope, esky lid, ball, or anything that floats can be used as a lifesaving
aid for someone in the water.

Factors to consider in an injury management plan for a water rescue include:


The number of casualities
Distance from the shore
The water depth and temperature
What rescue equipment is available
The physical and psychological state of the casualty and their swimming ability
Rips or currents at the beach
Hidden dangers under the water

ELECTRICITY
Electricity
Electricity has an immense potential for danger
because it is not visible. When wires are exposed
through circumstances such as frayed or cut
electrical insulation or fallen power lines, electricity is
conducted through any metallic material that is in
contact with the wires. By touching the conducting
material, electrocution occurs. The voltage in most
wires is sufficient to cause sever burns and instant
death.

ELECTRICITY
The rescuer needs to:
Be aware of the deadly nature of electricity and how it is
conducted
Examine the situation and assess the potential for harm.
Protective strategies include:
Not touching cars or objects that are in contact with fallen power
lines
Turning the power off at the source (light switch, main switch) in
the case of a domestic accident
Removing live power cords with nonconducting material such as a
stick if the power cannot be turned off immediately

INFECTION CONTROL AND


PROTECTION
There is a risk of cross-infection when administering first aid. This is
particularly so when giving CPR or managing would. Illnesses that can be
transferred include:
Colds and influenza
HIV/AIDS
Glandular fever
Measles
Chickenpox
Mumps
Herpes
Hepatitis

INFECTION CONTROL AND


PROTECTION
Administration of first aid requires that measures be taken to avoid
transmission of infection under any circumstances. The first aider
must use hygienic practices and create a barrier so that the
infection cannot pass from one person to another. This situations
that cause most concern are in relation to HIV/AIDS infection and
blood-borne viruses such as hepatitis B and C.

HIV/AIDS
The HIV virus (human immunodeficiency virus) that causes AIDS can be
transmitted only through the exchange of blood and, in some cases, body
fluids, from an infected to a noninfected person. Although this is unlikely in
the administration of first aid, it is best that appropriate precautions be taken.
Highest concentration of the HIV virus are in blood. To pass the virus from one
person to another during first aid, both the casualty and the rescuer need to
have cuts or wounds that are open and the blood of the infected person
needs to mix with the blood of the noninfected person. This situation,
although possible, is highly unlikely.
It is important to realise that this type of infection must pass from the
bloodstream of one person and into the bloodstream of another for
transmission to take place. Although HIV exists in saliva, the quantity
exchanged during CPR would not be sufficient for effective transmission and,
in any case, the virus would be destroyed by the stomach juices.

HIV/AIDS
To prevent transmission, the first aider needs to implement
appropriate management strategies that prevent any possibility of
viral transfer. The simplest way is to assume that every casualty is
infected and take the following precautions:
Use disposable plastic gloves
Cover sores, grazes, cuts, abrasions or incisions of any nature that
exposes anyones blood
Cover the face of an unconscious person with a face mask before
administrating CPR
Wash hands and any surfaces of the body that have made contact
with the casualty with soap and warm water asap following
treatment

ACTIVITY SAFETY FIRST


Research the following illnesses, describe illness and devise a
safety action plan for treating casualties to prevent cross-infection
Illness
Hepatitis B and C
Glandular Fever
Measles

Short description of
illness and risk factors

Safety plan for


treatment

CRITICAL INQUIRY
You are playing basketball in the playground and fall heavily
on the asphalt. Your leg is bleeding profusely. Shock sets in
quickly and you vomit on your clothes.
Outline what possible precautions your friends and the
school personnel should take to ensure they are protected
from infection