Written by: Ma. Donnabelle S. Nisay
First aid is the assistance given to any person suffering a sudden illness or injury, generally defined as the care provided to preserve life, prevent the condition from worsening, and/or promote recovery. It includes initial intervention in a serious condition prior to professional medical help being available, such as performing CPR in an unresponsive person while waiting for an ambulance, as well as the complete treatment of minor conditions like wound cleaning and dressing. Basic first aid also applies to various emergencies, such as burns, drowning, poisoning, musculoskeletal trauma, electric injuries, wounds and abrasions, human and animal bites, and other medical emergencies. It is generally performed by layperson. Many people are now learning the importance of being trained in providing basic levels of first aid, so they tend to enroll in trainings, and others from their friends.
Knowledge of First Aid is invaluable to us as individual and to our community. It allows us to assist individual who got injured in the event of accidents or other emergencies until assistance arrive.
First Aid skills can be applied at home, in workplace or in public places. Besides easing the situation and preventing health conditions getting worse after an emergency, first aid can save lives. Whether it is a minor injury like scrapes and abrasions or something more serious like cardiac arrest or stroke, preventing further complications is paramount. Learning first aid will give you the confidence to act appropriately when an emergency occurs. It is vitally important to deal with any life-threatening situations before reaching for the phone to call for an ambulance. First aid is an important life skill that helps reduce fatalities and enables the faster treatment of injuries and illness.
As an Emergency Responder myself, I was able to work in the most difficult situations and with very limited resources. But having bystanders who are most willing to help, especially those who have undergone training in basic first aid makes the job and the situation a lot easier to handle. Whenever I got the chance to thank these people for helping out, I asked them where they learned or who trained them these basic lifesaving skills. Most of them got their trainings from their companies. Some had been trained in their local communities, whether by Government or Non-government organizations like Provincial and Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (PDRRMO and MDRRMO) and Philippine Red Cross. It is overwhelming to know that these organizations have recognized the importance of this skill to be learned by everybody.
Nowadays, being knowledgeable and skillful in applying first aid is very important in our daily lives. It gives us confidence to act when someone needs help during emergency. Local Government Units are now making sure that First Aid Kits and Automated Defibrillators (AED) are accessible and available to the public. But how can this be beneficial to us if we don’t have the knowledge to utilize them? We do not have to be doctors or medical practitioners to help anybody in times of emergencies. Knowing these basic but very important life-saving skills can give hope to the sick or injured person once they are aware that there is somebody nearby to help them. With this being said, it is a must that these knowledges be introduced to our young generation.
Children tend to explore as they get older, going on adventures with their peers. Accidents happen anywhere, at school during physical activities and play time. Natural disasters can occur anytime and anywhere too. Our children are not always within our sight all the time, they are not with medical professional all the time as well. They are very vulnerable in times of emergencies. This can be worrying to us parents, thus, giving us reasons to put limits in our child’s potential learning and would-be beautiful experience. This is understandable; we are naturally protective of our children. We never wanted them to be hurt but we don’t want them to miss the world. As a parent, I will be relieved knowing that my child is equipped with necessary skills that he can apply whenever the need arises.
First aid education should be included in the curriculum of our children at school. “Train them while they are young.” As they say. Schools have nurses, and teachers are trained in providing first aid. Students are now also being provided with trainings and encouraged to join activities that will help them practice like First Aid Olympics which are organized by DRRM Offices. These are just basic trainings and not totally included in their school subjects. Having our children well educated with emergency response procedures, first aid and CPR will not only give them the chance to help others, but also we can be at ease that our children have the sets of knowledge and will not be totally helpless in times of needs. This will also provide them a sense of achievement and confidence. With new stories emerging daily regarding children saving adults, teaching first aid at schools could potentially save thousands of lives. The younger we start in training, the more efficient we become. The more people trained in providing first aid, the safer the community becomes.
Equipping our younger generation with proper education about important things like first aid and CPR is essential and will help them be a more responsible and concerned individual. First aid education provides children vital knowledge in dealing with any kind of emergencies they may face. Not only these skills are immensely valuable and potentially lifesaving; the knowledge gained is likely to increase a young individual’s confidence in this highly competitive world. It will make them feel fully prepared should any of them feel the need to give emergency help.