The Essential First Aid Method You Need to Know

First aid, News from St John - 15 Jun 2023

In emergency situations, being equipped with basic First Aid knowledge can save a live.

One crucial framework that serves as a foundation for initial assessment and response is DRSABCD.

This acronym stands for Danger, Response, Send for Help, Airway, Breathing, Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), and Defibrillation.

1. Danger:
The first step in any emergency is to assess the surrounding environment for potential dangers.

It is essential to ensure your safety as well as the safety of the victim and any bystanders.

Assess the scene for hazards such as traffic, fire, gas leaks, collapsing structures, or any other immediate risks.

If there are immediate dangers, take necessary precautions before proceeding to the next step.

2. Response:
Once the area is secure, check for a response from the victim. Gently tap their shoulders and ask loudly, “Are you okay?” or “Can you hear me?”

If there is no response, it indicates an unconscious state. In such cases, it’s crucial to act quickly and efficiently.

3. Send for Help:
If the victim is unresponsive or requires immediate medical attention, it is vital to call for help.

Dial triple zero (000) and provide them with accurate information about the situation.

If there are bystanders nearby, assign someone to make the call while you continue with the assessment and initial steps of first aid.

4. Airway:
The airway is a critical aspect of sustaining life.

Ensure that the victim’s airway is clear and unobstructed.

Place the person on their back and open the victim’s mouth and check for foreign material.

If there is any visible obstruction, such as vomit, blood, or foreign objects, roll the victim onto their side and carefully remove it with your fingers.

Once the victim’s airway is clear open it by gently tilting their head back and lifting their chin.

5. Breathing:
Once the airway is clear, check if the victim is breathing normally. Look for chest movement, listen for breath sounds, and feel for airflow near the victim’s mouth or nose.

If the person is not breathing or only gasping, ensure they are on their back and prepare to start CPR.

6 CPR:
CPR is given to a victim when they are unconscious and not breathing normally.

Locate the lower half of the sternum (breastbone) in the centre of the victim’s chest. Place the heel of your hand on the sternum and place your other hand on top.

With your arms straight, press down on the victim’s chest until it is compressed down about one-third of its depth.

Give 30 compressions at a rate of 100-120 beats per minute.

If you have a disposable mask place it over the victim’s mouth. With the head tilted backwards, pinch the soft part of the nose closed, place your mouth over the victims’ mouth and blow steadily for about one second, watching for the chest to rise.

Continue giving 30 compressions and 2 breaths until help arrives or the victim starts breathing on their own.

7. Defibrillation:
In cases of sudden cardiac arrest, the use of an automated external defibrillator (AED) can significantly increase the victim’s chances of survival.

If an AED is available, switch it on and follow the device’s voice prompts. Apply the defibrillator pads to the victim’s bare chest as directed and allow the AED to analyse the heart rhythm.

If advised, deliver a shock by pressing the appropriate button. Resume CPR immediately after the shock and follow subsequent prompts until professional help arrives.

Why knowing First Aid is a life skill.

Knowing how to perform basic First Aid techniques can be a lifesaver in emergency situations.

St John Ambulance QLD offers a raft of extensive First Aid courses and refreshers to ensure you have these skills.

Remember, in any emergency, prioritising personal safety, assessing the victim’s condition, and seeking professional help are of utmost importance.

By familiarising yourself with the DRSABCD method and practicing it regularly, you can become better prepared to handle emergencies and potentially save lives.