First aid is the assistance given to any person
suffering a sudden illness or injury, with 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 whilst awaiting an
ambulance , as well as the complete treatment of
minor conditions, such as applying a plaster to a
cut. First aid is generally performed by the
layperson , with many people trained in providing
basic levels of first aid, and others willing to do so
from acquired knowledge. Mental health first aid is
an extension of the concept of first aid to cover
mental health.
There are many situations which may require first aid.


Aquatic/Marine first aid is usually practiced by
professionals such as lifeguards , professional
mariners or in diver rescue , and covers the
specific problems which may be faced after
water-based rescue and/or delayed MedEvac.

Battlefield first aid takes into account the
specific needs of treating wounded combatants
and non-combatants during armed conflict .

Hyperbaric first aid may be practiced by SCUBA
diving professionals, who need to treat
conditions such as the bends.

Oxygen first aid is the providing of oxygen to
casualties who suffer from conditions resulting
in hypoxia.

Wilderness first aid is the provision of first aid
under conditions where the arrival of emergency
responders or the evacuation of an injured
person may be delayed due to constraints of
terrain, weather, and available persons or
equipment. It may be necessary to care for an
injured person for several hours or days.

Mental health first aid is taught independently
of physical first aid. How to support someone
experiencing a mental health problem or in a
crisis situation. Also how to identify the first
signs of someone developing mental ill health
and guide people towards appropriate help.


ABC and its variations are initialism mnemonics for
essential steps used by both medical professionals
and lay persons (such as first aiders ) when dealing
with a patient. In its original form it stands for
Airway , Breathing and Circulation . The protocol
was originally developed as a memory aid for
rescuers performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation,
and the most widely known use of the initialism is
in the care of the unconscious or unresponsive
patient, although it is also used as a reminder of
the priorities for assessment and treatment of
patients in many acute medical and trauma
situations, from first-aid to hospital medical
treatment. Airway, breathing, and circulation are
vital for life, and each is required, in that order, for
the next to be effective. Since its development, the
mnemonic has been extended and modified to fit
the different areas in which it is used, with different
versions changing the meaning of letters (such as
from the original ‘Circulation’ to ‘Compressions’) or
adding other letters (such as D which stands for Difilbration).


A basic first aid kit may contain:
plasters in a variety of different sizes and
small, medium and large sterile gauze
at least two sterile eye dressings
triangular bandages
crêpe rolled bandages
safety pins
disposable sterile gloves
alcohol-free cleansing wipes
sticky tape
thermometer (preferably digital)
skin rash cream, such as hydrocortisone or
cream or spray to relieve insect bites and stings
antiseptic cream
painkillers such as paracetamol (or infant
paracetamol for children), aspirin (not to be
given to children under 16), or ibuprofen
cough medicine
antihistamine tablets
distilled water for cleaning wounds
eye wash and eye bath
It may also be useful to keep a basic first aid
manual or instruction booklet with your first aid
Medicines should be checked regularly to make
sure they are within their use-by dates.


Preserve life : the overriding aim of all medical
care, including first aid, is to save lives and
minimize the threat of death.

Prevent further harm : also sometimes called
prevent the condition from worsening , or
danger of further injury, this covers both
external factors, such as moving a patient away
from any cause of harm, and applying first aid
techniques to prevent worsening of the
condition, such as applying pressure to stop a
bleed becoming dangerous.

Promote recovery : first aid also involves trying
to start the recovery process from the illness or
injury, and in some cases might involve
completing a treatment, such as in the case of
applying a plaster to a small wound.

First Aid

Symbol for First Aid