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In an emergency, when a person has been injured in an accident or suddenly taken sick, he should be given first aid treatment until professional medical help is available. First aid is not meant to replace competent medical treatment. It is designed to keep an accident or illness victim alive, protected and comfortable, with as little opportunity for further injury as possible, until he is seen by a physician or qualified medical personnel.
First aid means, "Knowing what not to do as well as knowing what needs to be done". Many rescuers, in their eagerness to provide aid, only succeed in making an already bad situation worse, because they act out of panic or lack of knowledge.
Keep first aid treatment to the minimum necessary. Have a reason for every step taken. Take the time to evaluate the emergency and plan each step before first aid treatment is begun. Only in cases of severe bleeding, breathing stoppage or difficulty and poisoning is every second vital. In most other cases, have the victim lie down and keeps him comfortable while a Doctor or ambulance is called.
Remember: Any victim of a potentially serious injury should seek immediate physician evaluation before proceeding with information provided here. This section is meant to educate and complement first hand physician information.
Updated on: 01 Feb 2010