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World First Aid Day: What is the Need & Importance of First Aid?

World First Aid Day: What is the Need & Importance of First Aid?

First Aid Overview – Saving Lives

Whenever we see someone injured and in need of immediate medical help and attention, our first response is to offer adequate help. This is what we call first aid.

First aid is what we term immediate medical assistance offered to any ill or injured person, irrespective of the severity of the illness, to save a person’s life till medical help or ambulance arrives. This is critical to prevent the situation from getting worse and to assist the injured person in recovering quickly.

First aid is a broad category that includes a range of activities and interventions ranging from simple dressing to treatment of minor conditions and even Cardiac Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR). First aid doesn’t always require an expert or trained person or specific equipment and materials. It can even be performed by someone aware of the surroundings without any specific equipment while improvising on the existing resources available.

In some circumstances, first aid is the only care an injured person might need, while in other cases, it may be required to keep the patient alive till paramedics or an ambulance arrive to transfer him to a competent facility for further treatment. Though official first aid training is the best way to handle such situations, until then, learning some fundamental life-saving techniques and skills comes in handy.

Here are some reasons that reinstate the need and importance of first aid.


7 Reasons Why First Aid is Important?

  • First Aid Can Save a Person’s Life

First aid is considered crucial because timely help in case of an emergency can save the injured person’s life. In most medical emergencies, it is always a race against time, and acting right on time is of crucial essence. In critical situations, a sick or injured person may not be in a position to hang on till proper medical care arrives.

Moreover, the accident site or the injured person’s location might be too far away, and it will take a long time for professionals to reach them. In such scenarios, if the sick or injured person is surrounded by a trained professional or someone who knows basic life support skills or CPR technique, they can easily act in time to save a person’s life.


  • First Aid Relieves Pain

Most medical emergencies and traumatic situations involve the onset of pain as soon as the person is injured. This holds true even in non-life-threatening situations that demand immediate care because of the excruciating pain involved. If the sick or injured person is accompanied by someone who is trained in first aid, they can use some pain relief methods to relieve the affected person of the pain.


A trained person is competent and wise to understand the specific pain relief methods like applying a cold pack on muscular bruises, pouring ice cold water over the burn, and giving instant pain relief medication to the injured person for pain relief.


  • First Aid Prevents Infection & Its Chances

When someone gets injured, burnt, or incurs any other injury, the kind of first aid given to them decides their likelihood of acquiring an infection later on. Without adequate training and the choice of the right treatment option for a specific injury, things can get even worse.


For instance, some people advocate the use of hydrogen peroxide for the sterilisation of a cut injury. While, in reality, it does the opposite as it ends up damaging the cells that promote faster healing of the wound. With the right kind of training, and clean, hygienic, and sterilised supplies (clean bandages, antiseptic solution, soap, clean water, and petroleum jelly), one can expedite the healing process and eliminate the risk of developing an infection. This is where the need and importance of first aid training come into play as a significant factor.


  • First Aid Keeps Children Safe

Children (including toddlers and infants) are at a higher risk of getting hurt and being involved in medical emergencies. Children love to explore the world, are often unsupervised, and are always playing around without understanding the risk. Even if you’re an attentive parent, children are so swiftly moving around that it is almost impossible to avert an accident. Infants are highly vulnerable and at an increased risk of developing injuries that may give way to problems in adult life.


However, it is a common phenomenon in babies to develop seizures, and there’s no clear cause behind it. If the parent or child’s caretaker is an expert at first aid and knows the technique of handling minor burns, cuts, and bruises to major ones like seizures, it is easy to keep children safe.


  • First aid helps communicate better with Medical Professionals

If you’re around an injured or sick person and have offered them first aid, you can stay with them till the paramedics or an ambulance arrive. Since you’ve been at the scene of an injury and know what happened, you can effectively brief the medical professionals on the situation and the kind of first aid you gave them.


The person who suffered the injury and has survived the emergency may not be in the right frame of mind to speak to medical professionals. You can provide a detailed description of the emergency, what transpired, and what it looked like. This information at the trauma site is extremely critical for medical professionals in deciding the further course of treatment.


  • First Aid Reduces Recovery Time

Not giving the right first aid and medical care to the injured person at the time of an emergency can be fatal. On the other hand, even if they manage to survive, they can deal with a prolonged recovery time because of not receiving the right medical care on time. For instance, if a road accident trauma patient is bleeding profusely and is not given the right first aid in time to stop it before medical help arrives, the person ends up losing a substantial amount of blood, having low blood pressure, and the chances of going into multi-organ failure. This would inadvertently delay the recovery process of the injured person and make them deal with moderate to severe aftermath. If a person trained in first aid stops the bleeding, the recovery process becomes much faster.


  • First Aid Saves from Mounting Healthcare Costs

The ultimate objective of giving someone first aid is to save their life. However, besides this, if someone is given first aid in time, it helps reduce the chances of getting an infection, needing longer medical care, or getting the situation worse. Proper handling of a minor cut, burn, or wound goes a long way in preventing the possibility of making it worse.

First aid also helps prevent the problem from getting escalated. While it may still seem logical to go to the doctor or hospital for further management, the treatment expenses won’t mount much. Proper first aid training at the workplace also helps an individual save a considerable amount of money as smaller accidents can be managed right in time before they get bigger and the patient has to pay a huge sum.


Proper first aid always comes across as a big respite when handling different health and medical emergencies. Besides saving the injured person’s life, it helps make the recovery process faster, saves huge healthcare costs, and prevents the likelihood of injury from getting worse. We hope we have covered all the points emphasising the need and importance of first aid training here.


Dr. Jyoti Wadhwani
Internal Medicine
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