Home > First Aid

Childbirth education can save lives

Childbirth education can save lives Of the million plus women who become pregnant in South Africa each year, those who receive antenatal care and quality childbirth education are the most likley to experience a healthy pregnancy and birth. Whilst the number of pregnant women accessing medical care has risen dramatically in recent years, less than half seek antenatal care before 20 weeks of pregnancy and a large percentage only first see a doctor or midwife when they go into labour. An even smaller number – about 5% - attend private antenatal classes.“Knowledge IS the key to a safe, successful pregnancy,

Read More


FAINTING Fainting is a brief loss of consciousness and is caused by a temporary reduction in the flow of blood to the brain .Recovery is usually rapid and complete. WHAT TO DO If someone fells unsteady, sit hi down with his head between his knees. Loosen any tight clothing. Make sure that there is plenty of fresh air. Should the person actually faint, lay him down and raise his legs. Recovery should be quick, but normal activity should only be resumed after a few minutes rest.

Read More


FRACTURES AND DISLOCATIONS Without an X-ray it is not always possible to tell if a bone is broken. If in doubt, treat the injury as a fracture.  ARM INJURY SHOULDER, COLLAR BONE OR ELBOW INJURY LEG INJURY   Signs The patient cannot move or put weight on the injured part. The injured part is misshapen, swollen or very painful. WHAT TO DO Immobilising a broken bone A Splint is used to immobilize a joint in order to reduce pain and minimize further damage. In an

Read More


HEATSTROKE Lengthy exposure to very hot conditions can cause heat stroke.   Symptoms    Dizziness Restlessness and confusion Hot, dry skin Strong, rapid pulse Raised temperature of up to 41 degrees Celsius Unconsciousness may result   WHAT TO DO  Remove clothing. Sponge patient with cool water or wrap him in a cold, wet sheet. Fan the patient-use an electric fan or a stiff board. When the patient feels cooler to the touch, cover with a dry sheet. If body temperature start to rise, repeat the cooling process. Give

Read More


SHOCK ELECTRIC SHOCK Electric shock varies in intensity and may cause serious injuries which may be fatal. Breathing and heartbeat mat stop and severe burns may occur where electricity enters and leaves the body. WHAT TO DO  Switch off the current {preferably at the mains} before touching the patient. Check the breathing. If breathing has stopped, start mouth-to-mouth respiration at once. If the person starts breathing again, but still unconscious, place in the recovery position. Treat any visible burns. TRAUMATIC SHOCK Shock is a life

Read More


THE FIRST AID KIT DRESSING BANDAGES OTHER MISCELLANEOUS REQUIREMENTS USEFUL MEDICINES Keep the first aid kit in a clearly labeled container, locked and well out of reach of children. Make sure that all adult members of the family know where it is kept.Always replace anything that has been used. Any sterile packet which has been torn or damaged is no longer sterile and should be disposed of. DRESSING  Packet of assorted adhesive plasters-to cover small cuts and grazes Gauze dressing-to cover open wounds Adhesive dressing tape –to

Read More


ABSENCE OF BREATHING If someone’s breathing has stopped, emergency action in the form of artificial respiration is needed within three minutes. After four minutes irreversible brain damage can occur. Causes  Heart attack drowning electric shock strangling poisoning and choking OPENING AND CLEARING THE AIRWAY If the patient is unconscious, the airway may be narrowed or blocked, making breathing impossible. WHAT TO DO Lay the patient’s face upwards. Support the back of the neck. Tilting the

Read More


UNCONSCIOUSNESS SIGNS   Drowsiness and confusion. Does not respond Coma Cuases Head injury or stroke Loss of blood Near drowning Drug overdose WHAT TO DO  If breathing sounds noisy or gurgling, clear the airway If the patient is not breathing, start mouth-to-mouth respiration Place patients in the recovery position. If possible cover the patient with a blanket or jacket. Do not leave the patient unattended. THE RECOVERY POSITION The recovery position is a safe position that allows the patient to breathe freely

Read More


BLEEDING  SEVERE BLEEDING Treat bleeding as severe if:  Blood spurts forcefully from the wound. If you estimate that more than 250ml of blood has been lost. If bleeding continues for more than 5 minutes. WHAT TO DO  Place the patient in a comfortable position. If possible raise the injured part.

Read More


ANIMAL BITES Animal bites tend to be irregular and dirty and are prone to infection. WHAT TO DO    Wash the wound with soap and water for at least ten minutes. Clean the wound with hydrogen peroxide solution, 20 volumes. Keep the solution away from eyes Apply a sterile dressing. See a doctor in case an anti tetanus injection is needed. {backbutton}

Read More