First Aid

This is going to be a series of Ten presentations teaching the basics of First Aid and addressing some common Emergencies that you may encounter in your daily life and therefore be prepared if the time arises.


 This is going to be a series of Ten presentations teaching the basics of First Aid and addressing some common Emergencies that you may encounter in your daily life and therefore be prepared if the time arises. A few words before we do begin the tutorial.


First Aid is the First and Basic help given to a casualty. First aid is not an exact science and is open to human error. Even with appropriate treatment and however hard you may try, some casualty may not respond as you may have hoped. Some conditions are inevitably fatal even with the best medical help. If you do your best, your conscience can be clear. One does not need expensive equipment or expertise training. Anyone can save a Life.


The First aider’s responsibilities are clearly defined. They are;

  • To assess a situation quickly and clearly and summon help.
  • To protect casualty and bystanders from possible danger.
  • To abide by the golden rule “First do no harm” to the casualty.
  • To ensure that he himself does not get injured or infected.

Please note that over the course of the following weeks the First Aid tutorial that you will learn will be helpful and may even help save a life, but it is still NOT a replacement for practical First Aid Classes taught by a registered person.

Bleeding from the nose most commonly occurs when the fragile blood vessels inside the nose ruptures either by a blow to the nose, or by sneezing, picking or blowing the nose. Nose bleeds may also occur due to high blood pressure.

Majority of nosebleeds are nothing serious and are usually self limiting given the appropriate first aid. But a nose bleed can be dangerous if the casualty looses alot of blood or if the bleeding follows a head injury and the blood appears thin and watery – this is a sign that the skull is fractured and the fluid from around the brain is leaking out.


Ask the casualty to sit down.

Advise her to tilt her head forward to allow the blood to drain from the nostril and not to allow blood to drain backwards in to her throat. 

Ask casualty to breathe through her mouth (this will also have a calming effect) and to pinch the soft part of the nose. Reassure and help her if necessary. 

Tell casualty to keep pinching her nose.  

Advice her not to speak, swallow, cough, spit or sniff as this may disturb the blood clots that have formed in her nose to stop the bleeding.

Give her a clean cloth to wipe off any dribbling.

Pinch for 10 minutes. Then release pressure.

If bleeding has not stopped then reapply the pressure again for another 10 minutes. 

Once bleeding has stopped, and with the casualty still leaning forward, clean around nose with tap water. 

Advise casualty to rest quietly for a few hours.

Tell her to avoid exertion and in particular, not to blow her nose, because these actions will disturb any clots. 


Do not let head tip back; blood may run down the throat and cause vomiting. 

If nose bleed is severe, or if it lasts for more than 30 minutes in total, take or send to hospital in the treatment position.

Chemicals that are swallowed may harm the digestive tracts or cause more wide spread damage if they enter the blood stream and are transported to other parts of the body.

Hazardous chemicals include common household substances. For example, bleach, dishwater detergents, kerosene are all corrosive when swallowed. Drugs whether prescribed or bought over the counter are also potentially harmful if taken in overdose. The effects of poisoning depend on the chemical ingested.

Recognition features

Depends on the poison, but there may be;
Vomiting, sometimes blood stained.Impaired consciousness.Pain or burning sensation.Empty containers in the vicinity.History of ingestion/exposure.


Maintain breathing, airway and circulation.To remove any contaminated clothing. Try and identify the poison.To arrange urgent transport to hospital.  


If casualty is conscious, ask her what she has swallowed and try to reassure her. Look for clues around the casualty for possible poison. Example empty drug containers around children.If lips are burnt by corrosive chemicals, give her frequent sips of cold milk or water while waiting for medical help to arrive. Dial for ambulance or rush to hospital which ever is quicker. Give all information to the doctor.  


Never attempt to induce vomiting, the chemical if corrosive will once again burn the food pipe on its way out, or worse the patient could aspirate the chemical in to his lungs.If the casualty becomes unconscious; be prepared to give rescue breaths and chest compressions.If there is chemical on the casualty’s mouth – ALWAYS use a face shield or cloth for rescue breathing. 

(Extracted from: FIRST AID MANUAL)

The recovery position is as its name, is a specific position in which a recovering casualty is placed in allowing a safe recovery. It is an extremely important position to master for anyone who wants to be a good First Aider.

Why use the recovery position?

  • It keeps the casualty in a stable position with their airway
  • It prevents the casualty's tongue from blocking their airway
  • It promotes drainage of fluids, such as blood or vomit, from their mouth
  • It keeps the casualty in a safe position if they have to be left alone
  • If the casualty was left on their back their tongue could relax, fall back and block their airway

Recovery Position for a Child or an Adult

(Note: A child is anyone over the age of one year old for the purpose of these instructions)

 An unconscious casualty who is breathing but has no other life- threatening conditions should be placed in the recovery position.

RecoveryPosition1 Bend one arm and keep legs straight.

Place back of victims hand on to left cheek and hold there.

Bend right leg till the foot is flat on the ground.

Keep holding the victim’s hand to cheek to support the head.

Pull the bent leg and roll the victim towards you.

Hand supports head.

Bent knee prevents rolling.

Bent arm gives stability.

Lift chin forward in open airway position and adjust hand under the cheek as necessary.

Check casualty cannot roll forwards or backwards.

Monitor breathing and pulse continuously.

If injuries allow, turn the casualty to the other side after 30 minutes.

Note: If you suspect spinal injury, use the jaw thrust technique. Place your hands on either side of their face. With your fingertips gently lift the jaw to open the airway. Take care not to tilt the casualty’s neck.

Recovery Position for a Baby

Note: A baby is considered to be less than one year old for the purposes of these instructions.

For a baby less than a year old, a Modified Recovery Position must be adopted.
Cradle the infant in your arms, with his head tilted downwards to prevent him from choking on his tongue or inhaling vomit.
Monitor and record vital signs - level of response, pulse and breathing until medical help arrives.

cpr1What is CPR?

 CPR is an emergency medical procedure for a victim who is not breathing and does not have a pulse such as victims of cardiac arrest or, in some circumstances, respiratory arrest.

When should you perform CPR?

  • Assess the scene and make sure it is safe for you
  • Call Emergency Medical Services or an ambulance
  • Check the person
  • If the person is conscious, do not perform CPR
  • If the person appears unconscious, tap their shoulders and shout at them to make sure they are not simply zoning out
  • Look and listen for breathing – if the person is breathing normally, do not give rescue breaths. Gasping does not count as normal breathing.
  • Check if the person has a pulse by placing two fingers in the middle and side of the neck. If there is a pulse but no breathing, then only perform mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.
  • Put the person on their back, tilt the head back and lift the chin. This may help to open the airway and resume breathing.

Note – If the person is breathing and has a pulse, they may need choking help or first aid, but NOT CPR. It is important to not perform unnecessary procedures.

 To learn CPR properly, it is essential to attend a live training class. Reading about CPR may not be sufficient to help a victim in an emergency situation. Contact your nearest Red Cross for training


STEP 1.  AIRWAY – Clear the Airway

Lay the person on their back. Tilt the head back by pushing with the flat of your palm on his forehead and lift the chin

If there is a visible blockage in the mouth or at the back of the throat, reach a finger into the mouth and sweep out the object. Be very careful not to push the object deeper into the airway, especially with small children and infants.
cpr3 Check for normal breathing by looking for chest motion, listening to breathing sounds, and feeling for the person’s breath on your cheek or ear.

Gasping does not count as normal breathing.

STEP 2.  CIRCULATION – Perform Chest Compressions

cpr4 If the person is still not breathing or coughing, begin chest pumps.

Place the heel of your palm on the centre of the chest and place the other hand over the first. Keep your elbows straight.

Push down 1.5 to 2 inches in the centre of the chest using your body weight
cpr5 Pump at the rate of 100 per minute

After 30 pumps, give two breaths

STEP 3.  BREATHING – Provide Rescue Breaths.

Pinch the nostril with thumb and index. Make sure nostrils are sealed to prevent air from escaping.

Take a deep breath and place your lips around casualty’s lips. Form a good seal.

Blow steadily for 2sec until the chest rises.

If chest rises, give a second breath.

If chest doesn’t rise, tilt head back and lift chin again and then give the second breath.

After second breath begin pumping again.

Continue the cycle of 30 pumps and 2 breaths till person is conscious, help arrives or it is impossible to continue.

Once the patient’s heart is beating and he able to breathe on his own, place him in the Recovery position but keep on monitoring his breathing and pulse until help arrives as it may stop again at any time.

If at any time the heart stops beating and/or breathing stops – turn patient on to his back and begin CPR again.


  • Tilt the head back – clear the airway
  • 5 rescue breaths – seal mouth over the mouth AND the nostril.
  • Do 30 chest compressions using only the FINGERS followed by 2 breaths.

Important note

  • For children, the procedure is the same except chest pumping should be done with one hand.
  • For infants, give two gentle puffs of air along with 30 gentle chest compressions using 2-3 fingers.
  • If you are alone with a child or infant, provide CPR immediately for two minutes before calling for emergency help.

Information and images from:,
The British Red Cross web site, The BBC Health site,,First Aid Manual.

Please bear with us while the Africa Federation Website undergoes some essential maintenance works.


Join Our Mailing List

The Africa Federation is a member of The World Federation of KSIMC, an NGO in Special Consultative Status with the ECOSOC of the United Nations

© Africa Federation | Site By | SiteMap | feed-image RSS