What is First Aid?

First aid is emergency help given to an injured or suddenly ill person using readily available materials. It can be as simple as removing a splinter from a child’s finger and applying a plaster to something more complicated like giving care to many casualties at the scene of a motor vehicle accident. The aim of first aid is the same regardless of the situation:

The 3 P’s

  • Preserve life
  • Prevent further injury or illness
  • Promote recovery

You don’t have a legal duty to assist a person in need of emergency care. If you don’t help an injured person, you are not at fault. Our government wants to encourage citizens to help others, so they recognise the ‘Good Samaritan Principles’. These principles protect you should you choose to help someone in need.

As a ‘Good Samaritan’ you give your help without being paid and because you genuinely wish to help a person. Whenever you help a person in an emergency situation, you should follow these four principles:

  • Consent – identify yourself as a first aider and get the casualty’s permission to help before you touch them.
  • Reasonable skill and care – act according to the level of knowledge and skill you have.
  • Negligence – use common sense and make sure your actions are in the casualty’s best interests.
  • Abandonment – never abandon (leave) a casualty who is in your care. Stay with him / her until you are able to hand them over to medical help, or you are able to hand over to another first aider, or if the casualty tells you that they no longer want or need your help which is usually because the problem is no longer an emergency and further care is no longer needed.

The number one rule in giving first aid is ”Give first aid safely”.

Even if you don’t have any first aid knowledge, you can help a casualty by:

  • Taking charge
  • Asking bystanders for help
  • Making the area safe
  • Sending for medical help
  • Reassuring (comfort) the injured
  • Giving information to the ambulance officers

More information can be obtained from www.makinikaafrika.org or email training@makinikaafrika.org

We have dozens of free videos and other safety videos on https://www.facebook.com/makinikaafrika.org/

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About the Author


Amb. Steve Mbugus is an enthusiastic Ambassador of Safety and wellness with in-depth training, safety advisory and Workplace Safety Behavior Change Coaching experience. He is the am the Founder and Executive Director of Makinika Afrika Int’l , a Health and Safety Training Firm in Kenya  and Group CEO  Nairobi Safety Shop Limited, the largest Security, Safety and Health Store in the East and Central Africa and Managing Director, Stewa Safaris Kenya Limited a Premier  Tours and  Travels Company in Kenya.

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