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First Aid

First Aid Assistance: Supporting People after Witnessing Accidents

Tuba Tasneem

March 07, 2023

Read time : 03 mins

Table of contents

Importance Of CPR and First Aid Assistance What Is First Aid Out Of Hospital Cardiac Arrest Guidelines Supporting Those With PTSD After Giving CPR Treatment Of Shock After An Accident

Events requiring first aid help can happen to anybody, anywhere, at any time. These occurrences frequently constitute medical crises and pose a grave risk to life. Time-critical occurrences can include severe bleeding, choking, and cardiac arrest. Even a basic understanding of how to react in such situations can make the difference between life and death.

The importance of first aid assistance, including CPR, will be discussed in more detail in this article. It will also examine how support can be provided in the wake of an incident that necessitated doing CPR. We’ll also examine how to handle persistent emotional difficulties after traumatic occurrences and address psychological shock after an accident.

First Aid Assistance

Importance of CPR and First Aid Assistance

We’ve already mentioned that accidents and medical emergencies can happen anywhere and anytime, and anybody can get involved. So, it is more likely that persons on the scene of an emergency will be regular citizens without special training in medicine or expertise with the situation at hand. You might need to assist a stranger, a family member, a friend, or a coworker.

Everyone should be familiar with emergency response procedures; we may all need to put those procedures into effect at some point in our lives. Even a simple comprehension can speed up your reaction time and help you behave more appropriately. Knowing what to do can ensure someone’s safety and ensure the casualty receives the assistance they require in the most suitable and timely manner.

To use a defibrillator or do hands-only CPR (chest compressions alone), you do not need any special training or certification. Also, remember that the emergency services operator can advise if you are unsure how to react or lack confidence.

The combination of CPR and defibrillation can significantly boost a person’s chances of survival, emphasising the necessity of acting fast. Although not required, receiving CPR training can increase one’s proficiency and assurance in performing CPR. One way to make sure that you have the knowledge and abilities necessary to handle a range of circumstances is to obtain a first aid certification.

Other advantages of receiving a first aid certification include:

  • Enhanced workplace security.
  • Fewer accidents.
  • It might be able to save a life.
  • Increased consciousness of dangers.
  • Greater awareness of threats and risks.
  • Aids in maintaining composure under stress.
  • Guarantees proper usage of first aid supplies.

What Is First Aid

First aid is what its name implies; it is the initial medical attention given to a sick or injured person. The first responder has a duty to offer this assistance while ensuring the person’s safety and those around them. In our workplace first aid course, we detail the tasks and obligations of a first aider.

First Aid Assistance: Supporting People after Witnessing Accidents

For many different reasons, many people aim to become first aid certified. They might be driven by a general curiosity, a requirement of their job, the fact that they engage in activities with a higher risk of harm, a desire to better protect their family or friends, or the desire to feel more equipped to handle an accidental injury or illness should it arise.

In light of this, a significant portion of the population still lacks the knowledge necessary to conduct CPR; according to the Resuscitation Council UK, more than one-third of adults in the UK have never participated in CPR training. Thankfully, organisations like the British Heart Foundation and others have actively lobbied for CPR instruction for kids in schools and curriculum inclusion of this crucial instruction.

Out of Hospital Cardiac Arrest Guidelines

A person loses consciousness when their heart stops beating, their blood stops pumping, and their blood no longer circulates throughout their body. This is referred to as an “out-of-hospital cardiac arrest” (OHCA) when it occurs away from a hospital. According to the British Heart Foundation, there are approximately 30,000 OHCAs in the UK annually.

In the beginning, bystanders are most frequently called upon to treat out-of-hospital cardiac arrests. Sadly, only one in ten of the 30,000 people who experience an OHCA each year survive. Suppose the survival rate for these victims is to increase in the future. In that case, it is critical to increase public access to defibrillators, increase public awareness of bystander CPR, and teach more people to perform it. The most significant influence on survival is how quickly CPR is initiated.

When conducting CPR, there are a few adjustments to keep in mind. How compressions and rescue breaths are administered depends on whether CPR is performed on an adult, newborn (under 12 months), or child (over 12 months). Our page on how to administer CPR provides step-by-step instructions and helpful printable infographics that you can display and refer to any time.

Supporting Those With PTSD After Giving CPR

The situations in which you must administer CPR can vary, such as when a stranger collapses on the street and only you are available to assist, when you must administer CPR to a loved one or kid, or when you must watch CPR being administered. Whatever the situation or the result, the experience will probably affect you and your emotions. All those involved may endure trauma during CPR.

Even professionals with years of training and numerous hours of experience, like paramedics, nurses, and doctors, might face emotional difficulties and reactions to this incident. It is crucial to remember that everyone will respond and cope differently and that the impact might linger for a while, whether you have personally experienced this or need to assist someone.

Anxiety disorders like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are brought on by upsetting, stressful, or frightening experiences. Any of these expressions could be used to describe a scenario using CPR. It is helpful to become familiar with PTSD symptoms to spot when you or someone you know may be experiencing them. Long-lasting symptoms might frequently interfere with a person’s daily life.

Typical signs of PTSD include:

  • Dreams and memories of the incident.
  • feelings of loneliness
  • an inclination to retreat
  • Irritability
  • A sense of guilt
  • difficulties focusing
  • Issues with sleep, including insomnia

After a traumatic occurrence, it is crucial to have the proper assistance, whether talking to family, friends, or coworkers or counselling to process what happened and how you feel. Many charities and organisations, like Mind, SANE, and Anxiety UK, are devoted to helping people with their mental health. Online forums and support groups are other resources that can be helpful because they allow individuals in comparable situations to communicate and exchange experiences and feelings.

Additionally, a GP might be able to provide extra assistance to help someone manage their PTSD symptoms, such as anxiety or sleep problems. Do remember that people who require support could at first deny it; the propensity to withdraw or guilt is sometimes to blame for lack of engagement. Knowing someone is there to care can make a significant difference to struggling individuals, so be patient and keep checking in with them.

Treatment of Shock After an Accident

Here, we’re referring to the psychological or emotional shock that can follow an unforeseen, traumatic event. It is frequently described as a wave of intense feelings that can cause a bodily response. Our bodies’ fight-or-flight response triggers these physical responses, which result in several symptoms, some of which are listed below. Shock can result from various life events, but accidents are frequently the culprit since they are abrupt, unplanned, and disorganised.

A car accident, a fall, or a near-drowning incident are a few major incidents that could result in shock. These mishaps may also necessitate performing CPR right away or providing emergency first aid, such as managing severe bleeding.

Again, whether you were directly engaged in the accident, required CPR, or were merely bystanders, it can be very emotional. Recognising the signs of psychological stress is crucial so that the right kind of assistance can be provided.

Typical signs of psychological stress include:

  • An adrenaline rush
  • feeling anxious or shaking
  • Feeling like you should throw up
  • a sense of chest constriction
  • Having trouble focusing or brain fog
  • the want to lash out or yell in rage
  • the desire to flee
  • experiencing a sense of disconnection, as if you were witnessing a dream or a movie unfold
  • being numbed

Whether it was giving CPR, rendering other forms of emergency care, being engaged in an accident, or simply observing these events as they take place, there is no correct or incorrect way to feel after experiencing a traumatic experience. We all have our coping strategies and methods for handling our emotions, but identifying the signs of psychological shock, PTSD, or other emotional difficulties enables us to recognise when someone needs care.

 Among the techniques to assist someone with psychological shock are:

  • Ensuring their safety and those around them because they can act rashly during their initial adrenaline rush.
  • Assisting them in controlling their respiration.
  • Not pressuring them to make any significant choices while still in shock.
  • Reassuring them that their current emotions will pass.
  • Assisting them in getting pain relief because they might require it after the shock wears off. It is not uncommon to experience muscular soreness and generalised bodily tension after a shock.
  • Educate them that adrenaline spikes can conceal pain, whether brought on by accident or due to delayed arm soreness during CPR.

Similar to coping mechanisms for PTSD, coping mechanisms for psychological shock involves managing lingering emotions and physical symptoms after a stressful event. It’s crucial to give yourself and others space to process and heal while also providing different forms of assistance available to everyone.

After experiencing a traumatic experience, remember the advantages of talking to someone. Seek support networks like counselling, your doctor, friends, or support groups to promote open communication and reduce feelings of isolation. Self-care practices, including regular exercise, a balanced diet, maintaining a schedule, and practising relaxation techniques, can all support the process.