What is basic first aid knowledge

First aid: this is how you can save lives

For many, the last first aid course was years or even decades ago - mostly at the time when the driver's license was obtained. Much has changed since then, and others have been forgotten. First aid is particularly important in old age. In many age-typical emergencies, this can save the life of a partner or a friend. Here you can find out what you need to know about first aid, how to act in an emergency and when which measures make sense.

➠ Content: This is what awaits you

➠ Content: This is what awaits you

First aid course: online and nearby

Many associate the term first aid only with caring for seriously injured people in the event of an accident. The reason for this is the obligation to complete a one-day course before taking the driver's license test, which teaches immediate life-saving measures (short: LSM course).

First aid is much more than just ventilating accident victims. The vast majority of cases in which first aid has to be provided occur in the private sphere. Therefore, first aid is generally to be understood as the care of medical emergencies until the rescue service arrives. In addition to respiratory arrest and circulatory failure, this also includes various injuries.

You will learn all of this in a first aid course on site. Depending on the federal state, the contact persons include:

  • German Red Cross
  • Maltese
  • Johanniter
  • Workers Samaritan Federation
  • fire Department
  • Hospitals
  • Nursing homes
  • schools
  • Establishments

In times of Corona, the first aid course is also offered online by some providers, but this can only be an emergency solution. Because the exercise and correction options do not apply to the online first aid course.

Nevertheless, the German Red Cross has developed an app that can help you in an emergency but also in advance. Here you can find out everything else.

First aid course: driver's license or everyday life?

There are various first aid courses. From first aid for babies to specialist staff for certain diseases.

We recommend completing a two-day first aid course every several years (not just the one-day LSM course for the driver's license).

First aid measures: the main thing is to act

But what do you do with first aid? Serious illnesses such as a stroke (apoplexy) or a heart attack are cases in which first aid must be provided quickly in order to give the person affected a better chance of survival.

However, many are afraid of making mistakes with first aid measures and therefore do not act at all out of uncertainty. But that is in fact the only mistake that can actually be made: doing nothing. Therefore: any first aid is better than doing nothing.

First aid procedure: HELD and other principles

Over the years, an abbreviation has become established that clarifies the measures that you can and should take in any case in an emergency: the HELD. The letters stand for:

  • HGet help, so send an emergency call (112)
  • E.Encourage, that is, give courage and consolation, listen and seek physical contact
  • L.Check vital functions, i.e. keep an eye on consciousness and breathing regularly
  • D.under the corner, so think about heat retention - even in midsummer

Almost everyone can do these four things. And the good news is, if you do, you're already a hero.

The first point in particular is particularly important: Throughout Europe, 112 has become a standardized emergency number. When calling there it is very crucial that you consider one more donkey bridge: the five Ws:

  • Where did the emergency happen?
  • What has happened?
  • How many People are to be catered for?
  • Which Injuries and symptoms can be recognized?
  • Waiting You for questions!

The last point in particular is of the greatest importance. Because it can always be that in the excitement you have forgotten some information or spoke indistinctly. Therefore, you should not end the conversation until you have been told that everything is clear and that help is on the way. Your name, i.e. who is calling, is less important.

Then please turn to the injured or sick person first. Let them know what is happening to them and that you are there for them. If other people are present, please shield the person concerned from them.

Please do not forget to protect yourself: In the event of an accident, the first thing to do is to secure the scene of the accident; in the event of bleeding, you should definitely put on gloves.

When are which first aid measures important?

First of all, in every emergency it is important that you yourself remain calm and radiate as much as possible. So take several deep breaths in and out to lower your own pulse and minimize stress.

After you have made an emergency call as mentioned and secured the position, you can turn to the person concerned. Talk to him. If he does not react and is not conscious, the second step is always to check the breathing.

To do this, place your ear a few centimeters above the injured person's nose, looking in the direction of his or her body. In this way you can assess breathing in three ways:

  • You hear the breathing
  • You can feel by your ear whether your breath develops a draft
  • You can see if the rib cage rises slightly

The pulse has not been measured for a long time, since in various examinations even doctors in stressful situations either did not feel a clear pulse, although it was there, or they kept their own pulse for that of the patient. As a result, one cannot expect a perfect assessment from a first aider in this context.

The stable side position

If breathing is present, please lay the unconscious person from the supine position into the stable side position so that the tongue does not slip into the throat and block breathing. To do this, please proceed as follows:

  1. Kneel to the side of the victim and stretch out the leg facing you. Please angle the other, facing away from you, at a right angle, so put it up.
  2. Please place the arm that is closest to you upwards at a right angle so that the palm of your hand is facing towards the sky.
  3. Grasp the person's wrist opposite you and place this arm in front of their chest so that the hand touches the cheek. Hold on to this arm so that it slides back again.
  4. With your other hand, take hold of the hip facing away from you and pull the person affected towards you. This role is surprisingly easy, even with heavy people.
  5. Now straighten your head and open your mouth. You can secure this position with your hand on your cheek. You may need to clear your mouth and throat of vomit beforehand - with gloves of course.
  6. Continue to check the person's breathing and the fact that the mouth remains the deepest point of the body so that any vomiting or saliva does not clog the airways but can flow away unhindered.

The stable side position looks like this:

The resuscitation

If you cannot detect breathing, the point is to reanimate the victim in the supine position. As a rule, it is assumed that a first aider will press the center of the chest 30 times and breath twice through the mouth and nose.

Heart pressure massage is much more important than ventilation. It should be done vigorously at a frequency of a hundred compressions per minute - that's roughly the rhythm of the songs "Stayin Alive" by the Bee Gees or "Atemlos" by Helene Fischer. So feel free to hum these songs to yourself to keep the frequency going.

If you are resuscitated, you shouldn't be afraid of breaking a rib. On the one hand, ribs are more stable than you think and even if this should happen, a broken rib is the lesser evil that can be healed without any problems. Or to put it more drastically: Better to survive with a broken rib than dead with an unbroken one.

If a defibrillator is available, you should use it. Most devices tell you exactly what to do, otherwise you will find easy-to-understand, pictorial instructions on the devices.

Stop bleeding

If the bleeding is bad, it is a matter of stopping it with a pressure bandage. For this you need on the one hand sterile bandages and something with which you can apply pressure.

First, wrap the bandage around the wound a few times and then place another compress or an unrolled bandage tightly over the wound. In an emergency, a solid object such as a lighter or a sturdy package can do the job.

Press this object firmly onto the wound and fix it with the bandage. In this case, stopping the bleeding is more important than preventing a possible infection.

Please cover wounds loosely with a sterile bandage. In no case should you tie this too tightly. Please do not open bubbles or the like.

Shock position

In the event of an allergic shock (e.g. from an insect bite) or a shock from blood and fluid loss, if the patient is conscious, please lie on their back and place their legs slightly elevated on a thick pillow or similar surface.

This allows the blood to flow better to the brain or other vital organs. If he loses consciousness, the stable side position must be used.

Storage for cardiovascular diseases

In emergencies of the cardiovascular system such as a heart attack or apoplexy, the opposite of the shock position applies.

Position patients with legs outstretched and torso slightly elevated to relieve heart and brain pressure. Open the shirt and everything that is cramped.

Treat burns and frostbite

With burns and scalds, there are three things that are important: cool, cool, cool. But please not with ice or cold water, but with lukewarm water. And all over a long period of time, not just once.

In the case of frostbite, ask the person affected to keep the parts of the body moving as much as possible. Do not use any external measures such as rubbing or hot water bottles. However, you can give off your own body heat by holding the frozen area. Also, open shoes and clothing in the appropriate places, but avoid further exposure to the cold. Warm and lightly sugared drinks also help.

Stabilize fractures

You should stabilize fractures as much as possible in the relieving posture that the person concerned is already adopting. As mentioned above, open wounds must be treated in a sterile manner, otherwise improvise a splint using a bandage, triangular cloth and solid object to ensure stability.

Caring for poisonings

In addition to the emergency number 112, you can call the poison control center in the nearest major city by calling 19240. Also, help the victim vomit, but do not force them to do so.

In the case of corrosive substances, on the other hand, it should not be used, as they should not pass through the throat and esophagus a second time.

First aid: PDF in short version

We have summarized the most important regulations for you in a PDF file that you can download and print HERE. So you can always carry it with you in your wallet.

Info: Failure to provide assistance

In Germany everyone is obliged to provide help in an emergency. Otherwise he is liable to prosecution. Failure to provide assistance can lead to severe fines and, in extreme cases, even to imprisonment.

Do not be afraid if you harm someone with this help: If you provide first aid, you are expressly exempt from liability due to negligence, so you cannot be prosecuted in the event of a mistake: Neither if you cause another injury, nor if you Destroying clothing or other property in order to help.

As a first aider, you are an important part of the rescue chain. Without you, the other links cannot function. The rescue chain therefore looks like this:

  1. Emergency call and first aid by the first aider
  2. Immediate life-saving measures by the first aider
  3. Arrival of the ambulance service and the emergency doctor and further care and stabilization
  4. Transport to the hospital
  5. Treatment in the emergency room
  6. Further inpatient care for the patient

So you can see: If you do not work as a first aider, further help cannot be provided in a timely manner.

First aid in times of Corona

In times when a minimum distance is appropriate, the first aid also changes. Of course, your own protection as a first aider always comes first.

It is therefore strongly recommended to wear everyday masks in addition to disposable gloves for first aid. Not just for you, but also for the patient.

In addition, ventilation should not be used during resuscitation and only cardiac pressure massage should be carried out. If you are still worried about infection, this is basically understandable. However, you can always make an emergency call - even with a minimum distance of 1.5 meters.

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[Photo credit: Herbstlust.de]