Understanding the Basics of First Aid

Understanding the Basics of First Aid

A basic knowledge of first aid is important as you can never predict when an emergency may occur.

Here are several simple steps to follow in the event of different emergencies:


  1. Put on protective gloves to protect you from the casualty’s blood.
  2. Check for foreign objects (i.e. glass fragments) in the wound.
    a. In the presence of foreign objects, do not put pressure on it. Build a padding around the object before bandaging to avoid applying direct pressure.
  3. If the wound is clear from foreign objects,
    a. Elevate the injured arm or leg above heart level.
    b. Place a sterile gauze pad over the wound.
    c. Apply firm, direct pressure on the wound using your palm or fingers.
    d. Secure it with a bandage.

Burns and Scalds:

  1. Cool the affected part under cold running water.
  2. Remove constricting accessories (i.e. watches, bracelets, rings) gently.
  3. Cover the burned/scalded area with a sterile dressing.
  4. Consult a doctor if the burn/scald is not severe, otherwise dial 995.

Do not apply toothpaste, lotion, ointment or fatty substance to the affected area. Do not cover the affected area with cotton wool. Do not break any blisters or remove anything that sticks to the affected area.


  1. Rest the sprained joint.
  2. Ice the sprain.
  3. Compress the sprained joint using a bandage or soft padding.
  4. Elevate the sprained joint.

Insect Bites:

Mosquito and Sand Fly Bites:

  • Apply ice that is wrapped in cloth on the bite to reduce itching and swelling.
  • Rub calamine lotion on the bite.
  • Do not scratch the bite as it may cause an infection.


  • Wash bites with soap and water.
  • Apply calamine lotion, anti-itch cream, or cool compress to soothe itchiness.
  • Do not scratch the bites as it may cause an infection.

Bees and Wasps:

  • Remove the stinger by scraping it out with the edge of a card.
  • Do not pinch or use tweezers to remove the stinger as it may cause more venom to be injected.
  • Ice the affected area and remove any constricting accessories.
  • Apply calamine lotion, or apply a paste of baking soda and water to extract the remaining venom and to soothe the sting.
  • Keep the affected area clean.

It is also important to recognise symptoms of several medical emergencies.


Fits are episodes of uncontrolled movements of the body – which could be recognised through body spasms, casualty falling to the ground, clenching his/her teeth and rolling his/her eyes.

  1. Keep dangerous objects out of the way (i.e. scissors).
  2. Do not restrict movements of the casualty.
  3. Do not insert anything in the casualty’s mouth.
  4. Treat injuries once the fits are over.
  5. Dial 995 for the casualty to receive medical attention.


A stroke occurs when blood supply to the brain is disrupted, which may lead to long-term disability. Dial 995 for an ambulance immediately when someone collapses from a stroke.

The signs of stroke include:

  • Unable to speak clearly or understand the spoken word
  • Unable to raise both arms upright
  • Unable to smile and his/her eye or mouth may be droopy