First aid is the provision of limited care for an illness or injury,
which is provided, usually by a lay
person, to a sick or
injured patient until definitive medical treatment can be accessed, or until the illness or
injury is dealt with (as not all illnesses or injuries will require a higher level of treatment). It
generally consists of series of simple, sometimes life saving, medical techniques, that an individual, either
with or without formal medical training, can be trained to perform with minimal equipment.
The following pages will give you a brief discription of the things
to remember when performing First Aid.
Hospitaller were probably the first to specialize in battlefield care for the wounded. Similarly, knights
founded the Order of St. John in the 11th century to train other knights specifically how to treat common
 St. John
Ambulance was formed in 1877 to teach first aid (a term devised by the order) in large railway centres
and mining districts. The order and its training began to spread throughout the British
Empire and Europe. As well, in 1859 Henry Dunant helped
organize villagers in Switzerland to help victims of the Battle of Solferino.
Four years later, four nations met
in Geneva and formed the organization which has grown into
the Red Cross.
Developments in first aid and many other medical techniques have been fueled in large by wars:
Civil War prompted Clara
Barton to organize the American Red
Cross.[ 3] Today, there are several
groups that promote first aid, such as the military and the Scouting movement. New techniques and equipment have helped make today’s first aid
simple and effective.