What is First Aid
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
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 battlefield injuries.
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
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
Developments in first aid and many other medical techniques have been fueled in large by wars:
the American Civil
War prompted Clara
Barton to organize
the American Red Cross. 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.