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What is First Aid

 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.

The Knights 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.

[1]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.[2]  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: the American 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.