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First Aid FAQs

An emergency first aid training and certification course is designed to provide individuals with the knowledge and skills needed to respond effectively to emergency situations and provide immediate care to those in need. The course covers a wide range of topics related to first aid, including basic life support, injury management, and medical emergencies. Here are some key aspects of an emergency first aid training and certification course:

Course Content: The course typically covers essential first aid topics, such as assessing the scene, performing CPR (including CPR for infants, children, and adults), managing choking, controlling bleeding, handling fractures and sprains, recognizing and responding to common medical emergencies (e.g., heart attacks, strokes, allergic reactions), and administering basic first aid techniques.

Hands-On Training: Emergency first aid courses often include hands-on training sessions to provide participants with practical experience in performing various first aid techniques. This hands-on training may involve practising CPR on mannequins, bandaging wounds, immobilising injuries, and using common first aid equipment and supplies.

Certification: Successful completion of the emergency first aid course leads to certification, which verifies that an individual has acquired the necessary knowledge and skills to provide immediate care in emergency situations. Certification is typically valid for a specific period (e.g., two years) and may require renewal through additional training or refresher courses.

Qualified Instructors: Emergency first aid courses are typically conducted by qualified instructors who have expertise in first aid and relevant medical knowledge. These instructors ensure that participants receive accurate information, demonstrate proper techniques, and have an opportunity to ask questions and clarify any doubts.

Practical Scenarios: To enhance learning and application of skills, emergency first aid courses often incorporate practical scenarios. Participants are exposed to simulated emergency situations where they must apply their knowledge and skills to assess the situation, make decisions, and provide appropriate first aid care.

Continuing Education: Emergency first aid training is an ongoing process, and individuals are encouraged to engage in continuous learning to stay up-to-date with the latest protocols, techniques, and advancements in first aid. This may involve attending refresher courses, participating in workshops, or staying informed through reputable sources and resources.

Emergency first aid training and certification equip individuals with the ability to respond effectively in critical situations, potentially saving lives and minimising the impact of injuries or illnesses. It is a valuable skill set for both personal and professional contexts, and it empowers individuals to make a positive difference during emergencies.

You can learn more about the Learn Q Emergency First Aid at Work course by clicking here.

First aid is of paramount importance in emergency situations as it can save lives, prevent further harm, and promote better outcomes for injured or ill individuals. Here are some key reasons why first aid is crucial:

  • Preserving Life: First aid interventions, such as CPR, controlling severe bleeding, or managing an obstructed airway, are designed to preserve life. Prompt and appropriate first aid can buy crucial time until professional medical help arrives. Immediate care can make a significant difference in the chances of survival, especially in life-threatening emergencies such as cardiac arrest, severe injuries, or respiratory distress.
  • Preventing Further Harm: First aid aims to prevent the escalation of injuries or illnesses. Timely intervention can help stabilise the person’s condition, control bleeding, immobilise fractures, or manage other immediate threats. By preventing further harm, first aid reduces the risk of complications, long-term disabilities, or worsening of the person’s condition.
  • Promoting Recovery: Effective first aid can support the recovery process. By providing appropriate care and interventions, first aiders can help alleviate pain, reduce swelling, and support the body’s natural healing mechanisms. Early and proper management of injuries or illnesses can contribute to faster recovery and improved overall outcomes.
  • Minimising Long-Term Effects: Immediate and proper first aid can help minimise the long-term effects of injuries or illnesses. By providing timely care, first aiders can reduce the risk of complications, infections, or secondary injuries. This can have a significant impact on the person’s quality of life and their ability to fully recover and resume their regular activities.
  • Providing Emotional Support: First aid not only addresses the physical aspects of an emergency but also provides emotional support to the injured or ill person. By being present, offering reassurance, and demonstrating empathy, first aiders can help alleviate anxiety, fear, and distress. This can contribute to a calmer environment and aid in the overall well-being of the person.
  • Preventing Deterioration: First aid helps prevent the deterioration of an individual’s condition while awaiting professional medical help. By actively monitoring vital signs, providing interventions, and reassessing the person’s condition, first aiders can detect any changes or worsening of symptoms and take appropriate action.

In summary, first aid is essential because it can save lives, prevent further harm, promote recovery, and minimise long-term effects. It empowers individuals to take immediate action in emergencies, making a positive difference in the outcomes for those in need of immediate medical assistance.

The RICE method is an acronym that stands for Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation. It is a widely recognized and recommended approach for treating certain types of acute injuries, particularly those involving soft tissues such as muscles, ligaments, and tendons. The RICE method helps reduce pain, swelling, and inflammation, and promotes the healing process. Here’s a breakdown of each component:

  • Rest: Resting the injured area is crucial to prevent further damage and allow the body to heal. Avoid any activities that aggravate the injury, and give the affected area adequate time to recover.
  • Ice: Applying ice to the injured area helps reduce pain, swelling, and inflammation. Ice constricts blood vessels, limiting the blood flow to the injured area, which can help minimise swelling. Apply an ice pack wrapped in a thin cloth or a commercial cold pack for 15-20 minutes every 2-3 hours during the first 48-72 hours after the injury.
  • Compression: Compression involves applying gentle pressure to the injured area using an elastic bandage or compression wrap. Compression helps reduce swelling and provides support to the injured tissues. Make sure the compression is snug but not too tight, as excessive pressure can impair blood flow.
  • Elevation: Elevating the injured area above the level of the heart helps reduce swelling by allowing gravity to assist in draining fluid away from the injured site. Ideally, elevate the injured limb on a pillow or cushion to a comfortable level.

The RICE method is commonly used for acute injuries such as sprains, strains, and contusions. It is important to note that the RICE method is not appropriate for all injuries, such as fractures or wounds that require immediate medical attention. If there is severe pain, deformity, or uncertainty about the nature of the injury, it is advisable to seek medical evaluation and guidance.

First aid training will give individuals the necessary skills to be able to administer basic treatment for certain injuries as well as the likes of choking and cardiac arrest. The aim is to deal with the situation and make the patient comfortable before help arrives. However, it does not permit them to give people paracetamol unless they have been specifically told to do so. This is down to the fact that giving someone paracetamol could lead to further problems and could actually cause harm to the individual they are treating. This could lead to neglect and legal issues could arise as a result.

The Reporting Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations are designed to protect the workplace and those who work there. It is a centralised database where all incidents that fall within the regulations have to be reported. However, if these incidents take place outside of the workplace then this will mean that they cannot be reported. The aim of RIDDOR is to ensure that the workplace remains safe by keeping the Health and Safety Regulations updated with any potential risks that might be considered new. Therefore, RIDDOR will help to inform the HSE of what should change and how the regulations should be updated.

As part of the Reporting Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Incidences Regulations, there are three areas that are covered and this means that any incident that falls within these three areas have to be reported as they are considered incidents. These three types of incidents are:

  • Injuries – any injuries that occur in the workplace will have to be reported
  • Diseases – any diseases that arise as a result of the workplace will also have to be reported.
  • Dangerous Occurrences – these are also known as near misses and if these occur then they also have to be reported.

A broken finger can be reported under the Reporting Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations. If there is no definitive evidence that the finger is broken then it is not possible to report it. However, if an x-ray is taken and it shows that a finger is broken then it has to be reported while if a doctor considers it to be broken then this will also have to be reported. Any fractures that are self-diagnoses cannot be reported while all incidents have to have taken place in the workplace for them to be reported.

While first aiders are encouraged to administer treatment when necessary, they do have to be mindful that they could be prosecuted although this only occurs in extreme circumstances. If they are considered to be neglectful in the way that they provide the treatment or handle the individual then they could be prosecuted. They could be prosecuted if they cause further harm to the individual they are treating through neglect. It is also possible that they could be prosecuted if they are seen using force when administering treatment.

Employers should have a nominated and certified first aider in the place as a way of making the workplace safe. However, the number of first aiders required in the workplace will be determined by how many people work there. If there are fewer than 50 employees then one first aider is enough but the general rule to follow is to have a first aider for every 100 employees. This will ensure that there are enough first aiders to cover the entire workplace should an incident occur and action is required.

When it comes to first aid, the situation has to be assessed in order to determine the problem and what action is required. However, there are five principles of first aid that have to be followed.

  • Assessment of the Situation – The first aider has to determine the situation based on where they are and what is happening.
  • Provision of urgent care – where necessary, urgent care should be administered as soon as possible
  • Examine the individual for injury – the casualty should not be moved but they should be checked for injury
  • Treatment of the injury using the right procedure and care
  • Call for help – even if the situation is improving, it is important to call for care

A first aider can refuse to give first aid but of course, their first thoughts should be to consider the welfare of the individual. However, if they feel as though they cannot carry out first aid because they are not confident enough or do not know how to administer treatment then they can refuse as there is no legal requirement for first aiders to take action. Should they start treatment, they cannot stop as this could then be considered as negligence which means that they should continue with treatment.

One concern is that first aid, if administered incorrectly could lead to legal issues but when it comes to first aid, there are four legal considerations. These are:

  • Duty of care – when performing first aid, they have a duty of care to the individual and anything they do should not cause harm and so, this should be established before action is taken.
  • Negligence – This occurs when the individual breaches their duty of care to another that causes injury or loss.
  • Common Law – This is also known as case law and is governed by previous cases and decisions that have been made by courts.
  • Statutory Law – This is written law that is governed by a legislature.

Chest compressions are administered for individuals that have suffered a cardiac arrest and it could help to restart the heart and save lives. However, it has to be administered correctly and if an adult is not breathing then the first aider should give CPR which involves 30 compressions using two fingers or the heel of the hand. After every set of 30 compressions, the individual then has to be given two breaths before being given another 30 compressions. This should be continued until help has arrived. It is important that after each compression, the chest is allowed to recoil.

First aid in the workplace is something that is important for ensuring that certain people understand what action to take when injury or illness occurs. However, the training can evolve through the years due to changes in the kinds of treatments that are administered for certain emergencies. Therefore, the first aid at work certification is designed to last for three years and before the certificate expires, first raiders will have to take the course again in order to be issued another certificate that will then last another three years.

A first aider will have a number of responsibilities when it comes to implementing their training in emergency circumstances. While their main priority should be to ensure that they take the right action, they have to assess the situation and the individual as a way of ensuring they care for their wellbeing. Therefore, one of the main things that a first aider cannot do is move the individual unless they are in immediate danger. This is because they might be suffering from a head or neck injury, both of which can be made worse should they be moved without the right knowledge or experience.

The Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations or RIDDOR are designed to help inform the Health and Safety Executive of incidents that take place in the workplace. The responsibility falls on employers to report these incidents which can be done online or over the phone. The incident will then be logged on a central database and can then be used to determine whether certain incidents are becoming more common in the workplace and whether they should be included as part of the Health and Safety Regulations.

The Health And Safety at Work Act is designed to be implemented in the workplace as a way of keeping employees safe. It is designed to help employers identify risks by carrying out risk assessments in order for them to put the correct measures in place that reduce or mitigate the risks. There are many different risks across all industries but these regulations are designed to provide recommendations that enable employers to take the necessary action that will enable them to make their workplace safer and more secure, while reducing the risk of injury, illness and dangerous occurrences.

There are many different risks in the workplace and these risks can differ in severity. Risks within factories and industries that use heavy machinery might differ to those risks in offices, as an example. However, these risks can lead to injury and when an injury or a health issue becomes a problem then it is important that someone can administer first aid promptly and professionally. This can help to keep the individual comfortable and can ensure that they are taken care of until they can receive professional care from a medical expert.

It is not recommended that you give first aid training without training, this is because if you attempt to perform first aid without training, you could make the problem worse. There are certain instances such as spinal and neck injuries that could be made worse by moving them and this could have significant consequences on the individual. However, if someone has had a suspected heart attack or cardiac arrest then basic CPR can be carried out until further help has arrived as this could help to save their life.

You might believe that emergency first aid and first aid at work are the same things but this is not the case. First aid at work is a level three qualification that will provide individuals with a basic set of skills and knowledge that will enable them to apply basic first aid to a range of injuries and illnesses. Emergency first aid is given to someone who is injured or ill in the workplace and requires emergency treatment to help make them comfortable and safe before further assistance arrives.

When a first aid situation arises, it is vital the individual tasked with the responsibility of carrying out first aid follows the necessary steps to take care of the injured or ill individual. Therefore, they should carry out the following duties to ensure that they take the right steps to create safe environment for the individual and others:

  • The situation should be assessed quickly and calmly
  • They should protect themselves and others from harm based on the circumstances
  • The casualty should be treated where possible and further help should be arranged.

For small organisations, they are expected to have a minimum of one first aider in the workplace. However, for those businesses that have more than 50 members of staff then they will be required to have a first aider to cover every 100 workers. However, it still makes sense to have at least one first aider, regardless of whether you are a small business or work as a self-employed individual. While there are no hard or fast rules that determine how many first aiders you should have, it makes sense to have the correct precautions in place.

The Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013 (RIDDOR) puts the responsibility on employers as well as self-employed individuals to report certain serious accidents, diseased and dangerous occurrences that take place in the workplace. This is a centralised system whereby any reported incidents are then managed by the Health and Safety Executive to determine whether any further risks have to be considered for the Health and Safety Regulations.

The Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 are designed to ensure that employers undertake regular risk assessments and implement the required regulations to create a safer working environment. This is done through providing access to the relevant training and by providing information that proves helpful when managing health and safety. The aim is to identify the risks and then mitigate these risks by taking the relevant steps to make the workplace safer.

The Health and Safety First Aid Regulations 1981 were revised in 2013 and this was to ensure that further safety measures were implemented in the workplace to help maintain a higher level of first aid. This means that employers have to provide equipment and facilities that meet a basic set of requirements in the circumstances where first aid is required for employees should they fall ill in the workplace or suffer from an injury.

One of the main things that employers have to do in order to meet regulations is have the right equipment in the workplace that can be used in the instance of an emergency. Therefore, they should have a minimum stock of first aid boxes that contain the basic requirements and this includes:

  • a leaflet giving general guidance on first aid (eg HSE’s leaflet Basic advice on first aid at work);
  • 20 individually wrapped sterile plasters (of assorted sizes), appropriate to the type of work (you can provide hypoallergenic plasters if necessary);
  • two sterile eye pads;
  • four individually wrapped triangular bandages, preferably sterile;
  • six safety pins;
  • two large, individually wrapped, sterile, unmedicated wound dressings;
  • six medium-sized, individually wrapped, sterile, unmedicated wound dressings;
  • at least three pairs of disposable gloves

You might think that is a legal requirement to have a fully-trained first-aider in the workplace but this is not the case. However, it is a legal requirement for employers to have someone in place who can manage first aid in the workplace. This will ensure that the right equipment is in place as well as the right facilities. Despite this, it is recommended that each workplace does have someone who is first-aid trained as this will make the workplace safer and it will ensure that someone understands what to do should an emergency arise.

Employers have a duty to ensure that first aid in the workplace is considered a priority as it can cover many different risks and issues. As a result, the Health and Safety (first aid) Regulations 1981 puts the responsibility on employers to ensure that they take all necessary steps to ensure that the right equipment is provided as well as facilities and personnel. This will ensure that any employers or visitors to the workplace will receive the right attention should they become injured or fall in while in the workplace.

You are not legally obligated to carry out any form of first aid, including CPR. However, there is a moral obligation to carry out first aid in situations whereby it can help to preserve life.

You can only be sued for giving first aid if it is found that your actions will have worsened the situation or the injury.

The Health and Safety (First Aid) Regulations 1981 require employers to provide an adequate level of first aid facilities, equipment and people to help anyone who may be injured or be taken ill at work.

All employers must ensure that they keep a record of any injury that is reportable and that has required first aid.

Whilst first aiders are responsible for providing their colleagues with first aid when they need it, the overall responsibility for first aid is down to the employers. They should provide their colleagues with the training that they need as well as the resources and equipment that means that they can give first aid.

CPR for children is the same as for adults. Which is two rescue breaths to thirty chest compressions. However, with children you should always start with five rescue breaths as this will ensure that there is enough oxygen in their system before you give them chest compressions.

CPR should only be stopped if you see an obvious sign of life. Another reason to stop CPR is if an AED has been brought to the situation, or the emergency responders arrive.

Whilst in theory you should not need to give CPR to someone who has a pulse, it can happen. The chance that you can hurt someone by pressing on their chest and giving them CPR, is slim.

First aid training needs to be updated every three years.

The First Aid at Work course comes in only a 1 day or a 3 day course. The one day course covers some of the core emergencies and incidents that can occur in the workplace. The three day course will look at this in more detail, building on the core aspects and addressing other non-emergency situations too.

If someone is awake and therefore is able to consent to first aid, then you should ensure that you do this. Introduce yourself and tell them that you are a qualified first aider. Ask them if you can help them and if they say yes, then they have given consent. Of course, if they are unconscious, then they will not be able to provide you with consent, although you should still take action.

Once a first aid incident has been dealt with it is important that the first aider assesses the situation and to ensure that things were dealt with in the right way. They should also ensure that they properly record the incident in their own first aid records.

A first aider may also want to check whether or not their first aid incident should be recorded via RIDDOR.

When it comes to CPR it is always advisable to use a firm surface as your base as this helps it to be more effective. However, you can perform CPR on a bed and it will still work.

First aiders cannot give out any medication as a part of their qualification.

A non-recordable incident is one that does not involve death, injury or illness that requires more help beyond first aid treatment.

There are many different incidents that can happen in a workplace and which is the most common will really depend on the nature of the business and what they do. The three most common examples of workplace incidents include: slips, muscle strains and cuts.

If the bone fracture has been diagnosed by a doctor, then it should be reported via the RIDDOR process.

It is possible for a first aider to be sued after providing first aid to a casualty. However, it is worth being aware that no legal precedent has been set in the UK for an individual to successful sue someone who has given them emergency first aid.

It is not a legal requirement to have a fully trained first aider within your workplace. However, this is something that is required. It is recommended that you have one first aider for every 100 employees.

The 5 principles of first aid are to preserve life, to prevent the escalation of an illness or an injury, to promote recovery, to provide pain relief and to protect those who are unconscious.

Someone who is trained in first aid does not have a legal obligation to provide first aid to someone. However, there is a moral obligation for them to help the casualty. Especially in situations whereby refusing to give first aid could result in the death of a casualty.

The 4 mail legal considerations relating to first aid are consent, duty of care, negligence and recording.

During CPR 30 chest compressions should be given before stopping and giving rescue breaths.

The first aid at work qualification will last for three years before it needs to be repeated.

A first aider cannot give any form of medication as a part of their first aid provision.

RIDOOR requires you to report any physical injuries or deaths that relate to accidents within the workplace. This also includes those which are related to non-consensual violence. This includes occupational diseases, carcinogen mutagens and biological agents as well as gas incidents.

The Health and Safety at Work Act is there to keep employees and any one else who is at a workplace, safe.

First aid is important in the workplace because everyone should be kept safe whilst they are at work. They are there for a number of hours every single day, so there is always a chance that an incident, injury or illness can occur during work time. Having a first aider on hand means that those people who need it can gain access to the help that can keep them safe and stop the situation from getting worse.

In order to give first aid training at work and be an appointed first aider, the person needs to be qualified (and to have an in date certificate) in the relevant first aid course.

Emergency first aid provides the first aider what they will need to enable them to give emergency first aid to someone who is injured or who has become ill while they are at work. 

The first aid at work training covers the same topics, however, it also looks at how to treat a range of specific injuries and illnesses in the workplace. 

There are three primary duties of a first aider. They should always preserve life, prevent deterioration and also promote recovery. If they do these things then they will have done exactly what they set out to do within their first aid role.

When it comes to first aid the number of first aiders that you have will depend on the number of employees that work within the premises. The recommendation of numbers of first aiders is just that, a recommendation. 

It is recommended that you have a first aider for every hundred employees that your business has. Although you will need to assess your own risk factors and decide whether or not this number works for you or you need more.

RIDDOR stands for Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013. The idea of RIDDOR is that it will put the duty onto self-employed people, employers and those who are in control of a work premises, to ensure that any serious workplace incidents and accidents are reported.

The Health and Safety at Work Regulations of 1999 were introduced as a way to reinforce the Health and Safety Act of 1974. The aim is to ensure that those who manage or own a business or workplace, are aware of their own responsibilities in order to keep employees and the general public safe.

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