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first aid

Introduction

first aid, immediate and temporary treatment of a victim of sudden illness or injury while awaiting the arrival of medical aid. Proper early measures may be instrumental in saving life and ensuring a better and more rapid recovery. The avoidance of unnecessary movement and over-excitation of the victim often prevents further injury. Conditions that require immediate attention to avert death include cessation of breathing (asphyxia), severe bleeding, poisoning, strokes, and heart attack. The essentials of first aid treatment also include the correct bandaging of a wound; the application of splints for fractures and dislocations; the effective methods of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and artificial respiration; and treatment of shock, frostbite, fainting, bites and stings, burns, and heat exhaustion.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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