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Accidents and Incidents are preventable. However, when an accident occurs, knowledge of proper first-aid techniques can minimize injury and save lives. First-aid skills can help keep you and those around you safe and will give you the capability and responsibility to respond appropriately in the case of an emergency.

The following guidelines address common situations involving first aid. Review these guidelines and stay educated on up-to-date first-aid practices. In addition, make sure you know the location of first-aid kits and ensure that they are fully stocked.

Checking on an Injured or Ill Adult

  1. Check for responsiveness by tapping on shoulder and asking, “Are you OK?”
  2. If no response call 911.
  3. Open the airway by tilting the head and lifting the chin.
  4. Check for breathing for no more than 10 sec, occasional gasps are not breathing.
  5. Quickly scan for bleeding.
  6. If not breathing, proceed with CPR or use AED (Automatic External Defibrillator).
  7. If breathing, maintain open airway and monitor for change in condition.


  1. Give 30 chest compression.
    • Administer compressions in the middle of the chestat least two inches deep.
  2. Give two rescue breaths.
    • Tilt the head back and lift the chin.
    • Pinch the nose and give a breath for one second for the chest to clearly rise.
  3. Do not stop.
    • Continue CPR until you are unable or medical personnel have arrived.
  4. If breaths do not make chest rise even after re-tilting head, go to unconscious choking.

Conscious Choking

  1. Give rescue breaths.
  2. Give 30 chest compressions.
  3. Look for and remove object if seen.
  4. Give two rescue breaths.
  5. If breaths do not make chest rise, repeat steps 2-4.

Unconscious Choking

  1. Give 5 back blows.
    • Bend person over at the waist and use heel of hand to hit between shoulder blades.
  2. Give 5 abdominal thrusts.
    • Place hands in middle of abdomen with thumb against their body above their belly button, with other hand covering your fist and give upward thrusts.
  3. Continue care.
  4. If person becomes unconscious call 911 and go to unconscious choking care.
  5. If breaths do not make chest rise, repeat steps 2-4.

Head, Neck, or Spinal Injury

  1. Call 911.
  2. Minimize movement of head, neck and spine.
  3. Stabilize head to keep it in position it was found in by placing hands on either side of the head.


  1. Remove from source of burn.
  2. Cool the burn under running water until pain is relieved.
  3. Cover loosely with sterile dressing.
  4. Call 911.
  5. Care for shock.

External Bleeding

  1. Cover the wound with sterile dressing.
  2. Apply direct pressure until bleeding stops.
  3. Cover the dressing with a bandage.
  4. Apply more pressure and call 911.
  5. If bleeding does not stop, apply more dressing and pressure. Also take steps to minimize shock by laying down, elevating feet, and do not raise the person’s head. Shock symptoms include pale skin, weakness, rapid pulse and increased rate or irregular breathing. Never remove any dressings.


  1. Be aware of the scene and the injured to know the cause of poisoning.
  2. If person is unconscious, not breathing, or has a change in consciousness call 911.
  3. If person is conscious, call the National Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222 and follow advice given.

The guidelines offer just a brief overview of some essential first-aid skills. To broaden your first-aid knowledge and expertise, consider taking a first-aid class or additional training in techniques that are most pertinent to your home and workplace.