Skip to content Skip to cookie consent
Skip to content


First aid emergency treatment

A few helpful reminders of first aid priorities and actions

1997 Available in English, French, Spanish and Portuguese

Footsteps magazine issues on a wooden desk.

From: Water, sanitation and hygiene – Footsteps 30

Water, sanitation and hygiene must go hand in hand to achieve improvements in health

Here are a few reminders of the priorities of first aid. Before looking at burns and broken bones, remember your ABC…

A Airway

Make sure the airway is not narrowed or blocked.

B Breathing

Check the person is breathing. If they have just stopped, use mouth to mouth ventilation (though if there is bleeding, beware of HIV infection).

C Circulation (and bleeding)

Check to see if the heart is still beating. If it has stopped, use chest compression to try and restart the heart.

Burns Burns should be treated by immediate soaking in clean, cold water (or other clean fluid, such as milk or cola if no water is available). This relieves the pain and reduces damage by cooling the skin. Never apply any cream or grease. Never try and pull off loose pieces of skin or clothes. Remove any rings, watches or shoes from the injured area before it begins to swell.

Broken limbs Use clean tweezers to remove broken glass or wood. Broken limbs should be tied firmly to a support to prevent any movement before the patient is carried to a clinic or hospital.

Wounds Bleeding can best be stopped by putting a firm pressure onto the wound for about 15 minutes. Never use a tourniquet. If possible, raise the injured part to help lessen the blood flow.

This information was taken from Footsteps 18 which gave details of emergency first aid treatment and a quiz to check people’s ability to respond in an emergency.

Similarly Tagged Content

Share this resource

If you found this resource useful, please share it with others so they can benefit too.

Subscribe to Footsteps magazine

A free digital and print magazine for community development workers. Covering a diverse range of topics, it is published three times a year.

Sign up now - Subscribe to Footsteps magazine

Cookie preferences

Your privacy and peace of mind are important to us. We are committed to keeping your data safe. We only collect data from people for specific purposes and once that purpose has finished, we won’t hold on to the data.

For further information, including a full list of individual cookies, please see our privacy policy.

  • These cookies are necessary for the website to function and cannot be switched off in our systems.

  • These cookies allow us to measure and improve the performance of our site. All information these cookies collect is anonymous.

  • These allow for a more personalised experience. For example, they can remember the region you are in, as well as your accessibility settings.

  • These cookies help us to make our adverts personalised to you and allow us to measure the effectiveness of our campaigns.