First aid: How to behave in first aid?

In a life-threatening situation, every minute is precious. That’s why first aid is so important. Remember, by taking life-saving measures, you can save someone’s life. Everyone should know the rules of first aid . Especially since, in Switzerland, there is an obligation to provide immediate first aid to people who witness the event. How to behave in first aid?


Pre-medical first aid is defined as maintaining the injured person’s basic vital functions until the arrival of the emergency medical team. The extent of the actions to be taken depends above all on the circumstances, the condition of the victim, and indirectly also on our skills and the presence of other people who can take part in first aid with us.

Remember that by law, anyone who witnesses a situation that endangers the health or life of another person is obliged to render first aid immediately. Such an obligation exists when the performance of rescue activities does not involve the risk of loss of life or serious damage to the rescuer’s health.

It’s worth noting that in a life-threatening condition, minutes can be crucial. That’s why it’s so important to start rescue activities immediately, and continue until the rescue medical team arrives. That’s why it’s useful to know the basics of first aid.

Many people are afraid to take action, explaining this by a lack of skills or experience. Some people are also afraid of direct contact with strangers for various reasons. Especially as it may be stained with blood or bodily fluids.

For this reason, Auto-École Lémanique always advises you to keep disposable gloves in your first-aid kit. They are a means of personal protection for you as a person undertaking rescue activities.

Remember, however, that by taking action, you increase the injured person’s chances of survival or prevent serious damage to their health. Sometimes it’s enough to place the injured person in a stable lateral position and call for help. It’s really not a big deal.

First aid principles

Securing the stage

Assess the scene first. Make sure you and the injured person are safe. If rescue actions do not expose you to loss of life or serious damage to your health, proceed with first aid.

Make sure the area is secure – this is particularly important in the event of a road accident. The accident site must be properly marked with a warning triangle or hazard lights, so as not to pose an additional threat to the road. Remove the keys from the ignition and apply the handbrake. If there is a risk of the vehicle exploding, be extremely careful. Make sure that only the injured and those providing assistance remain on site. Other people should move away.

If you have one, wear disposable gloves to protect you from blood and body fluids.

Assessing the victim’s condition

Check the injured person’s reaction – gently tap the shoulder, try to make contact, ask aloud, for example: “Hello, can you hear me?” / “Do you remember what happened?”.

If the victim is conscious, leave him in the position in which you found him, unless it is dangerous to do so. Try to find out his name, what exactly happened, what kind of injury he suffered, ask about any illnesses or medications he is taking. Call an ambulance and stay with the victim until the emergency medical team arrives. Talk to the injured person, try to calm them down and regularly assess their condition.

If the victim does not respond, check breathing. To do this, open the airway by tilting the victim’s head backwards and lifting the jaw. Lean over the victim so that you can observe the chest and feel and hear the breathing on the cheek at the same time. Evaluate breathing for 10 seconds. If the victim is breathing, place him in the recovery position, call an ambulance and stay there until it arrives. Assess the victim regularly.

If the victim is not breathing, start cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), the aim of which is to maintain the victim’s basic vital functions – blood circulation and breathing.

Try to find help. Remember not to ask anyone for help, but direct the request by designating a specific person and assigning them a task. If possible, find 2 people. Ask one to call an ambulance and ask the other to go and get the AED defibrillator .

Defibrillators can be found in railway stations, metro stations, shopping malls, department stores and some public buildings. If you don’t know the area of the incident, try to obtain information on the availability of an AED defibrillator, for example from people working nearby.

Start chest compressions. However, don’t forget to stop the bleeding, if any, before starting CPR!

For 30 rescue compressions, give 2 rescue insufflations. The chest in the region of the lower half of the sternum should be compressed at a rate of 100 times/minute to a depth of 5 to 6 cm in adults and 1/3 of the chest depth in children. Inhalations should last no longer than 5 seconds. If you’re afraid you won’t be able to give artificial breaths properly, or if you’re reluctant to do so, continue chest compressions without pausing for artificial breaths.

Continue CPR (30 compressions/2 breaths).

If possible, use an AED defibrillator. Don’t be afraid of this device. No experience is required to use it correctly. It can be used by people over 1 year old. Each electrode has illustrated instructions on how to place it on the chest. If more than one person is present, one person should apply the electrodes, while the person performing chest compressions should continue his or her activities. Apply the electrodes after switching on the device, then follow the defibrillator’s voice commands. Make sure no one touches the injured person during defibrillator rhythm analysis and discharge!

Emergency call

Don’t forget important emergency numbers:

  • European emergency number
  • Ambulance service
  • Fire department
  • Police

When you call for help, you will be asked to provide the following information:

  • What happened?
  • Victim’s condition – is she conscious and breathing?
  • The exact address of the event,
  • Your last name, first name and telephone number,
  • If it is possible to determine – first and last name of the injured person and age.

Remember not to be the first to hang up when talking to the dispatcher!

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