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Australia Wide First Ai� r'

Version II, 2016 Garry Draper
National Provider No: 31961

AustraliaWide First Aid Handbook
Second Edition 2016
© 2016 Australia Wide First Aid ISBN 978-0-646-57775-3
By Garry Draper

All rights reserved. Reproduction of this book, in part or entirely, without the publisher’s written permission is prohibited.
The information contained in this manual relates to the current accepted first aid practices in Australia at the time of publication. It does not
provide information about first aid practices in any other country other than Australia.
This manual is an information resource only and is not a substitute for undertaking a first aid course with an approved provider.
While every effort has been made to ensure that the information is accurate at the time of the publication, the authors are not responsible for
the loss, liability, damage or injury that may be suffered or incurred by any person in connection with the information contained in this book, or
by anyone who receives first aid treatment from the reader or users of this book.
Published by
AustraliaWide First Aid
Unit 7 20 Archerfield Road QLD Ph +1300 336 613
Email: Web:

This manual was brought
TABLE OF CONTENTS to you by Australia Wide
First Aid, the best choice
Section 1—Perform CPR Section 3—Wound management for First Aid.
Legal considerations 2 Shock 19
Since 1975, Australia Wide First
Action plan 2 Burns 19
Aid ( Beginning as Queensland
Danger 3 Head injury 21 First Aid) has been serving
Response 4 Spinal injury 22 individuals and corporations in a
Send for help 5 Crush injury 22 professional, efficient and
Airway 5 Cold-induced injury 23 friendly manner. Whether you or
Breathing 6 Heat-induced injury 23 members of your organisation
Compressions 7 Sprains and strains 24 need to undertake a First Aid
D Dislocations and fractures 25 Course or purchase a First Aid Kit
Eye injury 27 for your home or office, we have
you covered for all your First Aid
Ear injury 27

Choking 10 Section 4—Poisons, bites and
Drowning 11 stings Book your first aid course
Rescuers’ recovery 12 Poisoning 28
Chain of survival 12 ‘Come to us or
we come to you’
Section 2—Medical conditions
Needle stick injury 34
Stroke 14
Chest pain/cardiac arrest 15 Or
Seizure 16
Asthma call 1300 336 613
Anaphylaxis 18

Section 1—Perform CPR

“Any attempt at resuscitation is better than no Because you are the first on the scene it is important to have a
attempt.”—Australian Resuscitation Council plan to help you assess the casualties. This is called your
action plan and is the first vital step in first aid.

Legal considerations
Action plan
Rescuers need not fear litigation if they come to the aid of a
Primary survey
fellow human in need. No ‘good samaritan’ or volunteer in Danger
Australia has ever been successfully sued as a consequence of
rendering assistance to a person in need. A ‘good samaritan’ is Response
defined in legislation as a person acting without expecting
financial or other reward for providing assistance. Send for help
Consent Airway
Competent adults are legally entitled to refuse any treatment
even if it’s life-sustaining or their decisions are not for their own Breathing
benefit. Substitute decision-makers, such as parents or
guardians of minors, can likewise refuse treatment, but only if Compressions
in the ‘best interest’ of their charge.

doing and why. In case of emergency call 000 p. NOTE t Ensure the safety of the rescuer. Use a barrier device if necessary. dogs. you can improvise mindful to protect not only their with other things. your own safety. broken glass. These dangers must be isolated or removed before you proceed. Cross infection Danger Take precautions to protect t Assess the situation quickly yourself and the casualty. t if the casualty is conscious always explain what you are machinery and many others are a risk to you (rescuer). bystanders and the casualty. such as t Commence appropriate treatment used. hands from contamination. 3 . bystanders and the Ideally gloves are the best If you don’t have a barrier casualty by reducing or minimising the risk barrier but any plastic can be device with you. wet surfaces. Rushing into a scene without Where there is more than one casualty the care of an managing these risks could potentially cause injury to yourself unconscious casualty has priority. or others. For example wearing gloves does This icon will appear not protect your knees if you throughout the book to are kneeling in blood or bodily remind you to consider fluids. First Aiders need to be gloves.Secondary survey—head to toe examination Environmental dangers t this helps you to assess other injuries For example chemicals.

collapsed walking past the stairs. You would need to determine the reason she fell. For example. Get assistance from when assisting an injured person. heavy lifting) without the aid t Get consent. 4 . other people. Be respectful of cultural differences use safe moving and handling principles. hear and smell? t Get help immediately if required Upon your arrival at an accident scene. When dealing with a casualty. take care to English. listen for people or other sounds that may indicate danger and smell for possible fumes or gases in the area before approaching the casualty. t Ask the casualty what happened—this important step helps you to assess not only the injuries incurred but also Response helps you assess the general well being of the casualty Assess the casualty for a response. you will have to rely on your own senses. You will be unable to assist the casualty if you also fall victim to the danger. Incorrect manual handling practices can result in from others if the casualty does not speak injury to the worker. In case of emergency call 000 p. if you found a woman lying at the bottom of the stairs unconscious you wouldn’t know if she fell down the stairs. was pushed down the stairs or collapsed because of a gas leak. unless there are others present.Manual handling Manual handling is a term used in workplaces to describe when If they DO respond: a person is moving something (eg. Recruit help of machinery. Ask “Can I help you?”. Is he/she conscious? t Check injuries—once you have been told what happened you will know all injuries sustained in the incident If they do NOT respond: t Reassess—it is important to reassess the casualty t Check for danger regularly to ensure their condition has not deteriorated t Assess the scene—what can you see.

If an obstruction is present place the casualty in the recovery position (on their side) and remove the obstruction. 112 can be used internationally. (solid or liquid). t Number of people injured and the type of injuries they have sustained t Need for fire brigade.Send for help (recruit help wherever Airway possible) If the casualty is unconscious you must check their airway. Open the casualty’s mouth and look inside for any foreign material Ask bystanders to call for help on “000/112”. 112 will connect you to emergencies service using any provider coverage in the area. lifting the chin and supporting the jaw. 5 . open the casualty’s airway by tilting the t Location as accurately as possible head back. This should t Type of accident be done with their mouth slightly open. In case of emergency call 000 p. electricity authorities or other special assistance If you are out of your service provider’s area and your mobile phone is showing no service call 112. When calling emergency services it is important to clearly give: Once the airway is clear.

In case of emergency call 000 p. 6 . All unconscious. ARE BREATHING NOT BREATHING If they are breathing: If they are not breathing or not breathing normally. LISTEN for the escape of air from nose and mouth.Breathing Determine if the casualty is breathing LOOK for movement of the upper abdomen or lower chest. breathing casualties must be placed in the recovery (side lateral) position irrespective of their injuries. keep talking to the casualty reassuring them (even though they are unconscious). check for any injuries. Place in the recovery position. Start compressions Reassess breathing every minute. FEEL for movement of air at the mouth and nose.

If you are unable or unwilling to give rescue breaths continuing Compressions chest compressions only is better than no attempt at all. t Place the heel of your hand in the centre of the casualty’s chest (lower half of the sternum in all ages) t Arm straight. 30 compressions: the stomach rather than the lungs. some Breaths stomach contents can be forced up t Ensure a full head tilt into the mouth and airway and thus into the lungs. If air is forced into the stomach. 7 . open your mouth as wide as t possible and place it over the casualty’s slightly open mouth t Seal their nose with your cheek (or pinch nostrils) t Blow steadily while watching the chest rise Turn your head towards the chest to watch the chest t fall and feel the exhalation on your cheek Continue giving CPR at a ratio of 30 compressions to 2 t breaths In case of emergency call 000 p. 2 Breaths (5 cycles in 2 minutes) If the stomach is distended. shoulder above your wrist NOTE Distension of the stomach may occur t Compress 1/3 the depth of the chest when the rescuer either blows too t Allow complete recoil of the chest between each hard or blows when the airway is compression partially obstructed so that air enters At the rate of 100-120 compressions per minute. Take a normal breath. DO NOT APPLY PRESSURE TO THE STOMACH.

8 . 30 compressions: 2 breaths. children one hand t 100-120 compressions per minute. Children (1–8) and CHILDREN Infants (under 1) Unconscious and breathing—infants and small children should never be shaken. They should be assessed by verbal and visual stimuli. t Maintain in recovery position t Children should be managed the same as adults t Infants—neutral head position/jaw support t Monitor airway and breathing Unconscious and not breathing normally t Commence CPR t Infants use fingers. In case of emergency call 000 p.

exhaustion) turned on and pads are attached. Automated External Defibrillators Reasons to stop CPR (AEDs) must only be used for a casualty who is unresponsive and t Signs of life eg. non- breathing. defibrillator. Ventricular Fibrillation (VF) is a phenomenon where the muscles of the heart are fibrillating (quivering). Follow Head to toe examination—conscious or unconscious breathing the voice prompts of the defibrillator. In an obviously-pregnant woman the uterus causes pressure on the major abdominal vessels when she is lying flat. coughing not breathing normally. which can impede attempts to restart the heart. reducing venus return to the heart. Place her on her left side (labour left). stand clear and ensure that bystanders are not Defibrillation touching the casualty. 9 . When directed by the casualty. CPR must be continued until the AED is t It is impossible for you to continue (eg. work around the person performing CPR. breathing. Continue to follow the voice prompts. t A heath care professional directs that CPR be ceased. bleeds and burns. the AED prompts. every minute if unconscious and breathing. These do not take priority over your DRSABCD Assess casualty—reassess regularly. The first aider should follow t A heath care professional arrives and takes over from you. In case of emergency call 000 p. t Situation becomes too dangerous is not listed in Process ANZCOR Guidelines If CPR has been commenced on an unconscious. This is done to check for any other injuries Visual and physical—fractures. not moving. If conscious keep talking to the casualty and note any change in their condition. Special considerations Pregnant women—unconscious and breathing. not responding casualty and you have Secondary survey a defibrillator.

across the rescuer’s lap. An with a partial obstruction. lean forward. throat include: Be prepared to do CPR if the casualty loses • there may be efforts at breathing consciousness • there is no sound of breathing • there is no escape of air from nose and/or mouth In case of emergency call 000 p. Check between each back include: blow to see if the obstruction has been • Breathing is labored relieved. Don’t hit the back of a casualty sharper and delivered at a slower rate. Encourage the casualty to stay calm. 10 . cough—severe airway obstruction) If the obstruction is still not cleared alternate Signs and symptoms of a complete obstruction to the between back blows and chest thrusts.Choking Managing a complete obstruction Call 000/112 Partial obstruction (effective cough— Give five back blows—this should be done mild airway obstruction) with the heel of the hand in an upward action in the middle of the back between Signs and symptoms of a partial obstruction to the throat shoulder blades. i. infant may be placed across the rescuers lap on their back when performing the chest Complete obstruction (ineffective thrusts. take a These are similar to chest compressions but breath and cough it out. Children and adults may be treated in a sitting or standing position. An infant may be placed in a head • Breathing may be noisy downwards position prior to delivering the • Some escape of air can be felt from the mouth back blows. Give five chest thrusts—to perform chest Management thrusts identify the same compression point as for CPR and give up to five chest thrusts.e.

DRSABCD Danger—assessing the danger in a drowning situation is unique. If there is an obstruction from fluids or other roll the person onto the side (the recovery position) to clear the airway. Managing drowning Follow DRSABCD. place the casualty on their back to check the airway. 11 . Early rescue and resuscitation are the major factors in survival.Drowning The most devastating consequence of drowning is the interruption of a person’s oxygen supply to the brain. Are you a strong swimmer? Is there a rip or debris in the water? Is it safe for you to enter the water? Response Breathing Send for help Compressions Airway Defibrillation In case of emergency call 000 p.

In case of emergency call 000 p. survival if the casualty is in cardiac arrest due to VF recurring dreams.Rescuer’s recovery Chain of survival First aid situations can be very stressful. Early defibrillation—for every minute t Seek professional help—if you are experiencing defibrillation is delayed. Early advanced care—organise an ambulance (call 000/112) or emergency transport medical as- sistance as quickly as possible NOTE As a first aider you are not expected to be an emergency expert. Often first aiders will be concerned that 1. Early CPR—any casualty who is unconscious and not breathing must have CPR commenced upon t Debrief—what you did. there is a 10% reduction in ongoing affects from the incident. The casualty may be a There are 4 links in the chain of survival: loved one or colleague. 3. 4. Do not them immediately discuss any personal details about the casualty. It is important to: 2. Eg—anxiety. The injury sustained by the casualty may or may not be serious. 12 . how you are feeling. Early access—assess and call for help if needed they did everything necessary and that they did it correctly.

Diabetics generally manage their condition with oral medications and insulin injections. If unconscious implement DRSABCD but sometimes find themselves in a diabetic emergency. Danger DRSABCD Signs of a diabetic emergency t Loss of coordination Response Breathing t Slurred speech t Confusion t Loss of consciousness Send for help Compressions t Seizure Airway Defibrillation . the consequences of which can be very serious. A hormone called insulin is t A sweet drink—soft drink or juice essential for the conversion of glucose into energy. In people t Honey or sugar with diabetes insulin is no longer produced or not produced t Jelly beans in sufficient amounts by the body. Section 2—Medical conditions Diabetes Managing a diabetic emergency If conscious give the casualty For our bodies to work properly we need to convert glucose (sugar) from food into energy. http://www. Signs FAST is a simple way for remembering the signs of stroke. Every second counts. make the Stroke casualty comfortable and do not give anything to eat or drink What is a stroke t Stay with the casualty until the ambulance arrives Brain cell function requires a constant delivery of oxygen and glucose from the bloodstream. t Face—check their face. Be prepared to do CPR blocked by a clot or plaque. A stroke. or because a vessel ruptures. occurs when blood supply to part of the brain is breathing. 14 . If you see any of these signs call 000 now! Managing stroke t Call an ambulance (000/112) and stay with the casualty In case of emergency call 000 p. or cerebrovascular t If the casualty is unconscious assess and reassess accident (cva).au/ Stroke is the second most common cause of death after heart attack. Has their mouth drooped? t Arms—can they lift both arms? t Speech—is their speech slurred? Do they understand you? t Time is critical. t If they are conscious provide reassurance.

au The pain may spread or be limited to the neck. the back. moderate or mild. t Call an ambulance (000/112). heaviness. It may be severe. shoulders. Warning signs Warning signs of heart attack usually last 10 minutes. A heart attack occurs when there is a sudden blockage of one of If the casualty has been prescribed a medication such as a tablet the coronary arteries that supplies the heart. which may come on suddenly or start slowly over • Add Give Aspirin (300mg) . It has been described as tightness. As a result of the or oral spray to treat episodes of chest pain or discomfort. www. either or both arms and in the wrists and hands. 15 . do not wait. In case of emergency call 000 p. act immediately. Activity must be kept to a minimum. fullness t If they are unconscious—DRSABCD or a squeezing sensation.heartfoundation.Chest pain/cardiac arrest Managing chest pain/cardiac arrest Encourage the casualty to immediately stop what they are doing “Every second counts” and rest in a position where they are comfortable. If the warning signs are severe. jaw.dissolvable preferred minutes. stay with the casualty People should not ignore discomfort or pain in the centre of the chest. assist interruption to the blood supply. or get worse quickly. there is an immediate risk of them to take this as they have been directed. life-threatening changes to the heart rhythm.

t Poisons and drugs Three percent of children aged between 6 months and t Withdrawal from drugs six years will experience febrile convulsions. brain tumour. t If they become unconscious they may have noisy There are many things which can trigger an Asthma attack. asprin) t Lay the casualty on their side as soon as the seizure t Perfumes and cleaning products stops t Laughter and stress t If not breathing or any doubt. animal dander. bush fires casualty or remove the casualty from danger t Changes in temperature and weather t Avoid restraining the casualty t Certain medications (eg. breathing. 16 . moulds. wood smoke. commence CPR In case of emergency call 000 p. pollution. meningitis. arms and legs may with asthma have sensitive airways that can narrow when occur exposed to triggers. People t Jerking movements of the head. hypoxia t Febrile convulsions are usually associated with fever. t Reassure the casualty Seizure t Call an ambulance (000/112) A seizure may be caused by: t If the casualty has not lost consciousness they will require little first aid other than reassurance and t Epilepsy protection from injury t Head injury. This leads to difficulty breathing. t Fever Signs Asthma t Sudden spasm of muscles producing rigidity and the casualty will fall down Asthma is a disorder of the smaller airways of the lungs. salivation and urinary incontinence Though this is different in each person some triggers are— Managing a seizure t Colds and flu Manage a seizure-patient as you would any unconscious t Cigarette smoke causality: t Exercise t Inhaled pollens. stroke. dust mites t Remove any dangerous objects from around the t Dust.

au t Little or no improvement after using “reliever” medication t Sucking in of throat and rib muscles t Blue discolouration around the lips t Pale sweaty skin t Symptoms worsening quickly or using reliever more than every two hours In case of emergency call 000 p.Signs Managing an asthma attack Ordinary attack If the casualty has a written personal asthma action plan then that plan should be followed. 17 . t Dry. Do not leave the person t Gasping for breath t Step 3—wait four minutes. The medication is best given one puff at a Severe attack time via a spacer device.asthmafoundation. If there is no improvement give another four puffs t Severe chest pain t Step 4—if there is still no improvement. t Wheeze t Step 2—without delay give four separate puffs of a ‘reliever’. persistent cough—especially when exercising and in cool of the evening and morning If there is no plan: t Chest tightness t Step 1—sit the person comfortably upright. call an t Inability to speak more than one or two words per ambulance (000/112) immediately breath t Feeling distressed and anxious www. Be calm t Shortness of breath and reassuring. irritating.

if breathing is • Persistent dizziness and/or collapse • Pale and floppy (in young children) In case of emergency call 000 p. • Difficulty talking and/or hoarse voice • Wheeze or persistent cough http://www. insects or medicines).Anaphylaxis Managing an anaphylaxis Anaphylaxis is a potentially life threatening. • Call ambulance (000/112) Most allergic reactions are mild to moderate. give the adrenaline auto-injector. Signs • If in doubt. allow to reaction and should always be treated as a medical emergency. Not all people with allergies are at risk of • Give the adrenaline auto-injector if available anaphylaxis. severe allergic • Lay person flat . A small number of people may contact experience a severe allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis occurs after exposure to an sit -do not allow them to stand or walk allergen (usually to foods. additional adrenaline auto-injector is available).org. It • Further adrenaline doses may be given (when an is a life threatening condition which requires immediate medication and treatment. 18 . to which a person is allergic. if there is no response after 5 minutes.allergy. and do not • Contact parent/guardian or other emergency cause major problems. • Difficult/noisy breathing • Swelling of tongue Commence CPR at any time if person is unresponsive • Swelling/tightness in throat and not breathing normally.

t Restlessness t Shortness of breath t Feeling cold . down and elevate legs wherever possible t Control external bleeding Signs may include: t Reassure the casualty t Collapse t Vomiting Burns t Cold sweaty skin t Rapid breathing A burn is an injury resulting from heat. face (airway burn) or groin. Section 3—Wound management Shock Managing shock t Ensure the situation is safe and that the casualty Shock is a result of the loss of effective circulating blood volume. severe sweating or t Ensure circulation is optimal . heart attack. DRSABCD) severe burns. fractures or trauma. has a clear airway and is breathing normally (follow which can be caused by severe bleeding. electrical or t Confused deterioration level of consciousness radiation energy. Though shock may be hard to detect some symptoms may be :- t Dizziness and/or nausea t Muscle weakness A flame or scald injury greater than 10% of the total body t Thirst surface area (TBSA) or full-thickness burns greater than 5% of t Anxiety TBSA or any burn involving hands. or a combination of these agents (including sunburn). chemical.lie or sit the casualty dehydration. severe diarrhoea or vomiting.

t Ensure safety of both the rescuers and bystanders from dangers such as flames. process. break blisters or use ointments. drop. 19 . microwave equipment or electricity. t Move the casualty to a safe environment as quickly as possible. if no water is available use a hydrogel product (such as burnaid) In case of emergency call 000 p. watches and t Chemical burns clothing from the burnt area t Electrical burns t Where possible elevate the limb to reduce swelling t Inhalation burns t Cover the area lightly with a non-stick dressing t Burns in the very old or the very young t DO NOT—peel off clothing stuck to the burn. Do not enter a burning or toxic atmosphere without appropriate protection. creams or t Burns associated with trauma powders Managing a major burn All infants or children with burns should The first priority in managing a burn is to stop the burning be medically assessed. lasers. roll and cover o Smother the flames with a fire blanket or blanket o Move away from the burn source o Cool the area with water preferably. use ice t In people with pre-existing medical conditions or ice water. hot water. t Stop the burning process—stop.Significant burns can include: t Assess airway and breathing immediately t Where ever possible remove jewellery. welding equipment. cool the burn (which will provide pain relief ) and cover the burn.

au/ PoisonsInformationCentre t Remove contaminated clothing and the chemical (may be a powder) as soon as possible In case of emergency call 000 p. If the casualty has burns to attention their face. an inhalation burn may result.qld. nose or eyelashes you may also see carbon deposits in the nose and or mouth. This at least 20 minutes and transport to urgent medical may cause swelling to the airway. 20 . may increase the heat generation Chemical Burns t Danger—your initial assessment of the situation is vital when dealing with chemicals t Avoid contact with the chemical t Refer to the SDS Safety Data sheets or the container for specific treatment t Call the Poison Information Centre for further advice 13 11 26 www. this breathing difficulties may all be indicators of an airway burn. a hoarse voice and or t DO NOT neutralise either acid or alkali burns.Inhalation Burn t If the casualty has had chemicals enter their eye flush If a casualty has been trapped in a confined space with hot or the affected area thoroughly as soon as possible for toxic fumes from chemicals.

ears. t Conscious t Unconscious t Experiencing changing levels of consciousness All casualties who have been unconscious must be assessed by a medical practioner. cover wounds Signs of a serious head injury include: t Call an ambulance (000/112). Other signs and symptoms the casualty may experience are t Memory impairment t Agitated or irritable behaviour t Slurred speech t Lack of co-ordination t Headaches. get them to rest and reassure them. teeth. In all casualty—DRSABCD. nose or mouth t Pupils change size and shape In case of emergency call 000 p. bleeding from the eyes. seizures etc. 21 . situations the maintenance of a clear airway is the priority. airway and mouth. t Check and control bleeding. dizziness and nausea t Seizure t Bleeding and discharge from ears. In If the casualty is unconscious manage them as an unconscious severe circumstances these injuries may cause death. Head injuries can be caused by a variety of incidents causing damage to the brain. stay with the casualty The casualty may be Note any changes to consciousness level.Head injury Managing a head injury If the casualty is conscious. eyes. mouth and ears.

determine whether the still and reassure them help is on the way. do so. If it is necessary to move the casualty due to Spinal injury dangers in the area extreme care must be taken to not cause any Assume the presence of spinal injuries in any accident scene movement to the spine. if you have to move them to avoid injury to yourself or further injury to Managing spinal injuries them. However. Implement DRSABCD bearing in mind the following additional guidelines. when or prolonged pressure due to body weight in an unconscious communicating with the casualty position yourself so that person. a falling object sensation. causing minimal movement to head. an industrial accident. altered or lack of person crushed by a car. 22 . the casualty can easily hear you and isn’t trying to turn their In case of emergency call 000 p. When assessing spinal injuries it’s important to find out what happened. Unconscious—management of the airway take priority Other possible causes include: If the casualty is unconscious and breathing place them in the t Diving into shallow water or being dumped by a wave recovery position. Spinal injuries often occur in motor vehicle accidents. t Falling from a ladder or roof t Sporting accidents such as football or a fall from a If the casualty is unconscious and not breathing commence CPR. Tell the casualty to remain still. weakness. where the casualty is unconscious. including a The conscious casualty may have pain. head to see you. horse t Any fall in the elderly Crush injuries Signs in a conscious casualty Crush injuries occur in a wide range of situations. neck and spine and continue to monitor them. If the casualty is conscious and there is no danger keep them If it was a motorcycle or bicycle incident. pillion or pedestrian. This way you can take steps to avoid worsening any possible spinal injuries. casualty was a rider.

Managing crush injuries have been exposed to. Heat-induced injury (Hyperthermia) A mild elevation in body temperature is Cold-induced injury (Hypothermia) normally controlled with sweating. It is important to Although the casualty may appear to be alert and not unduly ensure refreezing does not occur. blocking the blood vessels. 23 . severe and irreversible damage may have been sustained and the casualty’s condition may deteriorate. Rewarming can be done by getting the casualty to t Do not use a tourniquet place their affected fingers or hands into the opposite arm pit. many causes such as excessive exposure to a This could be the whole body or localised. which Hypothermia can happen in a number of allows cooling by evaporation. infection. Heat induced illness may have body is exposed to a drop in temperature. Remove wet or restrictive clothing and wrap them in blankets or t Keep assessing the casualty dry clothing. How badly a person is affected will depend lack of ventilation. Once a situations from working for extended periods person becomes too dehydrated to sweat. excessive activity. inadequate fluid intake and drugs which on their health. Managing cold injury t Call an ambulance (000/112) Your first priority is to remove the casualty from the cold environment—seek shelter. hot environment. In extreme situations frostbite can result. All crushing forces should be removed as soon as possible after the crush injury. being caught in the rain/wind body temperature can rise rapidly and while boating or any situation where the dramatically. DO NOT rub or expose the limbs to t Keep the casualty comfortable radiant heat. Rewarming can be very painful. If it is not safe or not physically possible remove the object. This causes ice crystals to form. distressed. exposed to the elements and of course what temperature they In case of emergency call 000 p. in a cold room. how long they have been affect heat regulation.

It may lead to unconsciousness and death. Their body temperature is above 37° C but t Follow DRSABCD below 40° C and their conscious state will become normal once t Place the casualty in a cool environment they are lying down. nausea. Commonly these injuries are in the wrist or ankle. groin and armpits Heat stroke is the most serious form of heat-related illness as all the body’s organs are affected. In case of emergency call 000 p. A casualty suffering from heat exhaustion can be fatigued. t Lie the casualty down Sprains and strains (also known as soft tissue t Loosen and remove excessive clothing injuries) need to be t Moisten skin with a moist cloth treated with two principles in mind—’apply RICE’ and t Cool by fanning ‘avoid HARM’. may t Call an ambulance experience a headache. Sprains and strains however in some casualties profuse sweating is common. 24 . These are t Give water to drink if fully conscious most important in the 48–72 hours following the injury. vomiting or dizziness and possibly collapse. The Managing hyperthermia casualty will not be able to take any weight on the joint and the Heat exhaustion area will swell.Signs Heat stroke Heat exhaustion (temperature 37–40° C) Heat stroke is a life threatening condition. t Moisten the skin with a moist cloth and fan repeatedly Heat stroke (temperature above 40° C) t Apply wrapped ice packs to neck. Heat stroke may be recognised by lack of sweating. with the casualty experiencing a sharp ripping or tearing sensation.

osteoporosis or bone cancer). covering weakened bones (eg. or tissues In case of emergency call 000 p. 25 . stress or trivial injury as a result of restrict circulation or cause additional pain. The ligaments also become damaged as a result of a dislocation. It is often caused by a sudden impact to the joint. It can be t Compression—apply a firm bandage that does not the result of high force impact.Managing sprains and strains Dislocations and fractures Apply RICE Joint dislocation occurs when bones in a joint become displaced t Rest and avoid activities that cause significant pain or misaligned. the whole joint t Elevate the limb Managing dislocations and fractures Avoid HARM t Support the injury in the most t Heat—do not apply heat to the injury as this increases comfortable position for the casualty blood flow and swelling t If in doubt treat it as a fracture t Alcohol—do not allow the casualty to consume t Monitor the casualty for shock alcohol as this increases blood flow and swelling and causes the casualty to be less aware of aggravating the t Seek medical assistance injury t DO NOT try to relocate the dislocation or realign a t Re-injury—avoid re-injury by protecting the joint until fracture it has healed adequately If there’s external bleeding (open/compound fracture): t Massage—do not massage sprains and strains as this t Control bleeding promotes blood flow and swelling t Apply pressure and elevation—enough to stop the If you have any concern that this is more than a sprain or strain bleed but without causing further damage to the bone treat it as a fracture. t Ice pack for 15–20 minutes every one to two hours A bone fracture is a break in the continuity of the bone.

The tourniquet reduce the amount of blood loss from the casualty. A pad or rolled up dressing can be used to apply indirect pressure and stop bleeding. this should be tight enough to stop pressure on or near the wound if there is an object embedded in the circulation. 26 . When delivering first aid to a bleeding casualty your aim is to noted and passed on to emergency personnel. If every effort has been made to stop the bleeding but it is now Control of bleeding a life threatening situation a tourniquet can be used. Use direct sustained pressure and a dressing or pad on the wound to stop bleeding. If bleeding continues place another pad/dressing over the first dressing and increase pressure to the bleed. Management Use a barrier (gloves) to protect both yourself and the casualty. major artery Tourniquet—last resort (traumatic amputation. calm and reassure the casualty. Embedded object—DO NOT REMOVE THE OBJECT In case of emergency call 000 p. Secure a wide bandage (5cm) high above the wound. but not on a joint In most situations external bleeding can be controlled by or on the wound itself. Sit the casualty down. If bleeding does not cease you will need to replace the dressing and resecure. major injuries bleed) call an ambulance (000/112). t Immobilise the affected body part If there appears to be a life-threatening bleed (eg. should be in clear view and not obstructed by clothing or other bandages. Remember to stay calm and with massive blood loss) use a barrier. elevate the area where ever possible. t Get the casualty to rest comfortably (restrict When there is an object in the bleeding wound indirect pressure movement) is required. The time the tourniquet is applied should be it.

do not reach inside the ear canal with transported to medical assistance tweezers or other objects. remove them as t Sensations of an object in the ear soon as possible t Swelling t Visible object in the ear t Eye injuries caused by liquid splashes should be irrigated for 15–20 minutes Managing ear injuries t If the item cannot be irrigated out cover with a t Calm and reassure the casualty dressing and seek medical attention t If you think a small object may be lodged within the t Any casualty with a chemical eye injury must be ear. t If there is a foreign object protruding from the eye use a ring bandage and cover both eyes to protect and t If the object doesn’t come out. reduce movement on the way to the hospital In case of emergency call 000 p. Try using gravity to get the object out by tilting the head to the affected side.Eye injury Ear injury Signs Signs t Stinging t Bleeding from the ear t Burning sensation t Bruising or redness t Redness t Clear liquid coming out of the ear t Pain t Dizziness t Swelling of the eyelids t Earache t Foreign object in the eye t Loss of hearing t Nausea and vomiting Managing eye injuries t Noises in the ear t If the casualty wears contact lenses. seek medical assistance. 27 . out of sight.

even if the symptoms are initially mild or which may actions. bites and stings A person may complain of physical symptoms Poisoning without knowing they have been poisoned. disturbance.qld. They Poison is anything that kills or injures through its chemical may also display abnormal . Poisons can enter the body after being ingested. so ensure the environment is safe and use a barrier if Because the affects from poison can be both rapid or delayed it necessary. be interpreted as alcoholic confusion or psychiatric inhaled. Poisoning can be life threatening to the rescuer and to the casualty. but signs may include: Managing poisoning—contact the t Nausea poisons information centre 13 11 26 t Vomiting t Prevention of poisoning to the rescuer t Pain t Decontamination to the casualty t Trouble breathing t Resuscitation and supportive care t Seizure t Call an ambulance (000/112) and/or a poison control centre t Confusion t Do not induce vomiting t Abnormal skin colour http://www. is important to seek medical assistance or advice after significant exposure to a poison. Section 4— Signs There may be no signs of poisoning. absorbed or injected (accidentally or deliberately).

t Tingling around the mouth t Profuse sweating Only use the pressure immobilisation technique for t Copious secretions of saliva funnel web spider and snake bites. Extend the bandage up the limb. should be considered as a The purpose of the pressure immoblisation technique dangerous bite and immediate treatment given. thus “buying time” for the patient Signs to reach medical care.Animal Bites PRESSURE IMMOBILISATION Funnel Web Spider TECHNIQUE Any bite from a large ( greater than 2cm) darker-coloured spider. is to retard the movement of venom from the bite site into the circulation. t Abdominal pain t Muscular twitching t Breathing difficulty t Confusion leading to unconsciousness Management t Keep the casualty at In case of emergency call 000 p. 29 .wikipedia. reassured and under observation t DRSABCD t Apply pressure immobilisation technique t Call 000/112 Do not: t Use a tourniquet t Cut. suck or wash the bite site Photo by Fir0002/Flagstaffotos. NSW or south-eastern Queensland. http://en. Apply a bandage over the bitten area as tightly as you would for a sprained ankle and t Pain at the bite site immobilise the limb.

initial collapse followed by partial or complete recovery t Abdominal pain t Blurred or double vision t Difficulty speaking Note: life-threatening effects may not be seen for hours. In case of emergency call 000 . In children symptoms may appear within minutes. suck or wash the bite site t Rough scaled snakes and many sea snakes Recognising snake bite t Paired fang marks.Australian snakes Management Many of the snakes found in Australia are capable of lethal bites t Keep the casualty at rest. but often a single scratch t Headache t Nausea and vomiting t Occasionally. These include: observation t DRSABCD t Taipans t Apply pressure immobilisation technique t Brown snakes t Call 000/112 t Tiger snakes t Death adders Do not: t Black snakes t Use a tourniquet t Copperhead snakes t Cut. reassured and under constant to humans.

t Scrape out bee sting t Apply ice pack Managing redback spider bite t If allergic reactions are present use a pressure t Keep casualty under constant observation immobilisation technique and transport the casualty to t Apply an ice pack or a cold compress to lessen the pain medical assistance t If the casualty is a young child or if collapse occurs Note: the casualty with a known allergy may need assistance or pain is severe transport the casualty to medical with prescribed medication before prompt transport to medical assistance assistance. Upon t Allergic reactions—not localised to the bite area contact. an epipen or anapen. goose pimple or blotching t Multiple whip-like marks on the skin t Tentacles on the skin In case of emergency call 000 p. t Do not use a pressure immobilisation bandage Bees. wasps and ants Stinging by jellyfish is caused by the simultaneous discharge Signs of many thousands of microscopic stinging capsules called t Immediate and intense localised pain nematocyst. but is t DRSABCD rarely serious for an adult. t Wheezing and difficulty breathing Signs t Collapse t Immediate sharp pain and inflammation t Red welt marks on the skin. 31 . Eg. The more tentacles which make t Facial swelling contact with the skin the more venom is injected. These are located on the surface of the tentacles t Localised redness and swelling and in some species on the body of the jellyfish. wasps and ants A redback spider bite may be life-threatening to a child. Nematocytsts t Localised itchy rash contain coiled threads (tubules) loaded with the venom. the nematocysts discharge their tubules into the t Itchy rash victim’s skin like mini-harpoons.Redback spider Managing stings from bees.

call an t DRSABCD ambulance and seek assistance from a lifesaver/ t Liberally douse the stung area with vinegar. lifeguard if available. 32 . Apply an ice pack or ice in a dry plastic bag to reduce pain. vinegar should not be Australian Venom Research Unit 1300 760 451 or the Poison applied and the casualty managed as per stings in non. is stable and For further advice concerning any marine envemonation contact not requiring an ambulance. t If vinegar is not available. if the sting site is t Call an ambulance (000/112) large or include sensitive areas such as eye. pick off the tentacles (this is not harmful to the rescuer) and rinse the sting well with seawater Non-tropical Australia t Keep the casualty at rest. Information Centre 13 11 26 tropical Australia t Do not wash with fresh water. t Frosted ladder pattern on the skin constant observation t Later blistering or darkening of the sting pattern t Do not allow rubbing of the sting area t Pick off the tentacles (this is not harmful to the rescuer) Management and rinse sting area well with seawater to remove No one nationwide recommendation for first-aid can be made invisible nematocysts because of the differences between jellyfish species around t Place the casualty’s stung area in hot water (not hotter Australia. t If the victim has clearly been stung by a “Bluebottle” and is assessed as having a localised sting. reassure and keep under In case of emergency call 000 p. than the rescuer can comfortably tolerate) for 20 minutes Tropical Australia t If local pain is unrelieved by heat or if hot water is not available apply a cold pack or ice in a dry plastic bag t Remove the casualty from the water t If pain persists or is generalised.

t The progressive weakening of muscles used in These fish have excellent camouflage and are very dangerous to Management t Place the affected area in hot water (no hotter than the casualty can comfortably tolerate) t If in the uncommon event heat does not relieve the pain place the affected area in cold water Free_Documentation_License t Get medical assistance t DO NOT use a Pressure Immobilisation Technique In case of emergency call 000 p. reassured and under t Swelling constant observation t Sometimes grey/blue discolouration around the sting t DRSABCD site t Call an ambulance t An open wound t Use pressure and immobilisation technique t Bleeding t Irrational behaviour and panic may occur Photo by Jens Petersen. leading to inadequate or cessation of handle. breathing Signs and symptoms Managing blue-ringed octopus or cone shell stings t Intense pain t Keep the casualty at rest. Stone fish (Synanceis Species) and Bullrouts (Notesthes t A spot of blood visible but a painless bite robusta) have venom glands linked to spines which can deposit t Numbness of lips and tongue venom deeply into the casualty causing excruciating pain. http://en. Blue-ringed octopus and cone shell Fish Stings Signs A painful local reaction may be caused by the spines of a variety of fish. 33 .

The treatment for t Call an ambulance (000/112) and/or a poison control paracetamol poisoning is most effective if administered as soon centre as possible. Most reported cases of vaccination or testing is needed mushroom poisoning are in children less than five years old eating mushrooms growing in their home gardens. or when people try to re-cap needles. It can unconsciousness be from discarded needles in an outdoor t Difficulty breathing Exercise.Substance misuse Managing substance misuse t Prevention of poisoning to the rescuer Paracetamol is the most common pharmaceutical overdose t Decontamination of the casualty leading to hospital admission. www. hair spray. t Contact a doctor or hospital in case medical treatment. it is also responsible for the t Resuscitation and supportive care most calls to the Poisons Information Centre. 34 . In case of emergency call 000 p. incorrectly t Irregular heartbeat. followed by cardiac arrest disposed of needles. Some are edible but some are poisonous causing seconds hallucinations. Ingestion of even one Amanita phalloides mushroom can cause liver failure and lighter fluid. nail polish remover and petrol may be deliberately inhaled to produce altered sensation.qld. t Stay calm Mushrooms and toadstool (fungi) grow wildly throughout t Wash the area with soap and water for at least 30 Australia. t Do not induce vomiting Organic substances such as glues. Cooking does not neutralise the followed by drowsiness and Needle stick injuries can occur in a number of settings. inhaling poison from a bag or in a confined space Management increase the dangers. vomiting and diarrhoea. dry cleaning fluid. aerosol paints. Poisons effect may include Needle stick injury t Hyperactivity.

wasps and ants 31 Drug abuse 34 Send for help 5 Blue ringed octopus 33 Ear injuries 27 Stroke 14 Box jellyfish 31 Eye injuries 27 Seizure 16 Breathing 6 Fish stings 33 Shock 18 Burns 18 Funnel web spider 29 Spinal injuries 22 Chain of survival 12 Head injury 21 Sprains and strains 24 Chest pain 15 Heat induced injury—hyperthermia 23 Stone fish 33 Choking 10 Hyperthermia 23 Substance misuse 34 Cold induced injury—hypothermia 23 Hypothermia 23 Compressions 7 Legal considerations 2 Cone shell 33 . Index Action plan 2 Crush injuries 22 Medical conditions 13 Animal bites 29 Danger 3 Needle stick injuries 34 Airway 5 Defibrillation 9 Poisoning 28 Asthma 16 Diabetes 13 Redback spider 31 Anaphylaxis 18 Dislocations and fractures 25 Rescuers recovery 12 Australian snakes 30 Drowning 11 Response 4 Bees.

Notes .

au or Call 1300 336 613 .Contact Us Book your first aid course ‘Come to us or we come to you’ Visit

. wound management and dealing with poisons. bites and stings. stroke. including the DRSABCD action plan.The AustraliaWide First Aid Handbook is designed for Australian conditions and incorporates the current Australian Resuscitation Council guidelines and those of other expert bodies. The AustraliaWide First Aid Handbook is an easy-to-use reference for managing irst aid and emergency situations. managing medical conditions such as asthma. cardiac arrest and seizures. performing CPR.