First Aid Steps
By administering immediate care during an emergency, you can help an ill or injured person before EMS, Emergency Medical Services arrive. And you may be able to help save a life. However, even after training, remembering the right first aid steps – and administering them correctly – can be difficult. In order to help you deliver the right care at the right time, we've created this simple step-by-step guide that you can print up and place on your refrigerator, in your car, in your bag or at your desk.
Checking an Injured or Ill Person
1 CHECK the scene for safety, form an initial impression, obtain consent, and use personal protective equipment (PPE)
2 If the person appears unresponsive, CHECK for responsiveness, breathing, life-threatening bleeding or other life-threatening conditions using shout-tap-shout
Note: CHECK for no more than 10 seconds
3A If the person does not respond, responds but is not fully awake, is not breathing or is only gasping, or has life-threatening bleeding or another obvious life-threatening condition, CALL 9-1-1 and get equipment, or tell someone to do so. Then, give CARE based on the condition found and your level of training and continue your check to determine if additional care is needed
Note: For a person who is unresponsive and not breathing, start CPR and use an AED immediately
3B If the person is responsive or responds to stimulation and is fully awake and does not appear to have a life-threatening condition:
- Interview the person (or bystanders, if necessary), ask questions about signs and symptoms, allergies, and medications and medical conditions (SAM)
- Do a focused check based on what the person told you, how the person is acting and what you see
Note: Do not ask the person to move if you suspect a head, neck or spinal injury. Do not ask the person to move any area of the body that causes discomfort or pain
Note: As you check the person, take note of any medical identification tags
4 After completing the CHECK step, CALL 9-1-1 and get equipment, or tell someone to do so (if needed). Then, give CARE based on the condition found and your level of training
You can also sign up for a get First Aid/CPR/AED certified, where you'll learn the latest techniques and earn a two-year certification in first aid from the American Red Cross.