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First Aid Instruction
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Key First Aid Skills
There are certain skills which can be regarded

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as core, regardless of where or how first aid is taught. These should always be treated in the order of priority, usually given by the “3 Bs”:



This means that any first aider should first seek to treat any problems with Breathing, before attempting to deal with a bleed or broken bone (which is not to say that they should not be considered at the time - such as in the case of a spinal injury, where a variation on the technique can be used to open the airway).

[edit] Preserving Life
As the key skill to first aid is preserving life, the single most important training a first aider can receive is in the primary diagnosis and care of an unconscious or unresponsive patient. The most common mnemonic used to remember the procedure for this is ABC, which stands for Airway, Breathing and Circulation.

In order to preserve life, all persons require to have an open airway - a clear passage where air can move in through the mouth or nose through the pharynx and down in to the lungs, without obstruction. Conscious people will maintain their own airway automatically, but those who are unconscious (with a GCS of less than 8) may be unable to maintain a patent airway, as the part of the brain which autonomously controls in normal situations may not be functioning.



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Alphabetical Listings

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Always Prepared CPR & First
708 Georgia Way, Fairfield, CA 707 426-9926

American Red Cross
5297 Aero Dr, Santa Rosa, CA 707 577-7600

Barnett Professional Svc
4966 Ridgefield Cir, Fairfield, CA 707 864-1985

CPR Safety & Osha Crtfctn
1 Shon Ct, Novato, CA 415 883-8277

1425 N Mcdowell Blvd # 103, Petaluma, CA 707 766-9226

Heart Beats
1260 Military W, Benicia, CA 707 748-0637

Kidsake Health & Safety Educ
3535 Industrial Dr # A2, Santa Rosa, CA 707 585-3100

Medical Emergency Dynamics
2442 Trower Ave, Napa, CA 707 255-7052

Medical Training Svc
707 Arabian Cir, Vacaville, CA 707 446-6220

Mill Creek Safety Instruction
725 Fitch St, Healdsburg, CA 707 433-7752

Northbay Health & Safety
8360 Lewanna Ln, Sebastopol, CA 707 829-1922

Safety First
2 Via Treviso, American Canyon, CA 707 557-4188

SOSCPR Training
101 Golf Course Dr, Rohnert Park, CA 707 795-4444

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If an unconscious patient is lying on his or her back, the tongue may fall backward, obstructing the oropharynx (sometimes incorrectly called “swallowing” the tongue). This can be easily rectified by a first aider tipping the head backwards, which mechanically lifts the tongue clear.

If the patient was breathing, a first aider would normally then place them in the recovery position, with the patient leant over on their side, which also has the effect of clearing the tongue from the pharynx. It also avoids a common cause of death in unconscious patients, which is choking on regurgitated stomach contents.

The airway can also become blocked through a foreign object becoming lodged in the pharynx or larynx, commonly called choking. The first aider will be taught to deal with this through a combination of ‘back slaps’ and ‘abdominal thrusts’.

Once the airway has been opened, the first aider would assess to see if the patient is breathing. If there is no breathing, or the patient is not breathing normally, such as agonal breathing, the first aider would undertake what is probably the most recognized first aid procedure - Cardiopulmonary resuscitation or CPR, which involves breathing for the patient, and manually massaging the heart to promote blood flow around the body.
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