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Related Advancement and Awards
- Tenderfoot 1a, 4a, 4b, 4c, and 4d
- Second Class 1a, 6a, 6b, 6c, 6d, and 6e
- First Class 1a, 7a, 7b, 7c, 7d, and 10
- First Aid merit badge
First Aid Championship – A first aid championship consists of a series of simulated first aid problems. Teams go from one scenario to the next, spending 20 to 30 minutes at each station. Mock emergencies should be set up based on the first aid training Scouts have received during the month. The emergencies should reinforce what they have learned and give them confidence in their ability to provide appropriate emergency care.
For each problem, there should be a knowledgeable adult or older Scout on hand who is qualified to assess each team’s performance and to reinforce their knowledge. As Scouts complete their treatment of an accident victim, the resource person can help them understand what they did right and provide guidance on ways they can improve. Award points based on proper first aid skills and procedures.
Here are some sample emergencies:
Emergency 1: A Scout who has been working on a conservation project on a hot, humid afternoon returns to camp to help with supper. Near the cooking fire, they suddenly become dizzy and nauseous, lose their balance, and fall. As they fall, their hand goes into a pan of hot grease. Their face is pale and clammy, and they are barely conscious.
Emergency 2: A hiker has tumbled down a steep ridge. Scouts find them with one leg bent under them and the ankle apparently deformed. A cut on their left wrist is spurting blood.
Emergency 3: Scouts find a fisherman along the shore of a stream. He is having trouble breathing, is sweating heavily, and feels nauseous. He complains of an uncomfortable pressure in the center of his chest.
Emergency 4: A hiker is found unconscious near a large fallen tree branch. Their right lower leg is bleeding and is turned at an abnormal angle. There is blood on their chest and face.
Emergency 5: The victim is found sitting at the foot of a tree. They are holding their leg and say, “I’ve been bitten by a snake!” On their calf are two small puncture wounds about three-fourths of an inch apart.
Emergency 6: A young hiker is found wandering near a stream, mumbling to themselves. Their clothing is wet and they are shivering uncontrollably. Blood is oozing slowly from a wound on their head.
Emergency 7: You come around a corner, and there is a young woman lying next to her bicycle. A power line is draped over the back tire.
The First Responder – As the term implies, first aid is the initial assistance given for an injury. It is not intended as a long-term solution to a problem, nor does it replace treatment provided by trained medical personnel. Here are some basics to keep in mind:
- Before attempting to administer first aid, you should perform an initial assessment that includes safety (yours and the victim’s), the mechanism of the injury (how it happened), medical information devices (presence of medical ID tags or bracelets), the number of casualties (if more than one person is involved), and bystanders (those who might be able to help you).
- Always avoid contact with blood or other body fluids. Use gloves whenever possible.
- Do not become involved in using treatment methods beyond your skill.
Triage – Emergency situations involving more than one victim can require triage (pronounced TREE-ahj), which is quickly checking each victim for injuries or symptoms of illness and then determining how best to use available first-aid resources.
In its simplest form, triage occurs whenever first aiders approach an emergency scene that involves two or more persons who are injured or ill. Once on the scene, medical professionals will determine who requires urgent care, who can be treated later, who needs to be monitored in case his or her condition changes, and who is well enough to help out.
Realistic First Aid – It’s good to be able to bandage a wound or splint a broken leg on command. It’s better to be able to identify those and other injuries when you encounter them. After all, in a real-world situation, a victim won’t be wearing a sign that reads “puncture wound” or “simple fracture.”
Many professionals use fake wounds and blood to simulate injuries, a technique called moulage (pronounced moo-LAHJ). Moulage kits cost hundreds of dollars, but you can create makeshift versions with simple household supplies. Search the Internet for “realistic first aid props” and you’ll find plenty of ideas.
When using parents or other volunteers as victims, be sure to coach them on what, if anything, they should say to their rescuers. Someone who’s supposed to be choking, for example, can’t say, “I can’t breathe,” but they can grab their throat and look panicky.
Remember your ABCDs -The most urgent first-aid cases occur when a person stops breathing and the heart stops beating. In those cases, remember your ABCDs:
- A is for airway. Place the person on his or her back and open the airway by tilting the head back.
- B is for breathing. Look, listen, and feel for movement and breathing for up to 10 seconds. If there are no signs the person is breathing, it’s time to start CPR.
- C is for circulation. CPR serves to pump the blood when the heart has stopped. It’s very important to continue CPR until help has arrived.
- D is for defibrillation. If you are trained and have access to an automated external defibrillator (AED), which can be found in airports, shopping malls, schools, and other places where people gather, you can help a heart attack victim’s heart start beating regularly again.
Calling 911 – If you have time, it is best to write down the following information before calling 911:
- Location of the victim
- Description of the injury or illness
- Time the injury or illness occurred
- Treatment the victim has received
- Number of people with the victim and their general skill level for first aid
- Requests for special assistance or equipment, including food, shelter, or care for nonvictims
When you call, do not hang up until the operator tells you it’s OK to do so.
You should never call 911 except in a real emergency. However, it’s a good idea to make simulated 911 calls during first aid training. If possible, recruit someone who’s familiar with the 911 system to play the role of the 911 operator.
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