First aid is the provision of initial care for an illness or injury. It is usually performed by non-expert, but trained personnel to a sick or injured person until definitive medical treatment can be accessed. Certain self-limiting illnesses or minor injuries may not require further medical care past the first aid intervention. It generally consists of a series of simple and in some cases, potentially life-saving techniques that an individual can be trained to perform with minimal equipment.
While first aid can also be performed on all animals, the term generally refers to care of human patients.
Emergency bleeding control describes the steps or actions taken to control bleeding from a patient who has suffered a traumatic injury or who has a medical condition which has led to bleeding. Many bleeding control techniques are taught as part of first aid throughout the world, although some more advanced techniques such as tourniquets, are often taught as being reserved for use by health professionals, or as an absolute last resort, in order to mitigate the risks associated with them, such as potential loss of limbs. In order to manage bleeding effectively, it is important to be able to readily identify both types of wounds and types of bleeding.
Wounds are normally described in a variety of ways. These may deal with a description of wound size (length) and thickness, or also with the plainly visible wound characteristics. Wounds may be categorized as open or closed, or as either acute or chronic in origin. The most common descriptors of wounds are these: