What are the 3 Ps of First Aid? Find Answers

When it comes to providing first aid, the three Ps – Preserve life, Prevent further injury, and Promote recovery – serve as the primary principles that guide every action taken. These 3 Ps of First Aid guide all first aid actions, making sure the right steps are taken in the right order for the best possible result.

This guide looks closely at each P, helping you understand and feel confident in how to help in different situations.

first aiders helping a casualty

Preserving life is the first and most important part of the 3 Ps of first aid, critical for saving lives. In an emergency, the main goal is to keep the injured or ill person alive until medical help arrives.

This principle highlights the importance of dealing with life-threatening conditions straight away, like heavy bleeding, difficulty breathing, or heart attacks.

This involves several life-saving techniques, such as:

1. Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR)

CPR is a vital skill that combines chest compressions and rescue breaths to maintain blood circulation in the body when the heart stops.

Acting quickly and performing CPR well can greatly improve the odds of survival during cardiac arrest.

2. Airway Management

Keeping the airway open is crucial for saving lives. First aiders learn to spot and deal with any air blockages that could stop someone from breathing properly, like objects or swelling in the airway.

3. Bleeding Control

Serious bleeding can quickly become life-threatening. First aiders are taught methods like applying pressure directly, using tourniquets, and packing wounds to stop too much blood from being lost. You can check our cpr and aed training here.

Four Points to Note:

The main aim of first aid is to keep the person alive.

What to do first:

  1. Check the Area: Make sure it’s safe for you and the person. Look out for dangers like traffic or fire.
  2. Check for Response: Gently tap the person and ask loudly if they’re okay. If they do not answer, they might be unconscious.
  3. Check Breathing: Watch if their chest moves, listen for breathing sounds, or feel for air on your cheek near their mouth. If they’re not breathing, start CPR.
  4. Stop Bleeding: Put pressure on any bleeding cuts with a clean cloth. If that doesn’t work, try pressure points or a tourniquet as a last resort.

The Second P of First Aid is to Prevent Further Injury. After dealing with life-threatening situations, the next step is to avoid making things worse or causing more harm.

This means stabilising the situation and reducing the chances of further injury.

  1. Keeping Still:

If someone might have a broken bone or strained muscle, it is important to keep them still to avoid making the injury worse. First aiders are trained on how to use splints, slings, and other methods to keep injured areas stable and ease discomfort.

  1. Safe Surroundings:

 Checking for dangers in the surroundings is crucial to prevent more harm. This could mean moving the person away from danger, dealing with fire or chemical risks, or stopping them from getting too cold or hot.

  1. Comfort and Calm

Offering emotional support and encouragement can prevent further problems caused by stress. First aiders are trained to communicate effectively to help calm people down and make them feel better in tough situations.

Five Points to Note

Once you have secured their immediate safety, focus on not allowing situation to get worse.

What to do:

  1. Maintain Airway Flow: Tilt the person’s head back and lift their chin to open their airway.
  2. Control Bleeding: Keep applying pressure to any bleeding until help arrives.
  3. Manage Shock: Look for signs like pale skin, fast breathing, and weak pulse. If possible, raise their legs and keep them warm with blankets.
  4. Treat other Injuries: If there’s time, check for other injuries like sprains or burns. Give basic care but deal with life-threatening issues first.
  5. Monitor the person(s): Keep an eye on their breathing, pulse, and how conscious they are.

The third P of first aid, promote recovery, focuses on taking steps to facilitate the healing process and improve the general outcome for the injured or ill person.

  1. Keep Watching and Checking

First aiders are trained to keep an eye on the person’s condition and check how they’re doing. They look for any changes and adjust their help if needed.

  1. Make Them Comfortable

Simple things like finding a comfy position, keeping them warm or cool, and offering reassurance can help them feel better and recover faster.

  1. Get Ready for Medical help

First aid is often just the start of getting help. First aiders get the person ready for professional medical care by noting down what’s happened, watching for any changes, and talking clearly to emergency responders or doctors.

Promoting recovery is the final Ps of the 3 Ps of first aid you should know.

It is important to understand that you have a legal duty of care to act reasonably in an emergency situation.

This means taking steps to help the casualty without causing further harm.

If you’re not sure what to do, focus on calling for help and comforting the person until help arrives.

You can read more about duty of care on first aid legal requirements for employers and employees.

To effectively apply the 3 Ps of first aid, it’s vital to get thorough training from skilled trainers. First aid courses not only teach the needed skills but also let you practice them in real-life scenarios.

Reputable first aid training providers like us offer various courses for different situations. We provide bespoke first aid training based on needs, industry, and staff duties.

These cover workplace first aid, first aid for children and schools, handling emergencies, and specialised training for health workers or emergency responders.

infography on the First Aid 3 Ps

The 3 Ps of first aid – Preserve life, Prevent further injury, and Promote recovery – serve as a universal outline for providing valuable and supportive care in emergency situations.

 Following these principles can really change what happens to someone who’s hurt or sick, maybe even saving lives and making sure things don’t get worse.

Getting good first aid training and keeping on learning is not just a smart thing to do, it is also a way to make our work environment safer and more ready for anything.

Remember, when something goes wrong, what you do first can make a big difference.

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