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What Is Advanced First Aid?

Antiseptic ointment may be spread over wounds as part of first aid.
Advanced first aid may include the administration of CPR.
First responders often wear surgical gloves to prevent the spread of disease.
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  • Written By: Phil Shepley
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 22 July 2014
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Advanced first aid is a combination of training, techniques, and knowledge of equipment required to administer immediate care for a person who has been afflicted by any number of illnesses or injuries. While the term first aid can apply to the same characteristics, advanced first aid will typically require a higher level of training, as well as the use of more specialized equipment. In some instances, advanced first aid must be used on a person simply to prevent further complications from a problem until professionals can assist. Other situations, however, require immediate life-saving first aid techniques that, if not applied, will most certainly result in the death of the patient.

Advanced first aid encompasses all of the basic techniques and skills that are required for basic first aid knowledge. These skills involve the treatment of problems that involve the breathing, airway, and circulation of the patient, all of which involve his or her essential life functions that must be taken care of prior to less critical injuries. For instance, it is a priority that the breathing passage of a choking patient is cleared before anything else since breathing is an essential function for survival. Similarly, a deep wound that is bleeding heavily must be contained by the proper procedures, otherwise the patient can die from blood loss. Another tool of advanced first aid is cardiopulmonary resuscitation, or CPR, which is used on patients who have suffered from cardiac or respiratory arrest in order to attempt to revive them.

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Advanced first aid training involves ways to treat patients when no equipment is available, by using surrounding resources and people. In an emergency situation, the affliction of the patient may require the person applying first aid to use cloth from a shirt to stop bleeding, ice to prevent swelling or even a steak knife to administer an emergency tracheotomy, for example. Most of the time, however, the people who are trained in advanced first aid will have access to an equipment kit.

An advanced first aid kit contains all of the essential equipment for aiding a patient who is in need of immediate medical attention from a wide array of medical problems, although some of these kits can be comprised of equipment for the aid of victims with a specific affliction. Basic items in a kit can include bandages, wound dressings, ice packs, antiseptic ointments, tweezers, pain relieving medications, latex gloves, first aid instructions and more. More advanced kits can include life-saving machinery such as defibrillators, devices that make instant plaster casts for severe bone breaks and fractures, syringes with specific life-saving drugs, and more.

Advanced equipment for first aid requires proper training. Many organizations, such as the Red Cross, offer courses for training in advanced first aid, which can last as little as several hours for certification. Other first aid techniques will require a degree from a higher institution of learning and can take several years to complete. These cover all of the necessary approaches to treating any number of patients who need immediate medical care in many different life-or-death situations.

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