What Is Basic First Aid?

Basic first aid involves controlling the situation, contacting emergency services if necessary, and understanding what the best treatment is for various types of injuries, ailments and situations. The type of first aid that should be administered varies depending on the injury, states WebMD.

In the case of a cut or wound, emergency services should be called if there is severe bleeding, if blood is spurting from the wound, or if the wound does not stop bleeding after pressure has been applied to the area for 10 consecutive minutes, states WebMD.

In the case of burns, WebMD advises calling emergency services if the burn has penetrated all layers of the skin, if the skin has a charred appearance, or if the blister is larger than 2 inches in diameter. The person administering aid should remove restrictive clothing from around the burn immediately. For smaller first-degree burns, cool the burn with water or cool compresses, and protect the burn with a clean cloth or gauze. Physicians do not recommend the use of butter or ointment to soothe the burn.

All homes should keep a basic first aid kit containing important personal items such as medications, various bandages and gauze, aspirin, latex gloves, antibiotic ointment, antiseptic wipes, tweezers, and a booklet detailing basic first aid treatments, states the Red Cross. In any emergency situation, an individual should not attempt to administer aid if he cannot do so without putting himself at risk.