First Aid : Basics, definition and MCQ

First Aid- Basics, definitions and Multiple Choice Questions

First aid is the initial assistance or treatment given to a person who is injured or suddenly becomes ill.


â–  To understand your own abilities and limitations.

â–  To stay safe and calm at all times.

â–  To assess a situation quickly and calmly and summon the appropriate help if necessary.

â–  To assist the casualty and provide the necessary treatment, with the help of others if possible.

â–  To pass on relevant information to the emergency services, or to the person who takes responsibility for the casualty.

â–  To be aware of your own needs.

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First aid refers to the actions taken in response to someone who is injured or has suddenly become ill. A first aider is a person who takes action while taking care to keep everyone involved safe and to cause no further harm while doing so. Follow the actions that most benefit the casualty, taking into account your own skills, knowledge, and experience.

One of the primary rules of first aid is to ensure that an area is safe for you before you approach a casualty.

Do not attempt heroic rescues in hazardous circumstances. If you put yourself at risk, you are unlikely to be able to help casualties and could become one yourself and cause harm to others.




â–  Assess a situation quickly and calmly.

â–  Protect yourself and any casualties from danger—never put yourself at risk.

â–  Prevent cross-contamination between yourself and the casualty as best as possible.

â–  Comfort and reassure casualties.

â–  Assess the casualty: identify, as best as you can, the injury or nature of illness affecting a casualty.

â–  Give early treatment, and treat the casualties with the most serious (life-threatening) conditions first.




When responding to an emergency you should recognize the emotional and physical needs of all involved, including your own. You should look after your own psychological health and be able to recognize stress if it develops.

A calm, considerate response from you that engenders trust and respect from those around you is fundamental to your being able to give or receive information from a casualty or witnesses effectively.

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This includes being aware of, and managing, your reactions, so that you can focus on the casualty and make an assessment.

By talking to a casualty in a kind, considerate, gentle but firm manner, you will inspire confidence in your actions and this will generate trust between you and the casualty. Without this confidence he may not tell you about an important event, injury, or symptom, and may remain in a highly distressed state.


The key steps to being an effective first aider are:


â–  Be calm in your approach

â–  Be aware of risks (to yourself and others)

â–  Build and maintain trust (from the casualty and the bystanders)

â–  Give early treatment, treating the most serious (life-threatening) conditions first

â–  Call appropriate help

â–  Remember your own needs




When you give first aid, it is important to protect yourself (and the casualty) from infection as well as injury.

Take steps to avoid cross-contamination—transmitting germs or infection to a casualty or contracting infection from a casualty. Remember, infection is a risk even with relatively minor injuries. It is a particular concern if you are treating a wound, because blood-borne viruses, such as hepatitis B or C and Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), may be transmitted by contact with blood.

In practice, the risk is low and should not deter you from carrying out first aid. The risk increases if an infected person’s blood makes contact with yours through a cut or scrape.

Usually, taking measures such as washing your hands and wearing disposable gloves will provide sufficient protection for you and the casualty. There is no known evidence of these blood-borne viruses being transmitted during resuscitation. If a face shield or pocket mask is available, it should be used when you give rescue breaths.

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Do wash your hands and wear latex-free disposable gloves (in case you or the casualty are allergic to latex). If gloves are not available, ask the casualty to dress his or her own wound, or enclose your hands in clean plastic bags.

â–  Do cover cuts and scrapes on your hands with waterproof dressings.

â–  Do wear a plastic apron if dealing with large quantities of body fluids, and wear glasses or goggles to protect your eyes.

â–  Do dispose of all waste safely.

â–  Do not touch a wound or any part of a dressing that will come into contact with a wound with your bare hands.

â–  Do not breathe, cough, or sneeze over a wound while you are treating a casualty.




Casualties are often frightened because of what is happening to them, and what may happen next. Your role is to stay calm and take charge of the situation—but be ready to stand back if there is someone better qualified. If there is more than one casualty, use the primary survey to identify the most seriously injured casualties and treat in the order of priority.




Establish trust with your casualty by introducing yourself. Find out what the person likes to be called, and use his name when you talk to him. Crouch or kneel down so that you are at the same height as the casualty. Explain what is happening and why. You will inspire trust if you say what you are doing before you do it. Treat the casualty with dignity and respect at all times.

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Consider the age and appearance of your casualty when you talk to him, since different people need different responses. Respect people’s wishes; accept that someone might want to be treated in a particular way. Communication can be difficult if a person speaks a different language or cannot hear you. Use simple language or signs or write questions down. Ask if anyone speaks the same language as the casualty or knows the person or saw the incident and can describe what happened.



â–  Make eye contact, but look away now and then so as not to stare.

â–  Use a calm, confident voice that is loud enough to be heard but do not shout.

â–  Do not speak too quickly.

â–  Keep instructions simple: use short sentences and simple words.

â–  Use affirming nods to show you are listening when the casualty speaks.

â–  Check that the casualty understands what you mean—ask to make sure.

â–  Use simple hand gestures and movements.

â–  Do not interrupt the casualty, but always acknowledge what you are told; for example, summarize what a casualty has told you to show that you understand.

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Basic definitions of First Aid


Airway: The path that air follows to get into and out of the lungs. The mouth and nose are the normal entry and exit ports for the airway. Entering air then passes through the back of the throat (pharynx) and continues through the voice box (larynx), down the trachea, to finally pass through the bronchi.

Anesthetic: A substance that causes lack of feeling or awareness, dulling pain to permit surgery and other painful procedures.

Antibiotic: A drug used to treat bacterial infections.

Aspirin: The common name for this anti-inflammatory pain reliever.

Asthma: A common lung disorder in which inflammation causes the bronchi to swell.

Blood pressure: The blood pressure is the pressure of the blood within the arteries.

Blood sugar: Blood glucose.

Breathing: The process of respiration, during which air is inhaled into the lungs.

Calamine: An astringent made from zinc carbonate or zinc oxide, customarily used in lotion form to treat skin problems or insect bites that cause itching or discomfort.

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Cardiac: Having to do with the heart.

Cardiopulmonary: Having to do with both the heart and lungs.

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation(CPR): A life-saving emergency procedure that involves breathing for the victim and applying external chest compression to make the heart pump. Abbreviated CPR. In the early stages of a heart attack, death can often be avoided if a bystander starts CPR within 5 minutes of the onset of ventricular fibrillation. When paramedics arrive, medications and/or electrical shock (cardioversion) to the heart can be administered to convert ventricular fibrillation to a normal heart rhythm. Prompt CPR and rapid paramedic response can improve the chances of survival from a heart attack.

Decongestant: A drug that shrinks the swollen membranes in the nose, making it easier for breathing.

Defibrillator: A device that corrects an abnormal heart rhythm by delivering electrical shock.

Heart attack: The death of heart muscle due to the loss of blood supply.

Hygiene: The science of preventive medicine and the preservation of health.

Hypoglycemia: Low blood sugar (glucose).

Injury: Harm or hurt. To harm, hurt, or wound.

Insulin: A natural hormone made by the pancreas that controls the level of the sugar glucose.

Laxative: Something that promotes emptying of the bowels. Laxatives are used to combat constipation. They are sometimes overused, producing diarrhea. Laxatives include milk of magnesia and many others.

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Lethal: Deadly.

Lightheadedness: A feeling you are "going to faint."

Lubricant: An oily or slippery substance.

Nausea: Stomach queasiness, the urge to vomit.

Pain: An unpleasant sensation that can range from mild, localized discomfort to agony.

Prescription: A physician's order for the preparation and administration of a drug.

Primary care: A patient's main source for regular medical care.

Pulse: The rhythmic dilation of an artery that results from beating of the heart.

Resuscitation: The procedure of restoring to life, as in cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

Spinal cord: The major column of nerve tissue that is connected to the brain.

Stroke: The sudden death of brain cells due to lack of oxygen, caused by blockage of blood.

Topical: Pertaining to a particular surface area.

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Trauma: A physical or emotional injury.

X-ray: High-energy radiation with waves shorter than those of visible light.


Multiple Choice Questions (MCQ)


1. When making a 911 call, what are the three W’s?

A. Who, What, Where

B. Where, What and Why

C. Why, When and Where

D. Who, What and When


2. What is first aid?

A. Completing a primary survey

B. The first help given to the victim of an accident

C. Assessing a victim’s vital signs

D. Treating a victim for shock


3. What treatment does a victim who’s life threatening condition is “not breathing” need?

A. The Heimlich Maneuver, two rescue breaths and CPR

B. Start CPR immediately

C. Twelve to fifteen rescue breaths per minute and correct CPR

D. You should follow the steps for rescue breathing

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4. The best treatment for all heart attack victims is immediate CPR.



5. Sharp, stabbing twinges of pain in the chest is a sure sign of a heart attack. TRUE FALSE


6. The accepted treatment for a femor or thigh fracture is:

A Place a short padded splint on each side of the leg

B This type of fracture is best handled by a traction splint applied by those with special training

C Move the victim before properly applying a leg splint

D Bind both legs with two long splints using two cravats, one above and one below the break

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7. The victim of a poisonous snake bite is not at risk for getting rabies. TRUE FALSE

8. Some people are very allergic to insect bites and stings. This condition is called:

A Septic shock

B Cardiac arrest

C Toxic shock syndrome

D Anaphylactic shock


9. A small animal that is almost invisible, burrows into the skin and causes itching:

A Common wood tick

B Limon-Lyme tick

C Rocky mountain spotted tick

D Chigger


10. The accepted treatment for a sprained ankle is:

A Remove the shoe and check for swelling using the capillary reflex method

B Keep the shoe on, apply an ankle bandage for support, elevate and apply cold towels

C Keep the shoe on, apply an ankle splint and apply heat if possible

D Have the victim walk or move as soon as possible to prevent stiffness

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11. The accepted treatment for a nose bleed is:

A Use direct pressure, elevation and pressure points to control the bleeding

B Tilt the head back and tightly squeeze the nostrils

C Have the victim lean forward. Apply gentle pressure on the nostril. Apply cold towels.

D Lay the victim on his back and treat for shock. Apply heat if available


12. What is the best definition of the “Hurry Cases”?

A Breathing, bleeding and broken bones

B Any condition that threatens a victim’s life

C Any illness where the victim vomits

D Any accident requiring rescue breathing


13. After you have surveyed an accident scene and provided for your own safety you should:

A Take charge, remain calm and act with confidence to the level of your training

B Provide primary treatment for shock

C Call 911 or your local emergency number

D Provide immediate treatment for the “hurry cases”


14. It is not necessary to determine if a person with an obstructed airway has a pulse. TRUE FALSE


15. To treat a first degree burn you should:

A Apply a good quality burn cream or ointment

B Clean the area thoroughly with hot soapy water

C Apply a constricting band between the burn and the heart

D Apply cool running water until there is little or no remaining pain


16. A victim that has come in contact with poison ivy should:

A Wait at least 20 minutes before washing the affected area with hot water and soap

B Rinse the affected area immediately with soap and water

C Continue to wear clothes that have come in contact with the plant

D Immediately scratch and rub the affected area to provide long-term relief from the itching

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17. Which of the following techniques is not suitable for moving an unconscious victim?

A Improvised stretcher

B Four-handed seat carry

C Two person carry

D Blanket drag


18. Assuming you are properly trained, the best procedure to follow for a water rescue is:

A Throw, row then go

B Try to reach from the shore, then throw a rope or rescue device, last go with support

C Swim with support, throw a rope or flotation device, reach with a pole from shore

D Reach, paddle, swim


19. What is the appropriate treatment for a suspected broken collarbone or shoulder?

A Apply a simple sling. Bind the sling to the chest with a cravat

B Use the cross your heart padded chest support method

C Use the flail chest protection system

D Apply a modified “Johnson Traction Splint”


20. Which statement about a simple sling is true?

A The part of the sling against the chest goes over the shoulder on the injured arm

B The “pigtail” protects the neck from injury from the sling

C The injured hand should be four to six inches higher than the elbow

D The part of the sling furthest away from the chest passes over the shoulder on the injured arm

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21. White or grayish-yellow patches on someone’s ears, noses or cheeks are signs of

A Frostbite

B Cold related stress disorder

C Anaphylactic shock

D Hypothermia


22. The primary symptom of the advanced stages of hypothermia requiring immediate medical attention is violent shivering. TRUE FALSE


23. The symptoms of Heat Stroke and Heat Exhaustion are very similar and are often confused. TRUE FALSE


24. Which of the following correctly describes the CPR technique for an adult:

A Four cycles of 15 compressions followed by 1 breath each minute

B One cycle of one breath and 10 compressions each 2 to 3 inches deep per minute

C Twelve cycles of one breath and 5 compressions per minute

D Four cycles of two breaths and 15 compressions per minute


25. What is the best procedure for treating a known poisonous snake bite?

A Capture the snake. Place it in an ice chest and take the snake and victim to a hospital.

B Place a constricting bandage 4 inches above the head of the snake to slow the spread of venom

C Keep the victim calm, keep the bite location lower than the heart, get medical help immediately

D Treat the victim for shock and continue the planned activity

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26. Identify the aim of first aid:

A Keep the victim alive

B Make him comfortable

C Assist in pain control

D Prevent its condition getting worse

E All of the above


27. Identify the most severe first aid situation from the list that requires immediate action to be taken :

A Bone fracture

B Cardiac arrest

C Deep cuts with foreign objects


28. Explain the acronym ABC used during first aid procedures:

A Airway, Breathing, Cardiac

B Assessment, Breathing, Circulation

C Airway, Body check, Cardiac

D Airway, Breathing, Circulation


29. Explain the term ‘recovery position’ when related to first aid:

A The position the first aider sits in to recover

B The position that the animal is in at the time of its injury

C The position in which to place the animal to ensure breathing is assisted and the heart is exposed for emergency procedures, if required

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30. Identify the type of problem that blue mucous membranes might indicate :

A Lack of food

B Rolling in blue paint

C Lack of water

D Lack of oxygen




  1. A

  2. B

  3. D

  4. FALSE

  5. FALSE

  6. B

  7. TRUE

  8. D

  9. D

  10. B

  11. C

  12. B

  13. A

  14. True

  15. D

  16. B

  17. B

  18. B

  19. A

  20. D

  21. A

  22. False

  23. False

  24. D

  25. C

  26. E All of the points listed are aims of first aid.

  27. B Cardiac arrest takes precedence in treatment over deep cuts and fractures. If the heart is not working, then there is no point in treating the other conditions until the heart has been restarted. Log on to for CMR/MMR/GATE test series

  28. D ABC = Airway – to ensure it is not obstructed; if it is, then clear it, if safe to do so; Breathing – to make sure this is possible and assist with artificial respiration if required; Circulation – Heart and pulse – check the beat, its rate and strength, and record the information. If the heart has stopped, then proceed with heart massage.

  29. C The recovery position is the position in which the victim would be placed to promote its recovery in terms of breathing and circulation.

  30. D Blue mucous membranes indicate that there is a problem with oxygen getting to the tissues of the body. Log on to for CMR/MMR/GATE test series





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