Understanding The 3 Ps Of First Aid

6 January 2023
 Categories: , Blog


Whether you're taking a first aid course for professional or personal reasons, it's a great addition to your current skills. On the day, you'll learn about a range of topics that match the environment you're taking the course for. Although courses can differ in terms of content, having an understanding of the 3 Ps can enhance your learning experience. They include preserving life, preventing deterioration and promoting recovery.

Preserve Life

Not all first-aid interactions are so drastic that you need to save someone from imminent danger. However, the principle of preserving life does apply in some scenarios. First, you must look at preserving your own life. Don't provide first aid if there is a risk of harm to yourself. Should you find there's a risk, call the emergency services and don't involve yourself any further. If there isn't any risk to yourself or bystanders, preserving life usually means identifying whether someone is breathing and what you can do to support them. Your course will cover what to do when someone isn't breathing. Other ways of preserving life can mean stopping the flow of bleeding and calling for further medical assistance.

Prevent Deterioration

No matter what condition you find a person in, it's important to prevent deterioration. At the extreme end of the examples, let's assume you successfully resuscitate someone. Your steps towards preventing deterioration may then involve placing them in the recovery position and maintaining their airways. At the more typical end of examples, let's say someone has come to you with a cut. To prevent deterioration, you can assess how bad it is and provide supportive measures such as bandages and dressings. Preventing deterioration can sometimes involve checking on someone from time to time or ensuring they see a medical professional.

Promote Recovery

First aid doesn't require you to be involved with someone's overall recovery journey. However, you can take steps in the moments you interact with them to make recovery more likely. A good example is when someone comes to you with a burn. Cooling their burn using water for a specific period of time can reduce harmful blistering and prevent scarring. Or, if someone has sickness and diarrhea, offering rehydration sachets may stop them from experiencing the consequences of dehydration. The actions you take when you initially assess and treat someone can have a big impact on their outcomes later.

During your first aid course, make sure you keep the 3 Ps in mind so that you can deliver effective care later.


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