First Aid is the immediate and temporary basic medical care provided to an ill or injured victim, until more advanced care arrives or the person recovers. It is a life-saving medical technique that a non-medical person or a lay person can be trained to perform with minimal equipment.
Aim of First Aid
The key aim of first aid can be summarized in three key points.
The overriding aim of all medical care, including first aid, is to save lives.
Prevent Further Harm
To prevent the condition from worsening. This covers both external factors, such as moving a patient away from any cause of harm, and applying first aid techniques to prevent worsening of the condition, e.g. applying pressure to stop bleeding from becoming excessive and dangerous.
First Aid encompasses DRABCD. That is:
IMGS (International Medical Guide for Ships)
All ships should carry medical instruments, a medical chest and a copy of medical guide, as required by the International Labour Organisation's Maritime Labour Convention 2006.
The International Medical Guide for Ships gives guidelines on how to diagnose, treat and prevent health problems in seafarers, mainly focusing on the first 48 hours after injury.
In addition to giving guidelines to diagnose and treat a patient onboard, the Medical Guide also gives guidelines on preventing various health problems those may be faced by the seafarers. Illustrations in the book make it easier for the medical officer onboard to get the information for treatment.
It covers from simple injury to many types of diseases, pregnancy, child birth, death and caring of rescued persons
It endeavours to give the seafarer the treatment and health protection that is available ashore.
World Health Organisation 2007
According to the specifications of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Maritime Labour Convention 2006, all ships must have a medicine chest, medical kit and medical guidelines. The main principles of International Medical Guide for Ships are to make sure that:
The ILO Maritime Labour Convention states that ships engaged on international journey for duration of more than three days and having 100 persons or more must have a well-qualified medical doctor to provide medical care. Ships without a medical doctor can have any of the following:
Mariners who are not medical doctors but take in-charge of medical care on board must have finished training in medical care meeting all the needs of the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watch keeping for Seafarers. The International Medical Guide for Ships acts as a standard guide for such training courses. The ILO Maritime Labour Convention 2006 specifies that the skilled authority must make sure that the medical advice given (via radio and satellites) to ships travelling in sea is available for 24 hours a day.
IMGS explains when it is necessary to seek such medical advice. By having IMGS on board ships and following the given instructions, the countries can do the following:
IMGS (International Medical Guide for ships) contains the following: