First Aid

What is the Aim of First Aid? – An Overview

Ricky Kambray
Ricky Kambray

What is the aim of first aid? The “Three Ps” — preserve life, prevent further harm, and promote recovery — are frequently referred to as the main objectives of first aid. They are significant because they provide a structured approach to emergency situations.

The goal of first aid is to offer quick, temporary treatment to someone who is injured or has fallen ill. The three Ps are crucial parts of emergency response since these can significantly impact –

  • saving a person’s life,
  • lowering the chance of further harm,
  • and promoting recovery.

Let’s explore these three essential steps that should be followed in an emergency circumstance in more detail.

Besides, you can learn everything you need about getting a first aid and CPR certificate from our other blog.

Prior to that, we will briefly describe first aid using a few instances.

Cartoonish illustration of doctor with stethoscope.

What is First Aid?

First aid is the medical care provided in an emergency. This is given right away at the scene of the accident after the injury. Examples of first aid include:

  • cleaning wounds, 
  • treating burns,
  • delivering non-prescription medication to sufferers, 
  • clearing debris from the scene, 
  • conducting CPR, 
  • applying bandages etc.

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What is the Aim of First Aid – Three Ps

Here comes our key topic, what is the aim of first aid? The aim of first aid comprises of three Ps that stand for the three top priorities that anyone providing first aid during an emergency should pay attention to:

First aider checking the victim’s airway during CPR training session.

Preserve Life

Preserving life is the most crucial goal of first aid when dealing with life-threatening situations like cardiac arrest, severe bleeding, choking, or severe burns, since it is the first responsibility to ensure that the individual receives the attention and treatment they need to survive. 

Anyone can quickly assess and manage a person in an emergency until trained medical assistance comes by using the ABC technique.This ABC technique stands for the steps —

  • airway, 
  • breathing, 
  • and circulation

If the patient is not breathing, you must perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) to maintain circulation and oxygenation.

You can learn all about the ABC technique of first aid from our other blog. In case of severe bleeding, the first aid provider must apply direct pressure to the wound to control bleeding and avoid shock. To keep an open airway and avoid choking if the patient is unconscious, the first aid provider must put the patient in the recovery position. First aid done correctly helps calm the patient and reduce their degree of pain during the treatment process.

First aider applying bandage on injured arm

Prevent Further Harm

Preventing deterioration or the casualty’s condition from worsening is first aid’s second goal. It focuses on reducing the risk of the injured person suffering additional harm or damage. You can use several different methods, such as the following, to accomplish this:

ImmobilisationImmobilising the injured limb can help avoid additional injury if there is a suspected bone fracture or joint injury. To do this, you can use a brace, sling, or splint to keep the injured area immobile.
Wound careIn cases of cuts, scratches, or other sorts of wounds, good wound care can help stop additional harm. This can entail —

  • treating the wound to keep it free from further contamination, 
  • cleansing the wound to prevent bleeding, 
  • or applying a bandage to stop infection.
ElevationElevation can help minimise swelling and limit further damage to an injured limb. This is crucial for sprains and strains since raised position can lessen the blood flow to the wounded area and lessen pain.
IcePutting ice on an injured region will help to reduce swelling and stop future damage. For example, to protect the skin, apply ice for 15-20 minutes while wrapping it in a towel or cloth.

Cartoonish illustration of running doctor with first aid kit.

Promote Recovery

Promoting recovery, the last stage of first aid aims to efficiently hasten the affected person’s recovery from their injury or illness. This can be accomplished performing a variety of techniques, such as:

Pain ReliefApplying the RICE treatment is one of several methods for pain relief. RICE stands for:

  • Rest the injury by making sure it doesn’t move
  • Ice the affected area to cool down
  • Compression by applying pressure or covering the area using a bandage
  • Elevation to improve blood flow and reduce swelling
Referral to Medical ProfessionalsIf the victim’s injury is severe, you should arrange prompt emergency medical care to aid in their recovery. This can entail making arrangements for the victim’s transportation to the hospital for additional evaluation and treatment, or it might entail making an appointment with a physician or other specialist.  
Follow-up CareIt’s crucial to follow up with medical experts to promote recovery. It involves:

  • adhering to prescribed medication, 
  • going to appointments for physical therapy or rehabilitation, 
  • or changing one’s lifestyle to aid in healing.
Rest and RelaxationIn order to promote recovery, it is crucial to let the body time to heal and rest. This could entail —

  • limiting physical activity, 
  • getting enough sleep, 
  • and practising stress-relieving practices like yoga or meditation.

Preserving lives should always be the primary aim of all first-aiders. But keep in mind, this also applies to your own life! Never put your safety or the safety of others in jeopardy. Stay back and seek aid if the situation is too risky for you to enter.

The first aid worker must stay calm and focused because time is important when saving lives. As getting medical help quickly is crucial, they should contact emergency services and give details about the patient’s condition and location. 

Wrapping Up

Hopefully, after going through the entire write-up, you now have a pretty good understanding of the question, “What is the aim of first aid?” You can easily remember the goal of first aid by the three Ps – techniques that are to preserve lives, prevent the risk of further injury and promote recovery by helping individuals from their injuries or illnesses as quickly and effectively as possible.


What is shock in first aid?

In first aid, shock is a state that happens when the body’s organs and tissues do not get enough oxygen and blood to run properly due to severe bleeding, trauma, dehydration, etc. It is crucial to seek medical assistance right away if you suspect someone is experiencing shock.

What is first aid kit?

A first aid kit is a set of basic medical supplies and equipment used to offer initial care to a person who has been hurt or is having a medical emergency. The kit typically contains items such as bandages, gauze pads, antiseptic wipes, scissors, disposable gloves, painkillers etc.

What are the 5 main principles of first aid?

The five main principles of first aid are:

  • Prioritise safety
  • Assess the situation
  • Call for emergency medical services
  • Provide care
  • Monitor and reassess.

What is first aid training?

First aid training is intended to provide learners the skills and knowledge they need to handle a variety of medical emergencies. The training covers basic medical techniques, such as CPR, wound treatment, treating shock etc.

What are the 10 goals for first aid?

The ten primary goals for first aid treatments are:

  • Preserve life
  • Prevent further injury
  • Promote recovery
  • Relieve pain
  • Prevent infection
  • Control bleeding
  • Treat shock
  • Assess and manage life-threatening emergencies
  • Transport the affected individual
  • Provide comfort and support

How do we perform CPR?

Calling for emergency medical help is the first step in performing CPR. Then, in a 30:2 ratio, give chest compressions (30 compressions at a rate of 100–120 per minute) and two rescue breaths. Continue this pattern until the person begins to feel better or aid from a professional becomes available.


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Ricky Kambray

Hey this is Ricky Kambray an award-winning first-aid trainer with over 20 years of healthcare and teaching expertise. Highly certified general nurse regularly appears in the press discussing accident prevention and first aid advice.