First Aid: Procedures that FED/OSHA consider first aid

Have you ever wondered what is considered a first aid as opposed to an actual worker’s compensation injury? When I had barely started this job, I knew that this concept was fundamental in understanding many of the issues that arise within the realm of worker’s compensation.  I could even go as far as saying this is the central issue within worker’s compensation. In order to fully understand the difference, FED/OSHA has defined first aid procedures clearly in order to differentiate the difference an injury from a first aid. Image

  • First aid is usually rendered soon after the injury has occurred and within the location where the location occurred.  For instance, if someone has a cut, first aid treatment such as cleaning out the cut and placing a bandage over it would be a prime example of administering first aid.
  • First aid can be defined as a one-time treatment or a short-term treatment.  First aid is a relatively simple concept to understand because the treatment is usually either one time or short-term. In other words, even if you received treatment the first time you get a first aid then a follow up appointment would all be considered the norm of the first aid procedure. When I barely started, I remember when I would be confused in thinking that first aid had to be a “one-time visit.” Yet, one-time treatment can span two doctor visits and still be considered a first aid. The key word is short-term and anything that is not considered short-term will be categorized as an injury.
  • First aid treatment is simple and requires no advance medical technology. As my other blog articles have shown, treating simple wounds or scrapes requires at the bare minimum: water, soap, antibiotic cream, and dressing. It does not require advanced medical tools that would only be found in hospital. 
  • First aid can be delivered by someone with little training and even the injured can treat it themselves. I think this concept explains first aid the best. When treating a minor cut or burn, if you, the injured person, can wash it out and out a bandage over it, then the likelihood of it being first aid is highly likely. On the other hand, if the burn or cut is uncontrollable and dangerous, then this requires immediate medical attention.
  • First aid can also be defined as delivering treatment to stop the cut or burn from worsening, but an actual injury requires medical treatment. Basically, if I obtain a laceration on my arm, first aid will be administered to prevent my wound from getting an infection and heal properly. On the other hand, if I break my arm then- without a doubt- I have to have medical treatment and even surgery.

This is not intended to provide medical advice. In the act of an emergency, please contact the nearest hospital.

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