First Aid Law and Legal Definition

First aid means the provision of emergency treatment and life support for people who are ill or injured, including dispensing of medication, before professional medical help is available. In administering first aid, the first step is to call for professional medical help, if possible. Secondly, it should be determined what dangers may still be present at the scene of the accident before beginning to provide first aid. The victim, if conscious, should be reassured that medical aid has been summoned, and ask for permission to provide any first aid. Next, ask any bystanders or the injured person's family or friends about details of the injury or illness. Ask about any care that may have already been given, and about any preexisting conditions such as diabetes or heart trouble. The victim should be checked for a medical bracelet or card that describes special medical conditions. The victim shouldn't be moved unless the accident scene becomes unsafe or the victim may suffer further injury.

First aid is governed by federal and state laws, which vary by jurisdiction. The following is a list from OSHA that identifies those injuries that may be considered first aid for OSHA purposes:

“OSHA 1904.7 (b)(5)(ii):

(A) Using a non-prescription medication at non-prescription strength (for medications available in both prescription and non-prescription form, a recommendation by a physician or other licensed health care professional to use a non-prescription medication at prescription strength is considered medical treatment for record keeping purposes.

(B) Administering tetanus immunizations (other immunizations, such as hepatitis B vaccine or rabies vaccine, are considered medical treatment).

(C) Cleaning, flushing, or soaking wounds on the surface of the skin;

(D) Using would coverings, such as bandages, Band-Aids, gauze pads, etc.; or using butterfly bandages or Steri-Strips (other wound closing devices, such as sutures, staples, etc. are considered medical treatment);

(E) Using hot or cold therapy;

(F) Using any non-rigid means of support, such as elastic bandages, wraps, non-rigid back belts, etc. (devices with rigid stays or other systems designed to immobilize parts of the body are considered medical treatment for record keeping purposes);

(G) Using temporary immobilization devices while transporting an accident victim (e.g. splints, slings, neck collars, back boards, etc.)

(H) Drilling of a fingernail or toenail to relieve pressure, or draining fluid from a blister;

(I) Using eye patches;

(J) Removing foreign bodies from the eye using only irrigation or a cotton swab;

(K) Removing splinters or foreign material from areas other than the eye by irrigation, tweezers, cotton swabs, or other simple means;

(L) Using finger guards;

(M) Using massages (physical therapy or chiropractic treatment are considered medical treatment for record keeping purposes);

(N) Drinking fluids for relief of heat stress.

(b)(5)(iii): Are any other procedures included in First Aid? No, this is a complete list of all treatments considered first aid for Part 1904 purposes.”

“(b)(5)(v): If a physician or other licensed health care professional recommends medical treatment, you should encourage the injured or ill employee to follow that recommendation. However, you must record the case even if the injured or ill employee does not follow the physician or other health care professional’s recommendation.”