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First Aid - Disaster | 11th Nursing : Chapter 9 : First Aid

Chapter: 11th Nursing : Chapter 9 : First Aid


A disaster is a sudden calamitous event that seriously disrupts the functioning of a community or society and causes losses that exceeds the community or societys ability to cope using its own resources.


A disaster is a sudden calamitous event that seriously disrupts the functioning of a community or society and causes losses that exceeds the community or societys ability to cope using its own resources.

Red Cross (1975) defines Disaster as “An occurrence such as hurricane, tornado, storm, flood, high water, wind-driven water, tidal wave, earthquake, drought, blizzard, pestilence, famine, fire, explosion, building collapse, transportation wreck, or other situation that causes human suffering or creates human that the victims cannot alleviate without assistance.”

DISASTER’ alphabetically means:

D - Destructions

I - Incidents

S - Sufferings

A - Administrative, Financial Failures.

S - Sentiments

T - Tragedies

E - Eruption of Communicablediseases.

R - Research programme and its implementation


Types of disaster

Classification of First Aids during Disasters

The first aid immediately after a disaster may consist of the following-

1)       Attending to the individuals who have broken limbs, bones and apply local massage therapy.

2)       Disinfecting the body parts/areas where there has been minor bruises with antiseptic and then plastering those areas with bandage.

3)       Attending the parts having burns.

4)       Putting in place a working communication system.

5)       Prevent the spread of contaminated food and drinking water.

6)       Provide post-accident SOS support services to all the affected individuals.


Disaster Triage

The word triage is derived from the French word trier, which means, “to sort out or choose.”

Types of Triage

There are two types of triage:

1.        Simple triage

2.        Advanced triage

Simple Triage

Simple triage is used in a scene of mass casualty, in order to sort patients into those who need critical attention and immediate transport to the hospital and those with less serious injuries.

S.T.A.R.T. (Simple Triage and Rapid Treatment) is a simple triage system that can be performed by lightly trained lay and emergency personnel in emergencies.

Triage separates the injured into four groups:

·           0 – The deceased who are beyond help

·           1 – The injured who can be helped by immediate transportation

·           2 – The injured whose transport can be delayed

·           3 – Those with minor injuries, who need help less urgently

Advanced Triage

Advanced care will be used on patients with less severe injuries. Because treatment is intentionally with held from patients with certain injuries

It is used to divert scarce resources away from patients with little chance of survival in order to increase the chances of survival of others who are more likely to survive.

Principles of advanced triage is

·           “Do the greatest good for the greatest number”

·           Preservation of life takes precedence over preservation of limbs.

Advanced Triage Categories


Victims with serious injuries that are life threatening but has a high probability of survival if they received immediate care.

They require immediate surgery or other life-saving intervention, and have first priority for surgical teams or transport to advanced facilities; they “cannot wait” but are likely to survive with immediate treatment.

“Critical;lifethreatening—compromised airway, shock, hemorrhage”


Victims who are seriously injured and whose life is not immediately threatened; and can delay transport and treatment for 2 hours.

Their condition is stable for the moment but requires watching by trained persons and frequent re-triage, will need hospital care (and would receive immediate priority care under “normal” circumstances).

“Major illness or injury;—open fracture, chest wound”


“Walking wounded,” the casualty requires medical attention when all higher priority patients have been evacuated, and may not require monitoring.

Patients/victims whose care and transport may be delayed 2 hours or more.

“minor injuries; walking wounded— closed fracture, sprain, strain”


They are so severely injured that they will die of their injuries, possibly in hours or days (large-body burns, severe trauma, lethal radiation dose), or in life-threatening medical crisis

that they are unlikely to survive given the care available (cardiac arrest, septic shock, severe head or chest wounds);

They should be taken to a holding area and given painkillers as required to reduce suffering.

“Dead or expected to die—massive head injury, extensive full-thickness burns”

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