The Feminist's Guide To First Aid

By Holly Thompson

First Aid is the skill of being able to help someone in a medical emergency. Even the smallest amount of support can make the difference between life and death. This website articles are based on feminism and human rights, meaning this article is slightly out of place. However, wouldn’t it be easier to battle inequality and promote feminism if everyone was actually well and living?

There is no way I could cover every form of first aid and care you could do but this will hopefully be a short and helpful guide to use from an accident in the workplace to a car accident.

The most important thing is to do what you feel comfortable with.


Cough it out-Try and encourage the person to cough. If this doesn’t work lean the person forward and put your arm in front of them to support them.

Slap it out- Give up to five blows between the shoulder blades with the heel of your hand. Between each blow check the mouth to see if it has come off.

Squeeze it out-If you’ve done the five blows and it still hasn’t come out, next is the abdominal thrusts. Stand behind the person and link your hands below their rib cage with your hands clenched together is one fist.Pull sharply inwards and upwards up to five times. Again checking between each one.

Do the cycle of back blows and abdominal thrusts up to three times. If it still hasn’t cleared ring Emergency Services. If they become unconscious start CPR.

Severe Bleeding


Apply direct pressure to the wound with a pad or fingers. If there is an object in the wound DO NOT remove it, apply pressure either side of the object. If you have a bandage, bandage the would firmly to control bleeding but not crazy tight so you cut off circulation.

After applying pressure raise the injured limb. If it’s the arm, get them to sit down and raise it above their head, depending on age you may need to support them. If it is a leg, lie them down and raise their one leg. Call the emergency services and keep the person comfortable.


Shock tends to be the result of blood loss. If the person is bleeding severely it is best to treat for shock straight away just in case. A person in shock tends to be pale and have blue tinted lips. Lie them down and raise the legs, the easiest way of doing this is to place their legs on a chair. If you have a blanket, place that over them too.


As soon as possible place the burnt area in running water. It must be running in order to cool the wound. Keep the wound under water for at least 10 minutes. Remove any tight clothing or jewellery before the area swells. DO NOT remove anything that has stuck to the burn. Do not apply any creams, oils or pop any blisters. If the burn is all the way around a limb, deep, big or on a child take them to see a doctor.


Call emergency services before you progress. If you can, place your phone on speaker while you continue with CPR.

Pump-Place one hand in the centre of their chest. Place the heel of the other hand on top and interlock your fingers, but keep your fingers off their ribs. Lean directly above their chest and press down vertically, keeping your elbows locked. Push down about 5cm on an adult and release the pressure, without removing your hands. Give 30 of these compressions. An easy way to remember the timing of these compressions is to do it at the beat of “Ah Ah Ah Ah Stayin Alive, Stayin Alive” the song by the Bee Gees.

Breathes- aka Kiss of life. Tilt the head back and lift the chin. Pinch the nose and cover their mouth with yours. Blow steadily into the mouth until the chest rises. Move your head away to breathe in again and repeat so you’ve given two rescue breaths.

Repeat this cycle 30:2 until help arrives, they start breathing normally or you physically can’t continue.

Children-With children or people who have drowned complete 5 rescue breaths before starting the 30:2 ratio. Also with young children only use one hand with the compressions and don’t push so deep.

Recovery position

Put a person in this position shown below if they are unconscious (not responding to you) but are breathing.

Once in this position tilt their head back to open their airway. Check they cannot roll forward or backwards, you want them to stay on their side. Make sure they are kept warm with blankets if cold. If they are bleeding treat that and if they don’t come round, ring emergency services.

Chest Pain

Call emergency services if you suspect a heart attack and make them comfortable. Sit the person down and lift their knees so that they are in the W position shown below. If they have angina medication, help them to take it. Keep them calm and monitor them until help arrives.

Sorry for the overload of info guys, but if any of this sticks,it could make the biggest difference in an emergency situation. First Aid is an amazing skill that could honestly save lives and being able to support somebody on one of their worst days.