First aid is the help that you give someone quickly after they have hurt themselves or have had an accident. It can stop a person from becoming more ill. In some cases, it can even save a person's life. Only someone who knows first aid well should try to treat an injured or sick person. Usually, you give first aid until a doctor or an ambulance arrives. Never try to give someone first aid unless you know what to do. The wrong actions can do more harm than good. When someone has been hurt or has had an accident, the first thing to do is get help. If you don't know the phone number of the local doctor or hospital dial an emergency number: 144 for an ambulance, 133 for the fire department and 122 for the police. When you call for help you should be able to give correct information. An ambulance needs to know where the injured person is located and what exactly has happened. In some cases, you will be given instructions on what to do until a doctor or ambulance arrives. Sometimes you cannot wait until help arrives. You must begin helping a person at once, especially if the victim is bleeding strongly, has been poisoned or if breathing has stopped. Even if you wait for a short time this can be fatal. Here are some important rules for immediate help Do not move a person who may have a broken bone, internal injuries or an injured spine unless you really have to. If the victim is lying down, keep the person in that position. Do not allow them to walk or stand up. Never give food or liquid to a person who may need an operation. If the victim is unconscious turn the head to one side to keep the person from choking. But do not move the head of a person who may have Any serious injury or illness may lead to shock. When a person is in shock blood does not carry enough oxygen and food to the brain and other organs. A victim who suffers from shock may look afraid, confused, weak and be extremely thirsty. The skin appears pale and feels cold. Pulse and breathing are fast. To treat shock, place the victim on his or her back and raise the legs a little. Warm the victim by putting blankets around them. Strong bleeding can cause death in minutes. Bleeding from small wounds usually stops after a short time because the blood clots. But clotting cannot stop the flow of blood when a wound is big. The best way to stop bleeding is to press on the wound itself. If possible let the person lie down and raise the bleeding part of the body. Then put a sterile handkerchief, cloth or towel on the wound and press it down with your hand. Do with for 10 to 20 minutes until help arrives. Sometimes direct pressure cannot stop strong bleeding. If the leg or arm is hurt you can try to stop bleeding by putting pressure on the artery that carries blood to the injured body part. There are four ways in which a victim may be poisoned. Poison may be swallowed, inhaled, injected or absorbed through the skin. If a poison victim becomes unconscious or has difficulty breathing call for an ambulance immediately. A person who has swallowed something poisonous may die within minutes if they are not treated. The first step is to find out what kind of poison the person has swallowed. Call a doctor or a poison control centre immediately and follow the instructions that you are given carefully. If a person has inhaled a poison like carbon monoxide or chlorine gas move him or her to fresh air at once. Open all doors and windows. Injected poisons are those that come from insect stings or bites. If you are stung by a bee the stinger remains in the wound. Remove it carefully and put ice on the sting or run cold water over it. If a person is bitten by a tick pull out the remaining part carefully and slowly. Use a glove or something else but not your bare hands. Do not try to burn it off or put oil on it. If a rash or flulike symptoms develop in the following weeks contact a doctor. Sometimes a victim may have an allergy towards bite or stings. In such a case either call a doctor, an ambulance or take the person to the nearest hospital. Poisons can also be absorbed through the skin if you get in contact with poisonous plants or chemical substances. In such a case remove all the clothes that someone is wearing and flush the skin with water for about 10 minutes.