|Guide to Health and Hygiene in Agricultural Work (ILO, 1979, 328 p.)|
|6. Organisation of occupational health services and medical inspection of labour in agriculture|
|6.5. Organisation of first aid|
The agricultural doctor should do his best to encourage people to become proficient in first aid. First-aid attendants should be chosen from among both men and women, and even from among young people of either sex, who often take a great interest in first aid.
First-aid training may be organised at the agricultural doctor's medical centre. According to the trainees' opportunities for attendance, it could be either spread over several weeks or concentrated in a short period. However, in countries where training is provided by public or private organisations, the doctor should get in touch with these and preferably co-operate with them.
The training course should include the study of different accidents and the methods of administering first aid to the victims, with particular emphasis being laid on the mistakes to be avoided. However, the specific content should follow approved standards of first-aid practice; special attention should be given to problems which are particularly significant in the country or agricultural area concerned.
Practical exercises showing whether the lessons have been well learned are indispensable, and the award of a certificate after success in an examination is often an encouragement to the trainee.
First-aid personnel should also be provided either with pamphlets or with multigraphed instructions with which they can subsequently refresh their memories. These instructions should be simple and clear.
The training of first-aid personnel should not lead to the neglect of arrangements for medical care, and in no case should the administration of first-aid treatment cause delay in summoning a doctor. The purpose of first aid is to do what is necessary pending the arrival of a doctor. It must not be looked upon as makeshift treatment which, if unsuccessful, can be remedied by the doctor. The administration of first-aid treatment and the summoning of the doctor should be, and in most cases can be, simultaneous.
When there are good roads, transport by ambulance is practicable; however, for various reasons (bad roads, no roads, impassable roads) provision must sometimes be made for transport by helicopter. Every sizeable treatment centre should have a landing place for helicopters.
The ambulance or helicopter should be so equipped that treatment can be begun during the journey-for instance, with resuscitation apparatus, perfusion equipment, oxygen and first-aid equipment.