Aim: Our objectives were to determine the most effective, safe, and feasible first aid (FA) techniques and procedures, and to formulate valid recommendations for training. We focussed on emergencies involving few casualties, where emergency medical services or healthcare professionals are not immediately present at the scene, but are available within a short space of time. Due to time and resource constraints, we limited ourselves to safety, emergency removal, psychosocial FA, traumatology, and poisoning. Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) was not included because guidelines are already available from the European Resuscitation Council (ERC). The FA guidelines are intended to provide guidance to authors of FA handbooks and those responsible for FA programmes. These guidelines, together with the ERC resuscitation guidelines, will be integrated into a European FA Reference Guide and a European FA Manual.
Methods: To create these guidelines we used an evidence-based guideline development process, based on the methodology of the Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network (SIGN).
Results: The recommendations cover FA for bleeding, wounds, burns, spinal and head trauma, musculoskeletal trauma, and poisoning, as well as safety and psychosocial FA.
Conclusions: Where good evidence was available, we were able to turn science into practice. Where evidence was lacking, the recommendations were consensus-based. These guidelines provide systematically developed recommendations and justifications for the procedures and techniques that should be included in FA manuals and training programmes.