Basic First Aid

Basic First Aid

Do NOT use CPR  on any clients or staff if you are not trained. If a client becomes anxious or panics, keep calm and reassure the client that this is normal.  Get the client a glass of water and talk to them in a calm manor.

Life support and First Aid

There are four situations which may be most common in adults undergoing treatments in a beauty clinic.  Basic Adult Life Support, Adult Choking, Adult Anaphylaxis’s, Vaso -vagal reactions.

Vaso- vagal reaction (fainting)

A cosmetic practitioner will encounter most of these:


Panic attack

Breath holding episodes

Idiopathic (non-allergic)

These will respond to simple measures, such as laying the client down, putting their feet up, offering a sweet drink or dextrose tablet and lots of reassurance that they are and will be ok.

What is a Vaso-vagal reaction?

When the heart rate slows the blood pressure drops and the result is lack of blood to the brain. This causes fainting and confusion.

There can be uncertainty in diagnosing an anaphylactic reaction or a panic attack /vaso-vagal reaction, but the absence of a rash, breathing difficulties and swelling are useful distinguishing features, as is a slow pulse of vaso- vagal attack, compared to a rapid pulse of anaphylaxis’s.

A vaso-vagal episode is managed by lying a client down and raising their legs, this will restore the blood flow to the brain during an episode.

The main dangers of vaso-vagal syncope (or dizzy spells from vertigo) is the risk of danger from falling whilst unconscious.  However, the cosmetic practitioners main focus should be to be vigilant and recognise the factors that contribute to an episode, be aware of the early signs of a vaso-vagal reactions and to intervein before a full-blown attack occurs.

If a client actually falls/faints it is best practice to place them in the recovery position and call for help from a qualified first aider.

Recovery position:



Unresponsiveness can last for a few seconds (e.g. fainting) find out what to do if an adult is unresponsive and breathing.


What to look for – Unresponsive and breathing adult


When someone looks like they’re asleep but they’re unable to respond to noise or body contact, it’s likely they’re unresponsive.


What you need to do – Unresponsive and breathing adult


Step 1 of 5: Open the airway


  • • Place one hand on the casualty’s forehead and gently tilt their head back. As you do this, the mouth will fall open slightly.
  • • Place the fingertips of your other hand on the point of the casualty’s chin and lift the chin


Step 2 of 5: Check breathing


  • • Look, listen and feel for normal breathing – chest movement, sounds and breaths on your cheek. Do this for no more than ten seconds.


Step 3 of 5: Put them in the recovery position


  • • This will keep their airway open.
  • • Kneel down next to them on the floor.


The next three steps are for if you find the casualty lying on their back. If you find them lying on their side or their front you may not need all three.


  • 1. Place their arm nearest you at a right angle to their body, with their palm facing upwards.
  • 2. Take their other arm and place it across their chest so the back of their hand is against their cheek nearest you, and hold it there. With your other hand, lift their far knee and pull it up until their foot is flat on the floor.
  • 3. Now you’re ready to roll them onto their side. Carefully pull on their bent knee and roll them towards you. Once you’ve done this, the top arm should be supporting the head and the bent leg should be on the floor to stop them from rolling over too far.


Step 4 of 5: If you suspect spinal injury


  • • If you think the casualty could have a spinal injury, you must keep their neck as still as possible. Instead of tilting their neck, use the jaw thrust technique: place your hands on either side of their face and with your fingertips gently lift the jaw to open the airway, avoiding any movement of their neck.


Step 5 of 5: Call for help


  • • Once you’ve put them safely into the recovery position, call 999 or 112 for medical help.
  • • Until help arrives, keep checking the casualty’s breathing.


If they stop breathing at any point, call 999 or 112 straight away and get ready to give them CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation – a combination of chest pressure and rescue breaths).

Note: You can only give CPR is you’re FIRST AID TRAINED.



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