Trauma first aid not only refers to disaster treatment provided for victims that need immediate physical care but also immediate aid to mental, psychological and spiritual aspects of the survivor.
Trauma first aid is considered a fast and effective non-conventional approach in treating victims of large scale calamities, natural disasters and even terrorist attacks. The effects of such stressful and traumatic events are not just limited to a momentary period following the event but the disruptive after effects can persist and go on for several months and possibly even years. The effects experiencing physical pain and mental anguish contribute to further trauma, hence highlighting the very essence and importance of early stabilization and appropriateness of intervention is the priority of trauma first aid. A single but brief exposure to such overwhelming disastrous events can lead to an imbalance of a supposedly normal functioning individual into an emotional roller coaster of physical and psychological suffering and post-traumatic stress disorders.
What is trauma first aid?
Trauma first aid is an approach in which responders holistically treat victims of disaster events. Trauma research is increasingly becoming the mainstream approach in linking the mind and body on how it must be managed and better understood with regards to the biological basis of the traumatic experiences along with the physiologic symptoms that might arise from the extraordinary stressful experience brought about by large scale natural or man-made disasters. When the basic survival instincts take control of a person’s entire mind and body it basically strives to preserve the integrity of the body that might even go over extreme physiologic responses which are very detrimental in the long run even after the extreme trauma has already subsided. When basic survival responses and varying states of dis-regulation persists, such symptoms can have incapacitating effects that hampers daily social interaction and adaptation.
The Value of Trauma first aid
Trauma first aid has so much benefit to offer survivors of disaster events since it approaches survivors in the most holistic manner by drawing out verbal and emotional processing wherein victims are not only treated by their physical injuries but more importantly are given additional emotional support by allowing verbal processing of emotions regarding the traumatic experience victims have recently experienced. Trauma first aid works by correcting the dis-regulation and chronic effects of unhealthy coping which can both aggravate psychological and somatic symptoms.
In disaster scenarios, in which survivors are often difficult to maintain and more than a single session of debriefing, such brief interventions are very important. A treatment that can be effective in lesser but effective means can be very beneficial in providing stabilization to more victims in less time spent per individual but has effective and measurable results.
Trauma first aid Intervention Protocol
Trauma first aid healing is a well structured, manual-based protocol intervention that mainly focuses on self-regulation (restoring equilibrium to the body) and maintaining a healthy coping mechanism by working with effective emotional response and cognitive processes. A health care provider must not only be skillfully trained in treating the physiologic aspects of a victim of a major disaster but more importantly be able to provide social support by educating affected individuals about the physiological nature of the trauma experience, how it manifests and how to cope with the effects. These multifaceted approach are among the most important concepts of trauma first aid intervention.