FM 21-11 First Aid for Soldiers meets the emergency medical training needs of individual soldiers. Because medical personnel will not always be readily available, the nonmedical soldiers will have to rely heavily on their own skills and knowledge of life-sustaining methods to survive on the integrated battlefield.
This manual also addresses first aid measures for other life-threatening situations. It outlines both self-treatment (self-aid) and aid to other soldiers (buddy aid). More importantly, this manual emphasizes prompt and effective action in sustaining life and preventing or minimizing further suffering.
First aid is the emergency care given to the sick, injured, or wounded before being treated by medical personnel. The Army Dictionary defines first aid as “urgent and immediate lifesaving and other measures which can be performed for casualties by nonmedical personnel when medical personnel are not immediately available.” Nonmedical soldiers have received basic first aid training and should remain skilled in the correct procedures for giving first aid.
Mastery of first aid procedures is also part of a group study training program entitled the Combat Lifesaver (DA Pam 351-20). A combat lifesaver is a nonmedical soldier who has been trained to provide emergency care. This includes administering intravenous infusions to casualties as his combat mission permits. Normally, each squad, team, or crew will have one member who is a combat lifesaver. This manual is directed to all soldiers. The procedures discussed apply to all types of casualties and the measures described are for use by both male and female soldiers.
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