First aid

Principles of first aid management

Providing immediate and effective first aid to workers or others who have been injured or become ill at the workplace may reduce the severity of the injury or illness and promote quicker recovery. Trained first aider's, first aid equipment and facilities appropriate to the nature of the likely risks are required to be available in the workplace.

The DRSABCD action plan is commonly utilised as a guide for the general first aid management of a casualty during first aid. Watch the video's below for more information.

First aid forms

  • First Aid Allowance Request [pdf]
  • First Aid Equipment Order Form [pdf]
  • First Aid in this area signs - ALL campuses [doc]
  • First Aid Kit Register [pdf]
  • First Aid Needs Assessment [pdf]
  • First Aid Kit Restocking Register [pdf]

DRSABCD first aid action plan

Automatic external defibrillators (AEDs)

COVID-19 first aid protocols

This information aims to assist Appointed First Aid Officers at the University on how to safely provide first aid during the heightened risk of COVID-19.

The Australian and New Zealand Committee on Resuscitation (ANZCOR) advises that the underlying principles for first aid and CPR remain the same during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The Australian Resuscitation Council (ARC) recognises the ethical dilemmas created by attempting to balance the needs of rescuers to avoid COVID-19 infection and potential negative impacts on the collapsed person caused by changes to the resuscitation process. Standard precautions are considered adequate for the performance of first aid and resuscitation on patients who are neither confirmed nor suspected cases of COVID-19. 

It is important to note that most sudden cardiac arrests and other first aid scenarios will be unrelated to COVID-19.

While the University is still open for business, many staff are working remotely. If you cannot locate or contact your local Appointed First Aid Officer (staff access) then you should contact UOW Security on 4221 4900, or raise an Emergency Alert, a First Aid Alert or Help call using SafeZone or dial #1 at any Security telephone.

In line with the University’s First Aid Guidelines, care must be taken before and during the administration of first aid, to ensure the health and safety of the first aid officer. Safe work practices are to be utilised to minimize exposure to human blood and body fluids. It should be assumed that all human blood or body fluids are potentially infectious. Please refer to the Working with Blood or Bodily Fluids Guidelines. When administering first aid, good hygiene and standard precautions as outlined during the first aid training should always be followed, as outlined below: 

  • practice good hygiene, particularly washing and drying hands before/after providing first aid 
  • avoid contact with blood and other bodily fluids by using disposable gloves whenever possible 
  • always cover and protect their open cuts or unhealed wounds, especially on the hands 
  • thoroughly wash off any splashed blood with soap and water 
  • wipe down any benches/floors that have come in contact with blood with warm water and neutral detergents 
  • wipe scissors or instruments with alcohol swabs before using. Wash scissors or instruments that have come in contact with blood in warm water and neutral detergent and dry thoroughly 
  • follow appropriate procedures for the handling and disposal of contaminated waste (refer to Hazardous Waste Disposal Guidelines) 
  • follow appropriate handling and disposal of sharps (refer to Working With Sharps Guidelines)

The below information is taken from the St Johns DRSABCD Action Plan and amended with recommendations from the ARC’s Frequently Asked Questions about Resuscitation during COVID-19 Pandemic. 

Rescuers should remember that any attempt at resuscitation is better than no attempt at all.


  • Ensure the area is safe for yourself, others and the patient 
  • Don disposable gloves and gather (or send for) resuscitation mask ready for use


  • Check for response – ask name, squeeze shoulders 
    • NO RESPONSE – send for help 
    • RESPONSE – make comfortable, check for injuries, monitor response 

Send for help

  • Call Triple Zero (000) for an ambulance 
  • Call University Security on ext 4900 or 4221 4900 


  • Open mouth – if foreign material is present, place in recovery position and clear airway with fingers. Change gloves if this step is performed. 
  • Open airway by tilting head with chin lift. 


  • When assessing breathing, look for breathing. DO NOT open the airway or place your face next to the victim’s mouth / nose. 
    • NORMAL BREATHING – place in recovery position, monitor breathing, manage injuries, treat for shock. 


  • Start CPR - 30 chest compressions : 2 breaths (ONLY give breaths if rescuer is willing and using resuscitation mask, if not just continue chest compressions) 
  • Continue CPR until help arrives or patient recovers 


  • Apply defibrillator if available and follow voice prompts

No changes are required to first aid treatment.

If a First Aid Officer is called upon to treat a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19, the steps outlined in the COVID-19 Suspected or Confirmed Case Procedure should be followed.

If you’re in Australia and feeling anxious or distressed about COVID-19, students can talk with one of the University counsellors from Counselling Services. Students who wish to book an online or an on-campus appointment, please call 02 4221 3445 (9 am - 4.30 pm Monday to Friday). 

If you are a staff member who requires support, our Employee Assistance Provider - LifeWorks is available to all staff by calling 1300 361 008. Further information is available on the Mental Health Support website. 

An Australian government hotline has also been established to assist international students with questions or concerns relating to their study and novel COVID-19: 

You can also access mental health support via these website