Prove You Know Your First Aid Basics by Acing This Quiz!


By: Kale Havervold

6 Min Quiz

Image: Jose Luis Pelaez Inc/DigitalVision/GettyImages

About This Quiz

Knowing the basics of first aid can be very important in a variety of life's situations. Whether your friend breaks a bone or someone in public faints, you never know when a working knowledge of first aid can come in handy. Unfortunately, many people simply don't know the basics when it comes to first aid and thus wouldn't be able to do much if they encountered an issue like that in their lives. 

Even those who have taken first aid courses over the years have likely forgotten some potentially life-saving techniques, tips and tactics.  The first moments of any emergency are crucial, and there are often many things that can be done before EMTs or paramedics arrive. If you are well-versed in the basics of first aid, you can play a crucial role in helping control situations and possibly even save lives.

As a result, learning and understanding first aid basics are some of the most important things to know. Fancy yourself an expert on all things first aid? If so, read on and prove your knowledge with our quiz on first aid basics! Even if you're not an expert, hopefully this article helps you brush up on your first aid knowledge! 

Disclaimer: this quiz is not intended to give medical advice. If you have a concern about your personal first aid, please consult a doctor/expert on the matter.

Do you need victim permission to perform first aid?

Yes, you must ask any conscious victim if they want help (and should list your medical experience/education) before administering any first aid. If they are unconscious, consent is implied.


When should CPR be used?

CPR should be used when someone is unconscious and not breathing. It involves a process of chest compression and rescue breaths to help someone begin breathing again.


If you suspect someone might be close to having a heart attack (tight pain in chest and losing breath) what should you immediately do?

If a person is experiencing the onset of a heart attack, it is important to slow down their heart rate and help them relax. This means sitting them down and making them as comfortable as possible.


What is the universal sign for choking?

No matter where you are, wrapping both hands around your neck will let others know that you are choking. If you see someone doing this, it is fair to assume they are choking.


Your friend is choking on some food, what is the first thing you should do?

While the Heimlich Maneuver might eventually be necessary, the first thing you should actually do is slap your friend on the back between the shoulder blades. This should be done about 5 times and can help provide relief and dislodge the blockage.


If you get chemicals in your eyes, how long should you flush with water?

You should be sure to rinse and flush your eyes for at least 20 minutes to get the best chance of ridding all chemicals from your eyes. This can either be done under a faucet or under a shower, whatever you have access to.


Which of these things should NOT be used when trying to treat a sunburn?

While it can be useful for a number of different things, petroleum jelly actually slows down the healing process, which means your sun burn (and the awful pain that comes with it) will only last longer.


If you are bitten by a poisonous snake on the arm, how should you position the arm?

When bitten in the arm by a snake, you need to lower your arm below your heart. The reason for this is to slow the progreass of the venom into your heart.


For adults, what is the ratio of chest compressions: rescue breaths?

For every 30 chest compressions, you need to have 2 rescue breaths. This is the appropriate ratio and will give you the best chance at helping the victim restore breathing.


When treating someone who has broken a bone, what's the most important thing to do?

The most important part when treating someone with a broken bone is to make sure the body part is kept in the same place and straight, as the victim moving can often cause more damage. In addition to this, you should try and get the victim as comfortable as possible.


Stitches are required for cuts that ...

While many cuts can be dealt with at home with some water, ointment and bandages, others might require a visit to the hospital. If your cut is more than .25 inches deep, .5 inches long or came from a dirty object, you should visit the hospital.


The F.A.S.T test is used for identifying and detecting what?

It is used for helping to detect the signs of a potential stroke in a victim. The F.A.S.T stands for face, arms, speech and time.


If your body temperature drops below this number, you have hypothermia.

That's right, if the temperature of your core organs drops below 95 degrees, you have hypothermia. Hypothermia can potentially be life-threatening and should be taken very seriously.


If someone is bleeding heavily, how can you help to stop it?

Applying pressure is one of the best ways to stop or slow down the bleeding. if it is bad enough, 911 should be called, but the primary first aid concern will be to slow down the bleeding.


How can you assist someone suffering from an asthma attack?

Generally, an asthma attack isn't a super severe event and as a result, it's a good idea to just sit the victim down and help them calm down. Of course, if the attack worsens or gets severe, be sure to call 911.


If someone is suffering a from a head injury, what is the first thing you should do?

Generally, it is a good idea to apply something cold to the head. This will help to reduce swelling and pain, which are incredibly common with head injuries.


If you are by yourself and begin to choke, what should you do?

Using a chair or a counter for added force, along with your balled-up fists, you can actually perform abdominal thrusts on yourself. It may sound a bit scary, but it will do the job.


What is involved in the first aid treatment of chemical burns?

In order to help ensure all of the chemicals and residue from them are gone, the area needs to be flushed with water. Because hot water can further irritate the area, cool water should be used.


When treating a cut, what shouldn't you do?

The only things that should be used to clean cuts are water, alcohol or other approved ointments. Many soaps have harsh chemicals that won't feel too great on a new cut and can irritate the skin.


When someone swallows a chemical, what should you do first?

While the other options could eventually be something you try, the first thing to do is contact poison control. They will provide you with the necessary steps to protect the victim.


When giving back blows to help someone who is choking, what should you use?

You should administer back blows with your open hand, and using the heel of your hand, which is where palm meets your wrist. It is hard and flat, which is great for dislodging blockages.


If someone has a very bad allergic reaction, what might happen to them?

Because allergies can often lead to swelling of the airways, a severe allergic reaction can potentially lead to someone having a hard time breathing.


You come upon an accident with multiple people with serious injuries. Who do you go to first to help?

It is often generally thought that anyone who is very quiet should be the first person you visit. This is because they could be unconscious or might be choking or have some other problem with their airway.


In the context of first aid, what is shock?

Shock, in the first aid sense, occurs when the cells and tissues of the body don't get enough oxygen. Often, shock occurs after a massive loss of blood or a serious allergic reaction.


If someone has suffered a serious electric shock, what is the first thing you need to do?

While turning off the power or device and moving the person away are important eventually, the first thing you need to do is call 911 or get the attention of an emergency medical team.


Which is a symptom of a heat stroke?

Having heat stroke can actually be quite common in some areas of the world. So if you live somewhere that is generally quite hot and sunny, it's a good idea to know the symptoms, both to help yourself and others.


The most common symptom of a heart attack is ...?

According to experts, chest pain is the most common symptom of a heart attack. It may stay in your chest for the entire episode, but the pain could also move to other parts of your body.


If a person needs CPR, but you have never been trained, what should you do?

Doing something is better than nothing while the EMTs or paramedics arrive. If you are untrained in CPR, you should just do chest compressions, at a rate of around 100 a minute if possible.


If someone loses consciousness, what is the first thing you should do?

In addition to laying someone on their back, you should try to raise their legs up about 12 inches or so. This will help for blood flow to be restored to the brain.


If you are experiencing frostbite, what temperature water should you bathe your skin in?

Soaking your frostbitten skin in water between 104 to 107.6 degrees will help to gradually warm up the skin. You can also wrap the affected area in a blanket, but avoid direct hear sources like stoves or fireplaces.


Which is the most serious type of burn?

A third-degree burn is the most serious and harmful of the three. It affects all layers of the skin and permanent damage will have occurred.


Aspirin should be offered to someone suffering from?

Generally, it is recommended that a person suffering a heart attack takes some aspirin while awaiting EMTs and paramedics to arrive. Aspirin can slow blood clotting, which is very important to do during a heart attack.


What is the first thing to ask yourself before responding to any situation?

While you might want to rush in and help, the most important thing to do first is survey the scene and ensure it is safe. You don't want you yourself to become another victim so be careful.


One of the most common and consistent signs of a stroke is...

Generally, if a person is experiencing a stroke, half of their face will droop and you will be able to identify it immediately. Other signs include numbness, trouble speaking clearly and general weakness.


What is the first thing to do if someone has been stung by an insect or bug?

While all of these responses could be something you do (depending on the severity of the bite) during the first aid process, the first thing to do is to remove the stinger. To do this, you can gently scrape a flat object (like a credit card) over the skin to bring out the tiny stinger.


Explore More Quizzes

About HowStuffWorks Play

How much do you know about dinosaurs? What is an octane rating? And how do you use a proper noun? Lucky for you, HowStuffWorks Play is here to help. Our award-winning website offers reliable, easy-to-understand explanations about how the world works. From fun quizzes that bring joy to your day, to compelling photography and fascinating lists, HowStuffWorks Play offers something for everyone. Sometimes we explain how stuff works, other times, we ask you, but we’re always exploring in the name of fun! Because learning is fun, so stick with us!