Chapter 1 - General principles


Primum non nocere is a medical adage that means “do no further harm”. Often when faced with an injury, the issue is what not to do rather than what to do. Simple measures such as protecting the head and neck, ensuring an open airway or supporting an injured limb are often all that is needed in the immediate stages of injury management.

Many things improve with a little bit of time and, commonly, taking control of a situation and preventing panic is all that is needed until the player visibly improves or more experienced help arrives.

There are, of course, some conditions where the idea of simply supporting the player and waiting will be the wrong thing to do, e.g. failing to recognise cardiac arrest. These are the types of situations that will be covered topics on the course. Whilst we will include advice for the common bumps and bruises of Rugby, this course is designed to give you some skills for the rare occasion where you may be dealing with someone who is potentially seriously injured or unwell in a Rugby setting.

The general principles of sports first aid are:

  1. Do no further harm.
  2. Take control.
  3. Avoid unnecessary movement.
  4. Simple skills save lives.
  5. Ensure more experienced help is on the way.
  6. Recognise when you need to do more.