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When you approach a situation you should always introduce yourself and ask the patient for their permission to help. When they give you consent either verbally, by nodding or offering up their injured limb to you, in the eyes of the law you have permission to continue.

If the patient says no, then you cannot touch them or help them, you can call the emergency services, refer to their boss or family members and talk to them to try to reassure them.

With an unconscious casualty, you still use the same statement and consent can be deemed to be given as most people in this situation would answer yes, if they were able to. When helping an unconscious patient talk to them as it is comforting and the hearing is often the last thing to go. If someone refuses your help and you are not able to help them, you can call the emergency services, refer to bosses or family members, and talk to them to try to reassure them.

In the workplace as a first aider, you may have a duty of care and in these cases, the casualty will have to come to you for your help.