Tips for First Aid Care

A stitch in time saves nine! What is first aid? We have a general idea, but it is essential and life saving that all of us know important first aid tips for commonly occurring conditions.

first_aid

1)    BURNS

First up on the first aid list are burns. When it is a mild burn, put the burnt area under running cool water and apply ice wrapped in a towel (not plain ice) or wet towels. Common house hold remedies include soaked tea bags, the whites of eggs or raw potato slices. Some even use toothpaste but the effects of toothpaste are short-lived. Use ointments like silverex to avoid infection or blistering.

2)    WOUNDS

Next thing we need to talk about are wounds. These can range from simple scratches, to moderate sized wounds to large, open gashes. Keep first aid kits and first aid supplies handy, in your house, in your car and at work.

First and foremost, surrounding areas of the wounds need to washed off with water or antiseptics solutions (betadine, povidone iodine) to remove grime and assess the degree of damage.

In case of minor injuries, wash with water and soap and smear a thin layer on antibiotic cream. First aid supplies such as band aids or bandages should be used only if the wound is slightly deeper.

In case of major wounds, emergency first aid is to wrap the area with a soft cloth (the cloth may be dipped in honey and aloe) and take the person to a hospital immediately. Do not attempt to wash big, bloody, deep wounds.

*Basic first aid – Remember to take tetanus injection within 24 hours in case of deep, open wounds, especially in case of contact with soil or rusted objects.

In case of closed wounds (blunt trauma, especially to the head), apply direct pressure to arrest any bleeding.

3)    SPRAIN

What is a sprain? A sprain is pain in the joint, caused by overstretching of the joint ligament, beyond its capacity.

Ice works wonders on a strained joint for first aid- it causes the swelling to go down. Immobilizing the joint for 24 hours to a few days is recommended- so either use a crepe or elastic bandage.

After 2 days, heat the area to get the blood flow going and heal the joint.

4)    HEAD INJURY

This will depend on the seriousness of injury. Advise all victims who have sustained a head injury, regardless of severity, to seek assessment by a health care professional.

A)   If the person is unconscious, get immediate professional assistance and call an ambulance. The initial first aid for a victim with head injury includes assessing and managing the airway and breathing, whilst caring for the neck and maintaining in-line spine immobilisation until expert help arrives.

B)   If there is bleeding, treat it like a wound  ize the head and neck as far as possible- it is better not to move the injures parts.but make sure to follow up with a doctor who will then check for internal injuries. You can put a bag of ice on the area to decrease the swelling. But do not put pressure on any part of the fractured skull.

C)   In case of vomiting, first aid procedures dictate you turn person onto his or her side so there is no asphyxiation by either vomit or by the tongue.

5)    CHOKING

Call an ambulance.

Give 5 back blows/ 5 abdominal thrusts. Perform the Heimlich manoeuvre. Stand behind him and put one fist over the navel area, leave one thumb up and put another hand on top. Apply pressure inwards and up in the direction of the ribs, 6-10 times. (If you have seen Mrs. Doubtfire, you will know what I am talking about).

6)    POISONING

Seek medical help immediately. Call for an ambulance.

Try and elicit from the patient the substance or medicine implicated in poisoning, possible amount or dosage, how long back did symptoms appear and what is the  weight and age of the person?

Make the person rinse his/ her mouth, if it is swallowed poison.

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