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Top 5 Common First Aid Mistakes

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Top 5 Common First Aid Mistakes

Most people will come across a situation which requires immediate first aid at least once in their lives, but more often than not we get the implementation of first aid wrong.

This is unsurprising as most of us will never have had any formal training the way a nurse or a doctor would have. There are however, some common mistakes made when it comes to simple first aid which, if corrected, could make a real difference in both your working and your home life.

1)      Tilt you head back when you get a nose bleed

Though the logic here will seem sound to most people it is not the right way to deal with a nose bleed. Rather than tilting your head back you should sit upright and pinch the bottom half of your nose with your thumb and fingers. Ensure that you breathe through your mouth whilst you pinch your nose to stop the bleeding.

2)      Put a severed finger into ice to preserve it

The popular idea when you’re unfortunate enough to sever off one of your digits doing DIY is to place the finger or the tip into some ice. While the intentions are good this is not what you should do, instead, wrap the digit in damp gauze, place it in a sealed bag and put the bag on ice. This keeps the finger cold but doesn’t freeze it, meaning it will be easier to attach when you get to the emergency room.

3)      Hot water on frozen skin will warm you up

Once again there is logic to this method but it is borne out of panic. Rather than place the skin under scalding water – risking damage to your skin – it would be more beneficial to submerge the skin or the limb into a bath of warm water to thaw out gradually. Although we don’t live at either of the freezing poles it is still possible to freeze fingers and toes whilst out in winter weather if you aren’t wearing thick clothing.

4)      Allergic reactions can be treated at home

While a low level allergic reaction or a seasonal reaction such as hayfever can be left to die down at home, a bite or a sting can be potentially life threatening if left untreated. A bee sting or a spider bite can cause allergic reactions which swell the tongue and restrict breathing. If you spot these signs in anyone who has been stung, bitten or has eaten something they are allergic to then you must call an ambulance or take them to a hospital immediately.

5)      Soothe a burn using cold butter

Any kind of oily substance, including butter, will only make the situation with a burn worse. While it might seem like a good way of protecting and soothing a burn it can increase the risk of infection and make the wound difficult to treat. Instead, you should run cool water over the burn and keep it clean, if it begins to blister then seek further medical attention from a professional.

These are only 5 of the common mistakes people make when they encounter situations requiring first aid. In the heat of the moment and in an eagerness to help the person injured you should always try to keep a cool head and seek the advice of a trained first aider.

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