If someone gets injured, the care that’s provided before an ambulance arrives can save the victim’s life. Everyone should know how to provide basic first aid.
If the heart stops beating, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) can get it pumping blood again. To perform chest compressions, press down hard and fast in the center of the chest. Continue until an ambulance arrives or someone gets an automated external defibrillator (AED). An AED delivers an electric shock that can get the heart beating again. It has easy-to-follow instructions.
If someone is bleeding, cover the wound with a bandage, gauze, a towel, clothing, or whatever else is available. Apply firm, direct pressure. If the covering gets soaked with blood, place another layer on top and keep putting pressure on the wound. Wear gloves if they’re available.
It may not be obvious that a bone is fractured. Treat it as if it’s broken until it’s possible to get an x-ray. If you suspect that a limb is broken, immobilize it with a splint and elevate it, but don’t attempt to straighten it. Call an ambulance if you believe the person may have an injured spine, hip, pelvis, thigh, or head or if the bone is poking through the skin.
A sprain occurs when the connective tissue in a joint is overstretched or torn. Since it can be difficult to tell if an injury is a fracture or a sprain without an x-ray, follow the steps outlined for a broken bone.
If a person’s windpipe is blocked, the individual may grab at the throat and make gasping or wheezing sounds. If the victim is a conscious adult, stand behind the person, put your arms around the waist, make a fist, cover it with your other hand, place your fist between the navel and ribs, and pull your fist backward and upward quickly, five times. Repeat until the obstruction is dislodged.
Remove the victim from whatever caused the burn. For an electrical burn, turn off the electricity. If a chemical caused the burn, wash the skin.
Burns vary in severity. A second-degree burn may be red, swollen, and blistered. A third-degree burn may turn the skin white, black, or numb. For a minor burn, washing it with cool water and applying a bandage may be enough. For a more serious burn, seek medical attention.
When treating frostbite, warm the area gradually by placing it in warm water or using skin-to-skin contact. Don’t rub the area or use dry heat. If the skin is hard or turns white, get professional medical care.
Remove the stinger, clean the site with soap and water, apply an ice pack (not in direct contact with the skin), then use an antihistamine and over-the-counter pain reliever. Look for signs of an allergic reaction, such as swelling, hives, and anaphylaxis, which can cause difficulty breathing and shock. If an allergic reaction occurs, use an Epi-Pen if one is available and seek medical attention.
If you get a nosebleed, lean forward slightly and pinch your nose just below the bridge. Don’t block your nostrils. Apply pressure for five minutes, then see if the bleeding has stopped. If not, apply pressure for another 10 minutes. If it still hasn’t stopped, if you’ve lost a lot of blood, swallowed blood and vomited it up, or suffered a serious head injury, or if you have trouble breathing, seek medical care.
A minor blister may not require any treatment. For a large or painful blister, draining it may help. Sterilize a needle with alcohol, puncture the blister around the edge, and gently press on the blister to remove the fluid. Then apply antibiotic ointment and a bandage.
Make sure that your home or business has a first aid kit so you’ll be able to provide emergency care if needed. 1st Aid Supplies offers first aid kits and cabinets in a variety of sizes. Place an order today.