IN an uncertain time like this, it is best to have this compilation of first aid basics.
If a fracture of the spine is suspected, do not try to move the injured person.
1. Call an ambulance.
2. Make sure you can see the injured area. Cut clothing if necessary.
3. If there is a bleeding wound, treat this first.
4. Support the fractured bones. Use your hands if necessary.
5. Immobilize the joints above and below the injury site by applying splint as follows:
·Leg – Use clothes as padding between legs. Tie both legs together using triangular bandages.
· Arms/Shoulder – Use clothes as padding between chest and arm. Place injured arm across chest with hand on opposite shoulder. Support arm or shoulder with a sling made from triangular bandage.
6. Apply cold pack to reduce swelling and pain.
7. Accompany the injured person to hospital.
1. Apply cold pack to reduce swelling and pain.
2. Raise the injured part if possible.
3. After 15 minutes, remove the cold pack. Apply support bandage.
4. Replace cold pack on top of bandage for another 15 minutes.
5. If not sure, treat as a fracture and call a doctor.
Never touch the person with bare hands until you are sure that the electricity has been turned off. Electric shock can cause the heart to stop. Be prepared to start CPR. All victims of electric shock should be seen by a doctor.
Low voltage electricity
1. Turn off the electricity at the meter or main switch. If you can not reach this, pull the plug out of the socket.
2. Use insulated gloves or dry insulating material such us cardboard to pull the injured person away from the electricity.
3. Reassure the person and treat burns.
4. Treat for shock by raising the legs eight to 12 inches above the heart level and keeping the injured person warm.
High voltage electricity
This kind of electricity can “jump” a long way. Do not go nearer than 18 meters to the person until you are sure the electricity has been turned off.
1. Instruct someone to call for an ambulance.
2. When you are sure the electricity has been turned off, go to the injured person and start CPR.
Shock ranges in severity from a simple fainting spell to a life-threatening condition. It can follow any major illness or injury but is most commonly associated with blood loss. Possible causes for shock include blood loss (internal and external bleeding), fluid loss (vomiting, diarrhea and burns), heart attack or infection (peritonitis).
·Fast pulse becoming weaker
·Pale, grey skin especially inside the lips
·Sweating but skin is cold and clammy
·Weakness and giddiness
·Nausea and possible vomiting
·Rapid, shallow breathing
·Restlessness and agitation
1. Call for an ambulance.
2. Give CPR if necessary.
3. Control bleeding.
4. Lay the patient down and elevate the legs eight to 12 inches unless the injury makes this impossible or inadvisable.
5. Loosen tight clothes and cover patient with a blanket to keep warm.
6. Splint fractures.
7. Keep calm and reassure the patient. Stay with him until the ambulance arrives.
For blisters caused by rubbing; Does not apply to blisters caused by burns.
1. Prevent further injury and reduce pain from pressure by covering with foam tape.
2. If the blister is large, cover with clear dressing, then with foam tape. If necessary, cut a hole out of the tape the same size as the blister for comfort.
3. Whenever possible, do not break the blister.
4. If blister is ruptured, clean with antiseptic and apply dressings as above.
5. Check daily for signs of redness or infection. If not sure, see your doctor.
1. Rinse the wound with clean water.
2. Clean the wound with an antiseptic.
3. If bleeding doesn’t stop, apply direct pressure using sterile gauze squares.
4. Cover the wound with a suitable dressing.
1. Sit person down with head forward so that blood can run out the front of the nose. Remind them to breathe through the mouth and to spit out any blood.
2. Pinch soft part of the nose just below the central bone.
3. Release the pressure after five to 10 minutes.
4. Apply a cold pack.
5. If bleeding doesn’t stop, continue to press and see your doctor.
6. If fracture is suspected, do not pinch the nose. Apply cold pack and see your doctor.
Bitten lip or tongue, or broken tooth:
1. Rinse the mouth with clean warm water.
2. Place sterile gauze over the wound and apply direct pressure.
3. Apply instant cold pack to reduce swelling and pain.
4. If bleeding doesn’t stop or if bite is severe, see your doctor.
More than 90 percent of knocked out teeth can be saved with proper treatment.
1. If tooth is partially out, it can be pushed back in without rinsing.
2. If tooth is completely out, place in a cup of cold whole milk and see your dentist immediately. Do not put your teeth in water or attempt to scrub it. Do not touch the root of the tooth.
3. If you are unable to reach a dentist within 30 minutes, you can try to replant the tooth. First, run cool water over it to clean, then replace in socket, using the other teeth as guide. See a dentist as soon as possible.
(A reprint from A Handbook on Emergency and First Aid)