Basic First Aid

BITES AND STINGS

MINOR BITES:

  1. Wash it carefully with soap and water.
  2. Apply an antiseptic (i.e. hydrogen peroxide).
  3. Apply and antibiotic cream.

PUNCTURE WOUND OR LARGE GASH:

  1. Clean the bite to rid it of infection.
  2. Victim should be treated by a doctor.
  3. Whether the bite is large or small, a doctor should be contacted if swelling, increasing redness, or drainage occurs, or if there are flulike symptoms, fever, or swollen glands.

STINGS:

  1. Remove the stinger by scraping with your fingernail or the blade of a knife.
  2. Wash the area throughly with soap and water.
  3. Apply ice to relieve the swelling and pain.

A stinger that is not removed continues to release venom into the body for as long as 20 minutes.

Do not remove a stinger with tweezers. Squeezing releases more of the poison into your body.

The swelling should be gone within 24 hours.

SIGNS OF AN ALLERGIC REACTION:

  1. Difficulty breathing.
  2. Cough.
  3. Headache.
  4. Possibly can become unconscious.

TREATMENT:

  1. CALL 911! --Immediate medical attention is needed if an allergic reaction develops.
  2. Try to keep victim calm until medical help arrives.

BLEEDING

EXTERNAL BLEEDING: bleeding which can be seen on the outside of the body.

TREATMENT:

  1. Apply direct pressure, firmly, with a clean cloth over the injured area. If blood soaks through, do not remove it. Instead, cover that cloth with another one and continue to apply pressure to the wound for 7-10 minutes.
  2. Elevate the injury. Place the wounded part of the body above the level of the heart, if possible, while you apply direct pressure.
  3. Know the pressure points. If direct pressure and elevation do not sufficiently slow the bloodflow, find and use a pressure point. The most common pressure points used during first aid are located in the upper arms and in the creases above the upper legs. Apply pressure to the closest pressure point to the wound so that the artery is pressed between your fingers and the bone directly behind the artery. If using the pressure point on a leg, you may need to use the heel of your hand instead of your finger.
  4. Resort to a tourniquet. On very rare occasions everything listed above may fail. Only to prevent the victim from dying should you apply a tourniquet. Once a tourniquet is applied, it should not be loosened or removed until the victim has reached medical help. Use a tourniquet ONLY if everything listed above has failed. If you use a tourniquet, write down somewhere on the victim the time it was applied, so medical personnel will know how long it has been in place.

INTERNAL BLEEDING: bleeding which cannot be seen but will cause symptoms of shock.

SYMPTOMS:

Internal bleeding results when blood vessels rupture, allowing blood to leak into body cavities. It could be a result of a direct blow to the body, a fracture, a sprain, or a bleeding ulcer. If a victim receives an injury to the chest or abdomen, internal bleeding should be suspected. He will probably feel pain and tenderness in the affected area.

Other symptoms to watch for:

  1. Cold, clammy skin.
  2. Pale face and lips.
  3. Weakness or fainting.
  4. Dizziness.
  5. Nausea.
  6. Thirstiness.
  7. Very fast heart rate.
  8. Shortness of breath.
  9. Dilated pupils.
  10. Swelling or bruising at the site of injury.

The more symptoms that are experienced, the more extensive the internal bleeding is.

TREATMENT:

  1. CALL 911!
  2. Check for an open airway and begin rescue breathing if necessary. CLICK HERE FOR BASIC CPR!
  3. Keep the victim comfortable until help arrives.
  4. The victim may rinse his mouth with water, but DO NOT give a victim of internal bleeding anything to drink.

BURNS

  1. Never put butter or greasy ointments on a burn. They seal heat into the wound and may cause infection.
  2. Always seek medical attention if:
    • The Victim is a child or elderly.
    • Burn covers more than one body part.
    • Burn is located on any sensitive area of the body (hands, face, feet, etc.).
    • Burn is third degree.
    • Burn is caused by chemicals.

FIRST DEGREE BURNS: causes damage to the outer layer of skin.

SYMPTOMS:

  1. Redness.
  2. Mild pain.
  3. Swelling.

TREATMENT:

  1. Immediately submerge the affected part in cold water.
  2. Hold it under cold running water, or place cold, wet cloths on it until the pain decreases.
  3. Cover with a clean, dry gauze dressing for protection.

SECOND DEGREE BURNS: damage through to the second layer of skin.

SYMPTOMS:

  1. Blisters.
  2. Rough, red skin.
  3. Swelling.
  4. Extreme pain.

TREATMENT:

  1. Immerse in cold water or have cold, wet cloths applied to it immediately.
  2. Gently blot area dry. Do not rub. Rubbing may break the blister, opening it to infection.
  3. Cover wound with dry, sterile bandage.
  4. If burn is located on arm or leg, keep limb elevated as much as possible.

Second degree burns should heal within a few weeks.


THIRD DEGREE BURNS: causes damage through to the third layer of skin.
Burn is less painful because nerve endings are destroyed, but damage is much worse
.

SYMPTOMS:

  1. White or charred appearance.

TREATMENT:

  1. CALL 911!
  2. Do not remove any clothing near or at the site of the burn.
  3. Do not apply cold water or medication to the burn.
  4. Place clean, dry cloths (i.e. strips of a clean sheet) over the damaged area.
  5. If burns are on arms or legs, keep the limbs elevated above the level of the heart.
  6. If victim has burns on face, check frequently to make sure the victim is not having difficulty breathing.

CHEMICAL BURNS:

TREATMENT:

  1. CALL 911.
  2. Remove clothing on or near the burn area. Never pull clothing over the head with a chemical burn. You may need to cut the clothing.
  3. Wash the area thoroughly with low pressure water for at least 20 minutes.
  4. Apply a clean dressing to the area.

CHOKING

SYMPTOMS:

If a person is choking, you should not interfere as long as they are coughing. If coughing does not dislodge the object from their throat and the victim is breathing with extreme difficulty, or if he turns a bluish color and appears to be choking, but is unable to cough or speak, quickly ask, "Are you choking?" A choking victim can nod his head "yes," but will be unable to talk. It is important to ask this question because a person suffering from a heart attack will have similar symptoms, but he will be able to talk.

TREATMENT:

THE ABDOMINAL THRUST: for Adults and Children.

  1. Stand behind him with your arms around his waist.
  2. Place one fist, with the knuckle of the thumb against the victim''s midsection, slightly above the navel but well below the breastbone.
  3. Hold your fist firmly with the other hand and pull both hands sharply toward you with an upward-and-inward jab.
  4. A chest thrust can be used for victims who are markedly obese or in the late stages of pregnancy.
  5. This procedure should be administered continually until either the object is forced out or the victim becomes unconscious.
  6. If, after the object is forced out, the victim is unresponsive, CLICK HERE FOR BASIC CPR!.

DUE TO THE FORCE WITH WHICH THE ABDOMINAL THRUST IS GIVEN, IT SHOULD BE USED ONLY IN AN ACTUAL EMERGENCY.

BACK BLOWS & CHEST COMPRESSIONS: for Infants (less than 1 year old).

  1. Determine if the infant can cry or cough. If not, move to step #2.
  2. Give 5 back blows (between the shoulder blades) while supporting the infants head.






  3. Give 5 chest thrusts (between the nipple line).
  4. Repeat steps #2 and #3 until effective or the infant becomes unresponsive.
  5. If, after the object is forced out, the infant is unresponsive, CLICK HERE FOR BASIC CPR!

CONCUSSIONS AND CONTUSIONS

DIFFERENCE IN CONCUSSION AND CONTUSIONS:

Concussion--A sharp blow to the head could result in a concussion (a jostling of the brain inside its protective covering).
Contusion--A more serious head injury may result in contusions (bruises to the brain).

SYMPTOMS:

A period of unconsciousness may indicate brain damage and accompanies many head injuries.

OTHER SYMPTOMS TO LOOK FOR IF YOU SUSPECT A VICTIM MAY HAVE A HEAD INJURY:

  1. Clear or reddish fluid draining from the ears, nose, or mouth.
  2. Difficulty in speaking.
  3. Headache.
  4. Unequal size of pupils.
  5. Pale skin.
  6. Paralysis of an arm or leg or face.

TREATMENT:

  1. CALL 911.
  2. Keep the victim lying down and keep them as still as possible.
  3. Control any bleeding, and be sure that the person is breathing properly.
  4. Do not give the victim anything to drink.
  5. If the victim becomes unconscious for any amount of time, keep track of this information so that you can report it when medical help arrives.

CONVULSIONS

A convulsion (violent, involuntary contraction or muscle spasm) can be caused by epilepsy or sudden illness. Convulsion, or seizures, are not likely to cause death unless the victim stops breathing. The victim, however, should be checked by medical personnel.

SYMPTOMS:

  1. Victim's muscles become stiff and hard, followed by jerking movements.
  2. He may bite his tongue or stop breathing.
  3. Face and lips may turn a bluish color.
  4. May drool excessively or foam at the mouth.

TREATMENT:

  1. CALL 911!
  2. Clear all objects away from the victim and place something soft under victim's head.
  3. Do not place anything between victim's teeth or in victim's mouth.
  4. Do not give the victim any liquids.
  5. If the vicitm stops breathing, check to see that the airway is open and begin rescue breathing. CLICK HERE FOR BASIC CPR!
  6. Stay calm and keep the victim comfortable until help arrives.

Most convulsions are followed by a period of unconsciousness or another convulsion.

CUTS AND ABRASIONS

TREATMENT:

  1. Cleanse area thoroughly with soap and warm water, carefully washing away any dirt.
  2. Apply direct pressure to wound until bleeding stops.
  3. Put sterile bandage on wound.
  4. If cut is deep, get to a doctor as quickly as possible.

ABRASIONS: scratches.

TREATMENT:

  1. Wash thoroughly with soap and warm water.
  2. If it bleeds or oozes, bandage it to protect it from infection.

INFECTION: occurs when a wound has not been thoroughly cleansed.

SYMPTOMS:

  1. Swelling.
  2. Redness.
  3. Pain.
  4. May cause fever.
  5. Presence of pus.

TREATMENT:

  1. Cleanse wound completely.
  2. If infection persists or spreads, seek medical help.

 

DISLOCATIONS

The most common dislocations occur in the shoulder, elbow, finger, or thumb.

SYMPTOMS:

  1. Swelling
  2. Deformed look
  3. Pain and tenderness
  4. Possible discoloration of the affected area

TREATMENT:

  1. Apply a splint to the joint to keep it from moving.
  2. Try to keep joint elevated to slow bloodflow to the area.
  3. If the pain is too severe, CALL 911, otherwise a doctor should be contacted to have the bone set back into its socket.

FAINTING

Fainting can be caused by any number of things including:

  • Diabetes
  • Dehydration
  • Heart Problems,
  • Stroke,
  • or Standing Up too Fast

SYMPTOMS:

Before losing consciousness, the victim may complain of:

  1. Lightheadedness.
  2. Weakness.
  3. Nausea.
  4. Skin may be pale and clammy.

If a person begins to feel faint, they should:

  1. Lean forward.
  2. Lower their head toward their knees.

As the head is lowered below the heart, blood will flow to the brain.

TREATMENT:

  1. Keep the victim lying down with head lowered and legs elevated.
  2. Loosen any tight clothing.
  3. Apply cool, damp cloths to face and neck.

In most cases, the victim will regain consciousness shortly after being placed in this position.

Do not let the victim get up until you have questioned them (Who are you?, Where are you?, Do you know what day it is?) to be sure they have completely recovered.

FRACTURES

SIMPLE FRACTURE: does not break through the skin.

SYMPTOMS & TREATMENT:

If a fracture is suspected:

  1. Check for swelling around the affected area.
  2. There may be discoloration of the skin.
  3. If the victim complains of tenderness and pain in the area or says that he felt or heard a bone snap, see a doctor immediately.
  4. If the victim is in severe pain, consider calling 911.

COMPOUND FRACTURE: bone breaks through the skin. Serious bleeding can occur.  DO NOT APPLY direct pressure to stop the bleeding.

TREATMENT:

  1. CALL 911!
  2. Cover the injured part with a sterile pad.
  3. Apply a splint to keep the bone from causing further injury to the surrounding tissues.
  4. Wait for medical help.
  5. Avoid moving the victim, but keep him warm, comfortable, and reassured.

HEATSTROKE

SYMPTOMS:

  1. Most serious form of all heat emergencies.
  2. Victim will feel extremely warm or hot.
  3. Skin can be either dry or moist.
  4. Victim responses will range from mild confusion to complete unresponsiveness.

TREATMENT:

  1. CALL 911!
  2. Cool the body of a heatstroke victim immediately.
  3. If possible, wrap the victim in cool wet clothes; or sponge his skin with cool water, rubbing alcohol, ice, or cold packs.
  4. Once the victim''s temperature drops to about 101.0 F, you may lay the victim on their side in a cool room.
  5. If the temperature begins to rise again, you will need to repeat the cooling process.
  6. If the victim is able to drink, you may give them some water.
  7. DO NOT GIVE A HEATSTROKE VICTIM ANY KIND OF MEDICATION.
  8. You should watch for signs of shock while waiting for medical attention.
  9. If the victim is unresponsive, check for an open airway and begin rescue breathing if necessary. CLICK HERE FOR BASIC CPR!

HYPOTHERMIA

Hypothermia can occur during all times of the year, even summer.

SYMPTOMS:

  1. Vigorous, uncontrollable shivering

    As hypothermia progresses:
  2. Dizziness
  3. Lightheadedness
  4. Muscular stiffness
  5. Difficulty in moving

    If no treatment is given:
  6. Slurred speech
  7. Slow pulse
  8. Memory loss

    If still no treatment is given:
  9. Unconsciousness
  10. Eventual death

TREATMENT:

The body temperature must be raised slowly. Warming the victim's body too quickly could cause tissue damage.

  1. Take him/her indoors or to an area of shelter.
  2. If the victim's clothes are wet, have him remove them and replace them with warm, dry clothes as soon as possible.
  3. The victim may want to wrap up in a blanket and sit near a heater or fireplace until he is warm.
  4. Give the victim warm liquids (i.e. hot apple cider, soup, etc.) if he/she is fully conscious.
  5. The victim should not drink liquids that contain caffeine.
  6. Make sure the victim gets medical attention as soon as possible.
  7. If victim exhibits any of the symptoms from #6 - #10 -- CALL 911!

POISONING

Ingested Poisoning: a poison is swallowed.

TREATMENT:

  1. CALL 911!
  2. Find out what the victim swallowed and try and find the container.
  3. Follow any directions listed on the container.
  4. Wait for medical help to arrive.

Contact Poisoning: a poison is rubbed, or contacted, against the victim''s skin.
SYMPTOMS:

  1. Rash.
  2. Blistering.
  3. Swelling.
  4. Burning.
  5. Itching.

TREATMENT:

  1. Remove any contaminated clothing.
  2. Wash the affected area of skin thoroughly with soap and cool water to remove any poisonous residue. Be sure the water used to clean the area does not spread poison by running over other parts of your body. Using a washcloth could also spread the poison.
  3. Rinse the area with rubbing alcohol.
  4. Apply calamine lotion to the area to relieve itching and burning.
  5. If the victim develops a fever for several days or experiences an excessive amount of inflammation, irritation, oozing, or itching, they should be treated by a doctor.

 

SPRAINS AND STRAINS

DIFFERENCE IN SPRAINS AND STRAINS:

Sprain--involves injury to the ligaments around a joint
Strain--involves injury to a muscle or tendon

SIGNS OF A SPRAIN:

  1. Affected joint begins to swell immediately.
  2. Joint may also turn black and blue due to the escaped blood from torn blood vessels.
  3. Victim will experience excruciating, shooting pains at the time of the injury because many nerves are injured in a sprain.

TREATMENT OF SPRAIN:

  1. At the time of the injury, begin the RICE treatment.

TREATMENT OF STRAIN:

  • At the time of the injury, begin the RICE treatment. For lower back strain, rest will often bring relief to the strained muscle. If not, alternate cold compresses with hot compresses.

RICE TREATMENT

REST - Avoid using the affected part to avoid further discomfort or injury.

ICE - Apply ice (bags with crushed ice, cold packs, etc.) to the injured area for the first 24 to 48 hours to prevent or reduce swelling.

COMPRESSION - Wrap an elastic bandage around the injured area to secure the ice in place. Do not wrap it so tightly that the circulation is cut off. After 10-15 minutes, loosen the bandage and remove the ice. Ice may be reapplied for 15-20 minutes every one or two hours for the first six hours after the injury. As long as the injury is swelling, continue to apply ice 3-4 times a day.

ELEVATION - Elevate the injured area above the level of the heart to slow the bloodflow to the injury.