While owning a first aid kit is extremely helpful, it’s only useful if you know how to treat minor injuries. That being said, here are some basic first aid tips for the top six most common injuries!
Let’s face it: wounds are one of the most common injuries that occur. Wounds can range anywhere from little paper cuts to larger cuts that occur from accidents. While tending to a wound might seem difficult, it only requires a few easy steps.
Begin by simply washing your hands with soap and water or putting on gloves. Then, you should clean the wound using soap and water. After the area is completely dry, use any type of antibiotic ointment to cover the wound. Finally, use the proper sized bandage to cover and secure the wound.
Bleeding can be a scary injury for both the victim and the person tending to the victim. Like any other first aid care, it’s important to put on gloves before you start tending to the victim. Prior to starting care, make sure you or someone else calls 911. Although the first aid care you give should minimize or even stop bleeding, the victim should be examined by medical professionals.
After calling 911, make sure the victim is lying down in a straight and comfortable position. Take an adequately sized cloth or gauze and use it to put pressure on the wound. Continue doing this until the bleeding slows down, stops, or until medical professionals arrive. Some important things to consider when taking care of a bleeding victim include:
- Victims suffering from blood loss have a high risk of shock. It’s important to keep them calm and comfortable. Shock has a higher risk of occurring when a patient’s temperature drops. So, place a blanket on the victim so they stay warm.
- Only medical professionals should remove an object. While most people are tempted to attempt to remove an object from a bleeding victim, this is one of the worst things they could do. Attempting to remove an object that’s causing bleeding could potentially hurt the victim even more. So, focus on controlling the bleeding and leave removing the object to the professionals.
- Keep it elevated. Unless the bleeding area is also fractured, you should keep the affected area elevated.
Typically, eye injuries can be solved without the help of a medical professional. Of course, if a victim gets chemicals in their eyes or is impaled by something, medical professionals should be alerted immediately. Regardless of the severity of an eye injury, here are some general steps you can take.
Regardless of which eye is injured, you should use a dressing or eye cup to cover both eyes. It’s important to cover both eyes because this reduces how much the injured eye is attempted to move.
If a chemical or something liquid enters an eye, the victim’s eyes should be flushed. Make sure the victim takes out their contacts. Then, place their head downwards and use cool water to flush the eye.
It’s important to note that using meat and ice to treat an eye injury is a common misconception. The only time ice should be used to treat an eye injury is when a victim has a black eye. Even then, ice should only be applied to the surrounding area of the eye where swelling occurs, such as the cheek. Also, do not apply pressure to an injured eye because it can make it worse. Finally, do not attempt to remove any objects from an eye. In the event this occurs, simply call 911 and stay with the victim.
Unconsciousness could happen to anyone at any time. So, it’s important to know how to treat it. Like many other injuries in this article, if someone is unconscious, you should immediately call 911. It is extremely crucial that you stay next to the victim until medical professionals arrive.
Once you call 911, evaluate the victim’s state. Start by evaluating how alert they are by asking them basic questions, such as:
- Are you okay?
- What is your name? What is my name?
- How old are you?
- What is the date?
- Where are you?
It’s important to note that you shouldn’t spend a lot of time on these questions. It is easy to evaluate how alert a victim is by one or two questions. Once you evaluate a victim’s state, evaluate their ABC’s (Airway, Breathing, and Circulation). If the victim appears to not be breathing, CPR should be administered.
It’s important to note that CPR requires proper knowledge and training. So, you should only perform CPR if you’re qualified. Once you’ve completed all the steps, make sure the victim remains calm and warm until medical professionals arrive.
There are different procedures for different types of burns. The most common types of burns are first, second, and third degree burns. Although first degree burns can be painful, they luckily do not require professional help. Typically, cool water and burn gel will fix the problem.
On the other hand, second and third degree burns require immediate medical attention. So, prior to treating the burns, you or someone else should immediately require 911. In the event someone suffers from second or third degree burns, simply use dressing or cloth to cover and secure the burns. This is the only step you should take. If the burns are surrounded by clothing, leave it on. It’s also important to not apply any creams, ointments, or gels because they can make the burns worse.
The last common injury on our list is poison. Once you or someone in your presence ingests too much of something, something expired, or something poisonous, immediately call 911 or the Poison Control Center. Typically, poison is either encountered on skin, in the eye, or in the mouth. If the victim encountered poison through their skin, use water to flush it out for approximately 15 minutes. Afterwards, rinse the infected area with simple soap and water.
On the other hand, if poison entered their eyes, the victim should use lukewarm water to flush their eyes for approximately 15 minutes. The easiest way this process can be administered is by having the victim stand in the shower with their eyes open.
Finally, if the victim swallowed something, consult a medical professional before giving them anything. The best thing you can do is help the victim remain calm and stay by their side until medical professionals arrive.