Thank heavens for 911 and local emergency services. But some emergency situations require first aid measures taken right away even before rescue services arrive. Moreover, some situations are not true emergencies and do not really require assistance from emergency services. Knowledge of basic first aid can help prevent further harm. Here are five more first aid mistakes – and how you should respond to them.
MYTH: If foreign object gets in your eyes, rub your eyes to induce tearing. Tears will wash out the foreign body.
PROPER FIRST AID: Rinse your eye under clean running water to flush out the debris. Do not rub your eyes as it can only cause further damage to the delicate eye tissues.
MYTH: In case of snake bite, use a tourniquet to stop venom from spreading.
PROPER FIRST AID: Calm the victim and immobilize the body part to slow off spread of venom in the body. Call local poison control immediately. Applying tourniquet constricts the blood flow, causing increased concentration of poison in the specific area which can lead to more damage. Furthermore, sudden release of venom into the system increases risks.
MYTH: Immerse a cold extremity or frostbite in hot water to thaw it.
PROPER FIRST AID: Gradually thaw the extremity in lukewarm water. Extreme changes in temperature can further lead to damage to damage to tissues.
MYTH: Add rubbing alcohol for sponge bath to reduce fever.
PROPER FIRST AID: In case of very high fever, a tepid sponge bath is enough to lower down the body temperature. Take antipyretic medication to help lower down body temperature. If fever persists for several days, seek medical attention or visit the emergency department for appropriate treatment. Alcohol may be absorbed by the skin which can lead to alcohol poisoning especially in young children.
MYTH: Allergies due to bee stings are minor and can be treated at home.
PROPER FIRST AID: Contact your healthcare provider or visit emergency department immediate in case of bee sting. Allergic reaction from bee stings can lead to life-threatening complications. The airways can get inflamed causing difficulty of breathing.
MYTH: If you get open wound, scrape or cut, simply apply first-aid ointment, cover with clean dressing, and leave it as is to heal for a few days.
PROPER FIRST AID: Wash the wound with soap and water. Apply clean dressing over the wound and change it regularly. At bedtime, it is best to leave the wound uncovered or loosely covered. Fresh air allows the wound to heal faster. Put back the dressing in the morning. Regularly change the bandage or when it gets dirty to prevent infection.
MYTH: In case of embedded object (such as knife or stick), remove the object and cover with bandage.
PROPER FIRST AID: DO NOT remove the embedded object instead stabilize it using bandage. Avoid moving it to prevent further harm on surrounding tissues.