Knowledge is the first line of defense when a person is met with an unfortunate accident leading to an injury. It is important that immediate action be taken to treat the basic injuries to avert permanent damage.
This knowledge and its application are termed first-aid treatments. A more clinical definition would be that first aid refers to the immediate and initial medical care and assistance provided to an injured person before professional medical treatment can be administered.
The aim of first aid is to alleviate pain, prevent further harm, and stabilize the individual’s condition by using medical techniques, supplies, and knowledge.
Some first aid treatments are as follows: wound cleansing, dressing, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), immobilization of fractures, controlling bleeding, and offering comfort and reassurance to the affected person.
The primary goal is to preserve life, promote recovery, and reduce the risk of complications until professional medical care is available. In this article, we will analyze seven common first-aid injuries and how to address them.
Common First Aid Injuries
🔸 Minor Wounds
These are superficial damages to the skin or underlying tissues that typically do not pose a significant threat to a person’s well-being. They are characterized by their size, depth, and severity. Some of them include blisters, abrasions, scrapes, etc.
The best approach would be to clean the injured area with soap and water and blot the wound. Avoid isopropyl alcohol or hydrogen peroxide; they have the potential to damage tissue and delay healing. Once the wound is dry, apply antibiotic ointment with gauze or a bandage.
These occur when the ligaments in your ankle or wrist stretch or tear. In most cases, they are mild and can be self-treated. For wrist sprains, follow RICE: rest, ice (20-minute intervals), compression (elastic wrap), and elevating above heart level.
Ankle sprains are treated similarly with MICE: motion (gentle flexing immediately after injury), ice, compression, and elevation, which collectively reduce swelling and aid healing.
🔸 Bee And Wasp Stings
These are unfortunately unavoidable. The first step is to remove the stinger with tweezers or scrape the area with a blunt object. Then reduce swelling by applying a cool compress, and remove any tight clothing and accessories from the area in case swelling occurs.
Keep an eye open for signs of an allergic reaction or shock by checking the victim’s airway, breathing, and circulation. If any signs persist, seek professional help.
First off, nosebleeds are rarely as serious as they are alarming. To stop a nosebleed, keep the person upright with the head tilted slightly forward. Have the person pinch the lower half of their nose (the soft part) and hold it firmly for ten minutes.
If the bleeding persists afterward, repeat the exercise. If it still persists, get professional help as soon as possible. Note that when treating a nosebleed, do not lay the person on their back, tilt their head back, or stuff tissues into their nose to stop the bleeding.
Splinters are a common hazard for children and adults. The object of a splinter is always wood. To remove a splinter, first, wash and dry the area to reduce the risk of infection. Use a magnifying glass to examine the penetration site to determine which way it entered the skin.
Remove the splinter with sterilized tweezers, pulling it out in the same direction it entered the skin. Do not try to squeeze out the splinter; it could cause it to break into smaller pieces, making it difficult to remove. Once the splinter is out, wash the area with soap and water again and apply a bandage if necessary.
It is pertinent to recognize the type of burn the victim has sustained in order to administer the proper treatment. Below are the types of burns known:
- First-degree burn: the skin appears red and may be painful or swollen. These do not usually require medical attention. First-aid treatment covers it just fine.
- Second-degree burn: the skin appears red, blistered, and swollen. These may very well require medical attention.
- Third-degree burn: the skin will visibly be charred and may turn white. These burns are excruciating and require full medical attention.
To treat First and second-degree burns, submerge the affected area in cool water until the pain stops. If the affected area is too large to submerge, cover it with a cool cloth. If blisters appear, do not break them. Access to determine if treatment is necessary; otherwise, apply first aid cream for the pain.
To treat third-degree or serious secondary-degree burns, call 911 immediately. Do not try to remove clothing stuck to the burned area; apply nothing (creams, compresses, gels) for relief.
🔸 Heat Stroke/Heat Exhaustion
When the body overheats, it may result in heat exhaustion, a precursor to the severe condition of heatstroke. The symptoms include muscle cramps, profuse sweating, pale or cold skin, dizziness, and confusion.
To address heat exhaustion, move the individual to a shaded or cooler location. Encourage them to lie down and elevate their legs to enhance blood flow toward the heart. Loosen tight clothing, apply a cool, damp cloth to the skin, and provide small sips of water or electrolyte beverages.
If these measures prove ineffective and the reading temperature is above 102 degrees Fahrenheit, the patient loses consciousness or has a seizure, get professional medical assistance immediately.