First Aid Fact or Fake?

Author: Nurse Buff   Date Posted:14 June 2019 

Nose bleed

Fiction: Tilt your head back to stop bleeding.

Fact: Lean forward, pinch your nose.

Nose bleeding, according to medical experts, is not always a medical emergency. If the bleeding doesn’t stop after five to six minutes, then that’s the time that you should  seek professional help. To provide first aid, ask the victim to lean forward and pinch the nose just below the bone. Tilting the head backward might cause someone additional danger especially if heavy bleeding is suspected.

 

Ankle sprain

Fiction: Apply hot compress.

Fact: Apply cold compress.

Using hot compress will only increase the severity of inflammation not just of sprains but also of strains and fractures. Cold compress, on the other hand, will minimize both swelling and pain sensation so it’s advisable to use cold compress for 10 full minutes with another 10 minute-interval for 24-48 hours.

 

Snake bite

Fiction: Cut the snake bite with a knife, apply tourniquet to the extremity, and suck the bloody wood to remove the snake venom.

Fact: Apply a splint or cover the area with clean cloth and go to the emergency room as soon as possible.

Contrary to popular belief, sucking out a victim’s blood will only put the rescuer’s life in danger because the area underneath the tongue is highly vascular and can easily absorb blood with the snake venom. Cutting the wounds to let the blood ooze out has the risk of damaging several nerves and tendons so it  will be better to leave the wound as it is. The same goes with tourniquet because cutting off the blood supply to any area of the body, as we all know, will only leave that body part damaged and non-functional.

 

Burns

Fiction: Put butter or petroleum jelly to the burned area.

Fact: Flush the burned area with cool water and apply antibiotic ointment to decrease  the risk of infection.

Using butter, mayonnaise or petroleum jelly will only cause further injury because they contain substances that enclose more heat when applied to skin. You can either flush or submerge the burned area with cool water to minimize pain sensation and stop the heating process. If the victim has too many blisters or gained third degree burns, immediate medical attention is necessary.

 

Bleeding Extremity

Fiction: Apply tourniquet above the area of injury.

Fact: Pad the bleeding area with numerous layers of gauze pads and seek medical attention especially if the injury is caused by animal bites.

This is actually the same with snake bites; one should never apply tourniquet to a bleeding or wounded area because it will cut off the blood supply to that body part or extremity. Amputation will be unavoidable once an extremity is considered useless due to blood supply impedance.

 

Car accident

Fiction: Move an unconscious victim from the area of accident.

Fact: Don’t move the victim and avoid removing the victim’s helmet (for motorcycle riders) until paramedics arrive.

Road accidents usually involve spinal cord injuries so it’s always better to leave the victim in his original position especially if immediate threats to life like fire is non-existent. Any unnecessary movement might cause paralysis or even death to the victim because spinal cord controls virtually everything within a human body.

 

Seizure

Fiction: Let the victim bite a spoon so he won’t bite his own tongue.

Fact: Never put anything inside a victim’s mouth.

If someone is having a seizure, it’s either the victim is naturally an epileptic or suffering convulsion for the first time.  During this emergency, avoid touching the victim unless you consider it necessary to transfer him to a safer place. Putting a spoon in the victim’s mouth will only lead to two things: it’s either he will break the object or his teeth which can lead to an accidental choking.

 

Blister

Fiction: Break the blister.

Fact: Leave the blister as it is.

Popping the blister will only expose the underlying skin to further damage and possible infection. The blister will normally heal on its own.

 


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