Do you know what to do if: your tooth has suddenly been knocked out; or a sharp, large, piece of wood has been impaled in your body; suffered severe anaphylactic or allergic reaction; or fell from a high ladder?
Completing a first aid course prepares you to respond in emergency situations. However, even if you have not completed any first aid course, there are simple first aid treatments that everyone can learn. When done quickly and properly, these first aid tips could actually save somebody’s life.
Consider these tips as first aid basics – five things everyone should know, especially if you have no basic knowledge of first aid.
1. Tourniquet for bleeding is a NO-NO.
In case of bleeding, only apply pressure and never attempt to use a tourniquet unless you have received proper training. Improper use of tourniquet could actually destroy the affected limb.
2. Do not attempt to remove impaled foreign object.
Impalement of objects on body parts is actually very common. They can happen to very young children as much as in very old adults. This is especially true after storms when debris become impalement hazard. Punctures are the fourth leading causes of emergency room visits, just falling behind falls, car accidents and blunt injuries.
In case of impalement, the doctors recommend leaving the object in place and calling 911, unless the impaled object is small. Pulling or releasing the injuring object may cause veins or arteries to rupture and bleed profusely. If not treated immediately, the bleeding can cost the life of the victim.
3. Epinephrine auto-injector for severe allergic reaction.
People who have previous history of severe anaphylactic reaction or allergy often have a standby epinephrine auto-injector or epinephrine pen. If you someone develops allergic reaction, make sure to ask if he or she has an epinephrine pen. When people are in an emergency situation, they can become panicked and lose concentration, often forgetting their emergency medications.
Auto-injectors are specifically designed for emergency treatment. You can use it even if you don’t have any prior training. Give a shot of epinephrine and, of course, call 911.
4. Never move a person who fell from a high place.
In any fall accident, spinal cord injuries are always a possibility, therefore, you should not move the victim unless there is clear danger. In most cases, moving a victim with underlying spinal cord injury can only cause further harm. If you need to move the victim, make sure you do a log roll so that the entire body (from head to legs) moves as one unit.
5. Don’t clean or wash a knocked-out or fallen tooth.
Cleaning the tooth can damage important structures of the tooth such as ligament and nerves. Instead of cleaning the tooth, place it in a glass of milk and visit the nearest emergency room immediately. Avoid touching the base of the tooth and make sure your hands are clean before handling the tooth.