6 first aid treatment myths busted…
WE’VE HEARD THEM ALL, and maybe have even tried a few in the past! The common understanding of protocols for several emergency situations is skewed. The reality: too many people are not CPR, AED & First Aid Certified, and they simply have to trust in these unproven and likely ineffective remedies. I mean really, would you actually feel comfortable urinating on another person’s jellyfish wound? Who came up with this theory?
While many of these remedies might be somewhat effective at times, they should not be trusted to always work. Proper first aid, on the other hand, absolutely can be trusted and can prevent further injury. We’ve decided to bust some of the classic treatments!
#1: Give a hypothermic patient a shot of alcohol to warm up
Giving a hypothermic patient a shot of alcohol will merely leave a bad taste in their mouth and possibly make them feel tipsy. Help the victim instead:
1. Get the person into a warm environment.
2. Remove any wet clothing and dry the person.
3. Redress in warm clothing and cover with a blanket (cover the head)
4. Be prepared to perform CPR.
5. Stay with the victim until advanced help arrives.
#2: Rub oil, grease or butter on a burn to treat it
Please, do not rub butter on a burn. Not only is it ineffective, but also it’s just gross! For proper first aid on burns perform the following actions:
1. Ensure the source has been dealt with and that the scene is safe
2. Wear personal protective equipment and retrieve a first aid kit
3. Rinse the burn in cool or cold water
4. Apply antibiotic or burn cream (be sure no allergy exists)
5. Cover with a clean dressing
#3: Tilt the head back or put the head in between the knees during a nosebleed
Tilting the head back or putting the head in between the knees during a nosebleed just feels right, but gravity and nosebleeds don’t exactly mix. Perform the following nosebleed protocol:
1. Put on protective gloves.
2. Pinch both sides of the nostrils below the bony portion for 5 to 10 minutes.
3. Keep holding for an additional 10 minutes if the bleeding continues.
4. Seek medical care if the bleeding does not stop, there is trouble breathing or signs of distress.
#4: Give a victim experiencing hyperventilation a paper bag to breathe in
There are several reasons one hyperventilate: stress, exercise or shock. If a person is experiencing hyperventilation and you are near, do the following:
1. Speak to the victim with assurance and firmly, but be kind.
2. Take him or her to a quiet place or ask bystanders to leave the area.
3. If the victim is not improving, call 911 immediately.
#5: Put something in a seizing patient’s mouth to bite on
Seizures occur due to an irregular electric discharge in the brain, meaning an item in the mouth to bite on will not ultimately help the victim. Instead perform proper first aid procedures for seizures:
1. Help the victim to the ground if needed.
2. Clear the area to prevent injury
3. Place a small pillow or towel under their head.
4. Call 911.
#6: Put a raw steak on a black eye
Unless you would like to give the victim a bacterial infection, keep the steak in the freezer. Instead do this:
1. Apply a cold compress soon after injury.
2. Seek medical care immediately if vision problems, severe pain, bruising around both eyes or bleeding occurs.
3. Apply a warm compress after a few days after swelling has stabilized.
Emergencies such as those listed above can happen to anyone, anywhere and at anytime. Are you CPR, AED & First Aid Certified?
If you would like to learn more about NHCPS’s offered online CPR, AED & First Aid course, you can give us a call at 888-688-3545.