Accidents happen all the time. And for most people, they’re hardly fatal. However, they do cause a lot of pain and distress when they happen. Without proper care, they can even lead to more serious conditions.
This is why first aid exists. It’s a method of providing immediate relief and care to people who are injured, keeping them out of harm’s way at least until more extensive intervention comes. Healthcare practitioners and emergency responders naturally practice this. But even ordinary people benefit from learning how to treat common first aid injuries.
This guide can serve as your introduction to first aid. If you want to learn how to properly aid even strangers who need immediate care, read on.
How Did First Aid Start?
The modern concept of first aid began with Friedrich Esmarch, a German military surgeon who was also credited for the invention of ice bags and arm and leg splints. His idea of providing immediate relief even before professional care arrives has benefited the field of healthcare in a lot of ways.
This has led to the creation of helpful innovations like pelvic slings, which you can learn more about in an article published here. Before, injuries tended to be debilitating and often got worse. But with implements like these, recovery rates improved, pain was reduced overall, and people returned to their regular routines more quickly.
Of course, first aid is no substitute for actual medical treatment. But that depends on the severity of the injury. Even with more complex cases, immediate care through first aid drastically improves outcomes.
Common First Aid Injuries
As mentioned before, knowing how to immediately treat injuries and provide relief always comes in handy in many situations, like at work or outdoors. Here are some of the most common injuries people experience that can be treated with first aid:
Cuts And Scrapes
These injuries happen when the skin comes in contact with sharp or abrasive surfaces. They hardly require intensive medical attention unless they are large, deep, or hard to bind or bandage.
If someone gets a cut or scrape, clean the wound with running, lukewarm water. Then, suppress the blood by pressing firmly on the site of the cut using a clean cloth. After a while, the bleeding should slow down. You can then apply antibiotic ointment thinly on the surface of the cut to prevent infection.
You must head to an emergency room if the bleeding doesn’t stop. Do the same if the cut or scrape doesn’t appear to be healing, is forming pus, produces other discharges or foul smells, or results in swelling and fever.
Burns from scalding hot water or surfaces are quite painful. To provide relief, you need to put the burn area under cold running water or apply a cold, wet towel to make the person.
Maintaining moisture and cleanliness is important for treating burns. For minor ones, you can apply a lotion made of aloe vera or cocoa butter on the affected area. Then, you may cover it with a protective dressing. Also, make sure to remove any accessories away from the burn to prevent irritation.
When blisters form, avoid breaking them. Instead, cover the burn with a bandage that’s loose enough to prevent putting pressure on the blisters.
A splinter is a tiny object embedded into the skin, usually wood or plastic. If you get a splinter, wash the area with soap and warm water. Be careful not to rub too hard so the fragment won’t dig deeper.
You can use a sterilized tweezer and a needle to remove the fragment. If the splinter has a portion sticking out, just grab the end with the tweezer and gently pull it out along the same angle it went in.
If the splinter isn’t sticking out, you need to scrape a little skin away using the head of a needle until there’s a portion you can hold with the tweezers. After taking the splinter out, rewash it, and if there is bleeding, cover it with a bandage.
You can also use tape to remove shallow splinters. Apply it over the spot, wait for a few minutes, then slowly pull it off.
When the tissue in the nose breaks due to colds, dryness, or an injury, the nose might bleed.
If you get a nosebleed, sit upright, pinch the lower end of your nostrils, and lean forward for about five to ten minutes. Apply an ice pack compress instead if the nosebleed is the result of getting hit.
Take note that nosebleeds may indicate more serious problems. If other symptoms accompany the nosebleed, like dizziness, fainting, or vomiting, call for medical aid or have someone else do it.
Ankle sprains happen when the ligaments get stretched or twisted in an awkward or forced way. This usually happens when you slip or fall out of balance, like during sports.
The first thing to do is immobilize the area by elevating it on a surface. This also helps reduce swelling. Apply an ice pack and compress the area with an elastic wrap or a bandage.
This injury may take days to months to heal. If there are no signs of improvement, visit a doctor.
Providing immediate relief and aid is always a good thing to learn. It can help both yourself and someone else in need. Even the smallest bit of assistance can ensure the best outcomes for an injured person. Consider learning more about first aid today.