Quick First Aid on Your Way to the Doctor

Quick First Aid on Your Way to the Doctor

Animal Bite

  • Using a clean dry cloth, firmly apply pressure to the wound to stop the bleeding.
  • If the wound is minor, carefully wash it with warm water and soap. Put antibiotic cream and a clean bandage on the wound.
  • If the injury is major, apply pressure to impede the bleeding. Contact a doctor.
  • Doctors suggest you receive a tetanus shot every 10 years. If the bruise is dirty or deep, and it has been more than five years since you received a booster shot, your doctor may suggest you receive one. It is important that you get the tetanus shot within 48 hours.

Broken Bone

  • Firmly apply pressure to the injury using a clean cloth, bandage or a portion of clothing.
  • Place a splint on the broken bone to impede movement.
  • Apply an ice pack to the area to alleviate discomfort and decrease inflammation.
  • If the injured person feels faint or is experiencing shortness of breath, lay them flat, and if feasible, raise their legs.

Burns

If the damaged area is bigger than one entire arm or the whole abdomen, call 911 or take the victim to the emergency department immediately. Victims with burns to the face, hands, feet or genitalia need emergency medical assistance so call 911 immediately.

  • Treating a burn begins with stopping the burning process. Cool the burned area with cool (not cold or warm) running water for several minutes. (If an ambulance is coming, continue running water over the burned area until the ambulance arrives.)
  • Mild burns with reddened skin and no blisters may be treated with a topical burn ointment or spray to reduce pain. Ibuprofen may also be taken to relieve pain until you are seen by the doctor.

DO NOT APPLY BUTTER OR OIL TO ANY BURN!

Child with Fever

  • Place a cold cloth pad or gauze on the child’s forehead. Contact the doctor immediately.
  • Do not administer aspirin.
  • If the infant is less than 6 months old, do not administer Ibuprofen.

Cut or Scrape

  • Firmly place pressure on the injured area, using a clean cloth, to stop the bleeding.
  • Continue to apply pressure until the bleeding stops.
  • Wash the wound thoroughly with water, and then place antibiotic ointment and a bandage on it.

Dehydration

  • Mild cases of dehydration can be treated by drinking water and stopping fluid loss.
  • Refrain from eating solid foods and consume only clear liquids to impede fluid depletion caused by vomiting and diarrhea.
  • To take in fluid, suck on popsicles or ice chips; drink beverages that contain carbohydrates and electrolytes, such as Gatorade; and drink small amounts of water.

Embedded Object

  • Do not attempt to remove the object.
  • To reduce the bleeding, firmly place pressure around the region using a clean cloth or bandage.
  • To immobilize the object, cautiously wrap a clean gauze or piece of clothing all over the area.
  • If bleeding does not stop, continue applying pressure using clean bandages of cloths.
  • Contact a doctor.

Eye Injuries

  • Eye abrasions often come from foreign objects in the eye. Flushing the eyes with water is the preferred treatment to remove foreign objects or chemical contamination from the eyes.
  • If an eyewash station is available, use it. If not, a garden hose held vertically so the water is flowing straight up is ideal. If a garden hose is not available, eyes can be flushed under the faucet in the kitchen or bathroom sink.
  • Keep the eyes open at all times. Flushing the eyes with them closed does not do anything.
  • Always flush both eyes to avoid washing the object or contamination to the unaffected eye. If using a sink faucet, have the victim hold his or her head so that the affected eye is lower than the unaffected eye. Flush both eyes for at least 20 minutes.
  • If there is an abrasion or the victim still feels like there is a foreign object in the eye after flushing with water, cover both eyes with a bulky dressing to keep the eye from moving and receiving more damage. Seek medical treatment.
  • Pressure is bad. Make sure you do not put any pressure on the eyes, injured or not.

Heat Exhaustion (minor cases)

  • Move the person into a shady or air conditioned area.
  • Advise the person to loosen or take off clothing and lie down.
  • Give them cold beverages, such as water and sports drinks.
  • Refrain from giving them any drinks that consist of alcohol and caffeine.

Heat exhaustion can progress into heat stroke if the person is faint, confused and has seizures or fever that is more than 102 degrees Fahrenheit. Seek medical help immediately.

Heat Stroke

Heat stroke is classified as a medical emergency. Refrain from treating this condition on your own. Call 911 immediately. There are some guidelines to follow until medical help arrives:

  • Transport the person to a cool area.
  • If the person experiencing heat stroke is conscious, apply damp sheets on them or place them in a bathtub filled with cool water.

Insect Bite or Sting (mild reactions)

  • Transport the person to another location to prohibit further injury.
  • Do not attempt to remove the stinger by simply pulling it out. This may cause more venom to discharge.
  • Instead, use an object with a straight edge like a credit card to remove the stinger.
  • Carefully rinse the bite or sting with soap and water.
  • Place a cold compress on the injury to decrease discomfort and inflammation.
  • Until the symptoms diminish, place 0.5 or 1 percent hydrocortisone cream, calamine lotion or a baking soda paste (combining three teaspoons of soda and one teaspoon of water) on the affected area several times a day.
  • Take an antihistamine that consists of diphenhydramine, such as Benadryl or chlorpheniramine maleate, such as Chlor-Trimeton and Teldrin.