From car wrecks to falling at the play ground, accidents happen everyday. Whether it’s a simple scrape or serious injury, knowing proper first aid is crucial.
1. Direct Pressure Slows Bleeding
Profuse bleeding can be life threatening but direct, firm pressure on the wound will slow the bleeding until help arrives. While pressing on a wound may not be comfortable for the injured, it is the best way to slow bleeding.
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2. Nosebleeds – Tilt Head Forward, Not Back
It may be instinctual to tilt your head back when your nose is bleeding but it’s not recommended. Tilting the head back causes the blood to run down the throat, leading to a choking hazard. Instead, tilt your head forward to let the blood flow out of your body. Keep your head above your heart and squeeze the tissue below the bridge of your nose to slow the bleeding. Seek medical attention if the bleeding lasts for longer than 20 minutes or was caused by impact to the head.
3. Run Cool Water Over Minor Burns
Running cool (not cold) water or applying a wet compress to minor burns can reduce pain. For burns both major and minor it’s important to bandage the affected area. Use a clean bandage or cloth to wrap the area loosely.
4. Chest Compressions are the Most Vital Part of CPR
Cardiopulmonary resuscitation or CPR combines breathing into the injured person’s mouth and repeated presses on the chest. This keeps blood and oxygen flowing to the heart and brain. The thought of breathing into a stranger’s mouth can deter some people from giving life saving first aid but in some situations CPR is just as affective when done only with your hands. According to the American Heart Association, performing chest compression only CPR for a cardiac arrest has the same statistical odds of saving a person’s life as CPR with rescue breathing.
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5. Use RICER for Sprains and Strains
After a sprain or a strain occurs there are a few simple steps that should be followed.
REST – Movement can increase swelling and slow healing
ICE – Apply ice for 15-20 minutes every few hours for the first 72 hours after injury to reduce pain and swelling.
COMPRESS – Bandage the sprained area firmly but not too tight.
ELEVATE – Keep the legs above hips by putting the injured leg on a chair or stool, use a sling for arm injures.
REFERRAL – Have the injury checked by a doctor.
For more information on first aid tips and procedures visit the Red Cross.
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