Basic First Aid

Basic First Aid

Cuts

  1. Apply pressure to the cut and hold the affected area above the heart (if possible) until the bleeding eases
  2. If the bleeding does not stop after applying pressure for 10 minutes, you should seek medical attention
  3. Rinse the cut under running water or clean with alcohol-free wipes, and make sure there is no dirt in the cut which could cause infection
  4. Gently dry the affected area
  5. Apply a plaster to close the wound, or if needed apply a sterile dressing
  6. Seek medical attention the cut was made with a non sterile object or if there is a risk of any dirt or foreign objects remaining in the wound

ALWAYS make sure your tetanus injections are up to date

Please seek medical attention if you think the cut may have become infected, or if it is not healing properly.

Severe Bleeding

The main aim is to stop blood coming out of the wound

  • 1. Apply pressure to the wound – you can use your hand, or any clean material, such as a tea towel
  • 2. Raise the wound above the level of the heart
  • 3. If something is embedded in the wound, take care not to press on the object. Instead you’ll need to press firmly on either side of the object and build up padding around it before bandaging to avoid putting pressure on the object itself.
  • 4. Call 999

Please see the following links for further information;

redcross.org.uk/firstaid/bleeding

www.nhs.uk/chq/pages/1048.aspx (NHS Direct)

Shock

The most common cause of shock is severe blood loss. This life-threatening condition occurs when vital organs do not get enough oxygen due to reduced blood circulation.

Signs of shock include pale, cold and clammy skin, rapid then weak pulse, fast and shallow breathing, sweating, nausea and thirst. If you suspect shock, you should lie down with your legs raised and supported. Any tight clothing should be loosened.

  • 1. Call 999
  • 2. Avoid food and drinks in case there is a need for a general anaesthetic in hospital.

 Visit redcross.org.uk/firstaid/shock for further advice.

Burns and scalds

  • 1. Firstly cool down the burn by placing it under cold running water for at least 10 minutes. This will reduce the pain and swelling.
  • 2. Remove all clothing and jewellery from the affected area, unless it is attached to the burn
  • 3. Once the burn is cooled cover with cling film – this will help stop infection, place it lengthways just to cover the area loosely – there is no need to wrap and seal the cling film round the area
  • 4. A clean plastic bag can be used to cover a burn on the foot or hand
  • 5. Call an ambulance if necessary.
  • 6. Avoid using any creams or lotions.

Please see the following links for more information;

redcross.org.uk/firstaid/burns

www.nhs.uk/chq/pages/1047.aspx (NHS Direct)

Overdoses

ALWAYS seek urgent medical attention without delay

  • 1. One tablet over the prescribed amount is too many
  • 2. What may not harm one person may be fatal or cause serious damage to another. Everyone is different. The damage an overdose will cause can depend on many factors
  • 3. You may not seem to be affected by the number of tablets you have taken on one occasion but that does not mean you won’t be affected if you do it again with the same number. You may appear fine but it is always possible that you have caused damage that will become clear at a later date
  • 4. If you find a person who has taken an overdose they should be put into the recovery position – on their side with their airway open as shown
  • 5. Call an ambulance keep monitoring them checking that their airway is open and they are breathing

Strains and sprains

Strains and sprains should be treated initially by the ‘RICE’ procedure:

R rest the injured part

I apply ice or a cold compress

C comfortably support the injury

E elevate the injured part

This treatment may be sufficient to relieve the symptoms, but if you do not know how severe the injury is, treat it as a broken bone and seek medical advice