Brief Guide: Alarming First Aid Mistakes and What to do Instead

Sometimes we rush to help a victim of an accident and administer what we think is the best treatment for the condition. But the shocking truth is we are often doing it all wrong and could make a situation worse. So before you begin practicing what you learned in first aid and BLS certification online. Read through this to ensure the procedure you learned is not among the alarming mistakes.

Tilting Head Back for a Nose Bleed

This is just too common. It seems logical that if the nose is bleeding, you should tilt the head backward. It prevents the blood from flowing out. This is actually dangerous. If the blood is a lot it can flow into the throat and choke the victim.

The right first aid is to help the patient bend forward and pinch the nostrils for about 10 minutes to allow the blood to clot.

Using a Tight Bandage to Stop Bleeding

Even though it is important to stop bleeding, using a tight bandage on a limb to cut off blood flow is actually dangerous. It can result in the limb amputation.

The right procedure is to clean the area and then get a clean bandage. Apply pressure directly on the wound where the blood is coming out until it clots or until the paramedics come. Tourniquets are only used in severe situations like a bullet wound on the battlefield.

Applying Oil or Butter on a Burn

There is just no logical explanation for applying oil or butter to a burn wound, and yet it is something many do. The fact is that this may even encourage infection and yet it does nothing to treat the injury.
A burn should be attended to immediately with cold water. Run cold water over the area or even other cold liquids like milk, if it is available. Remember the idea is to cool the burnt area.

Inducing Vomiting for Poisoning

Getting someone who has swallowed poison to vomit it out is making the situation worse. You could either cause the poison to be absorbed faster since the stomach will be empty, or you could cause corrosion of the throat which can affect breathing and cause death.

The effect of poison varies so you will need to call the emergency number and do as they instruct you until the paramedics arrive.

Sticking Your Finger into a Choking Victim’s Throat

It may seem like a simple solution to stick your finger into the throat of a choking victim to attempt and retrieve whatever is blocking the airway. Avoid this as you could end up pushing the object deeper and cause more problems.

If the person is coughing, let them carry on coughing and it will eventually dislodge the object. Alternatively, if the airways are blocked, use the Heimlich maneuver. This involves getting behind the person as they stand. Wrap your arms around them, and then make a fist with one hand and place it at the navel. Use the other hand to hold your wrist firmly and compress the stomach in intervals until the object comes out.

You can learn first aid and CPR training and get BLS certification online to make sure you give the right first aid to a victim.