First Aid Myths

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When someone requires first aid, taking the right action could mean the difference between life and death. In other cases, it could prevent an injury from becoming worse. The problem is that there are many myths surrounding first aid. Knowing fact from fiction will mean that you are prepared in any situation.

1. Put Butter on Burns

Butter contains oil, which can cause a burn to heat up, therefore exacerbating the injury. The best treatment for burns is cool water. Run water over the burn for at least 10 minutes, only stopping when the person is no longer experiencing pain.

2. Tilt Back the Head for a Nosebleed

This used to be common practice, but it is actually dangerous. Tilting back the head can cause blood to drain into the throat and cause vomiting. It is better ask the person to pinch the nostrils and breathe through the mouth.

3. Try to Remove the Cause of Choking with Your Fingers

Trying to fish out food or a foreign object that is causing choking may result in the blockage becoming wedged further down the throat. The proper first aid technique for choking involves back slaps and abdominal thrusts.

4. Make a Person Who Has Swallowed Poison Vomit

Forcing someone to vomit can irritate the airway as the poison travels back up, now mixed with stomach acid. It is better to call your nearest poison centre for instructions or take the person to ER. If you do head to a hospital, be sure to bring either a sample of the substance or its packaging with you. This will help the medical professionals provide the most appropriate treatment.

5. Manage a Heart by Asking the Person to Cough

There is no evidence to suggest that coughing has any impact on a heart attack. If there is any indication that a person is suffering from cardiac arrest, you need to seek emergency medical attention.

6. Never Move Someone with a Spinal Injury

Whereas this is true most of the time, there are occasions where it is better to move the person — for instance, if remaining in the same place puts the patient in a life-threatening situation. In addition, in the case of vomiting, you should move the patient into recovery position.

Emergency education training is necessary for all health care professionals. Keep up your training by enrolling in an Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support (ACLS) EP course or an ECG course. Both are offered by The Western Institute of Emergency Education.



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