- by Manipal Hospitals
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- Feb 14 2017
First Aid – An Aid in Time Can Save a Life!
Immediate care and attention provided to an injured or ill person is known as first aid. Both self-help and home care form a part of first aid if medical assistance is delayed. In many instances, first aid can mean difference between life and death. Anaccident or illness can never be expected, it happens in the most unexpected conditions. At times being a bystander and watching the accident victims gruell in pain make us feel so helpless. With a knowledge of administering first aid using minimal medical techniques, you can be of great help in critical conditions until medical assistance arrives.
Here are the few conditions that require first aid assistance–
Cuts- We often ignore cuts, snubbing it for being a minor ailment. However, we fail to realise that these cuts can contract severe infections which may lead into serious complications. In addition to infections, cuts can lead to bleeding which can pose serious threats if left unattended.
On getting a cut, one must immediately apply direct pressure on the wound to stop the bleeding. Cleaning the wound with a disinfectant reduces the risk of contracting an infection. An antibiotic ointment aids in recovering fast.
Burns- Burns caused by fire, radiation, chemicals, and boiling water need immediate medical assistance. There are three degrees of burns depending upon the intensity of the burn. First-degree burns are red and painful while the second degree burns are very painful and produce blisters on the skin. The third-degree burns damage all the skin layers and is the most serious condition of all.
First degree burns can be treated with first-aid in certain conditions whereas second and third degree burns require immediate medical attention. Putting out the fire or restricting the person’s contact with hot liquid or steam is the primary step and the later steps comprise soaking the affected area in cold water for 15 minutes. Antibiotic creams help in cooling down the burns.
Animal Bites- Animal bites and scratches can lead to serious infections depending on the degree of injury. Some bites need stitches while others heal naturally. Certain diseases like rabies caused by a dog bite can be life-threatening.
The affected area must be immediately washed with soap and warm water. Antibiotic cream should be applied to reduce any risk of severe infection. You should consult a doctor immediately to avoid complications.
Food Poisoning- We all would have suffered from food poisoning at one point of time in our life. It can be very frustrating given the fact that we undergo significant dehydration. Unhealthy cooking results in multiplication of bacteria into large numbers ,enough to cause illness. Diarrhea, nausea, abdominal pain and vomiting are few symptoms of food poisoning.
One should avoid solid foods until vomiting ceases and must intake large quantity of liquids to prevent vomiting sensation. Fried, greasy, spicy, and sweet food must be avoided at all costs. On experiencing severe dehydration, one must seek medical assistance immediately.
Insect Stings- Most of the insect bites and stings are mild, and results in redness, itching or minor swelling. However stings by a bee, a wasp, a hornet, a fire ant or a scorpion can result in severe reactions.
The affected area must be immediately washed with soap and water. If possible, the stinger must be removed without pinching the wound. Using ice over the affected areas controls the swelling.
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