We’ve all heard several myths regarding basic first aid and not sure what to believe or how to proceed in emergency situations. Accidents and unforeseen incidents happen everyday which can lead us into questioning what to do next in an emergency situation. It’s important to distinguish between what can be treated at home with help of a first aid kit or what has to be taken to the emergency room for immediate attention. Responding correctly helps minimize further damage and may decrease recovery time.
Listed below are myths to put your mind to rest while in your next emergency situation:
Myth 1: Put something in the mouth of someone having a seizure
This is supposed to stop them swallowing or biting their tongue, but by putting something in their mouth they could break their teeth, or the object, then choke on the pieces. Instead, try to put something underneath their head or just cushion the area with your coat or a blanket and remove any hazards.
Myth 2: If someone feels faint, put their head between their legs.
If they put their head between their legs they could fall forwards and injure themselves. This is the same if you make them sit up, another common mistake. Instead, they should lie down and you should raise their legs to get blood flowing to the brain.
Myth 3: If someone is hyperventilating make them breathe into a paper bag.
This practice should not be encouraged as proper treatment as it’s actually quite dangerous. This is because you will be making them breath in CO2, causing dangerously low oxygen levels. Instead, you should get the person to breathe slowly and deeply until they relax. Sips of water can also be helpful.
Myth 4: Never move a person after a traffic accident.
If a spinal injury is suspected, the person should preferably not be moved – but this may of course be necessary if they are in a life-threatening location. Also, it’s of primary importance to rather focus first on whether they are breathing: if they are unconscious then check the airway is clear by lifting the chin and tilting the head.
Myth 5: If a child drinks a harmful substance then make them vomit.
This is not encouraged as more damage can be caused as the vomit exits the body, potentially burning the airway. After calling emergency services, get the child to sip milk and drink water to flush out the corrosive substance.
Myth 6: A shot of alcohol can warm a hypothermic patient.
Science-Based Response: Alcohol may give you a subjective sense of warmth, but it dilates the blood vessels, which actually causes more heat loss, not less. It can also cause changes in judgment and coordination – two conditions to be avoided.
Prevent heat loss by removing wet clothes, providing insulation, and warming the patient in a dry place. Add layers of clothing and a hat. Warm the core first, if possible, by giving warm, sweet fluids if the patient is conscious and able to swallow. Handle the patient gently to avoid triggering ventricular fibrillation. Don’t let severely Hypothermic patients sit, stand, or walk until warmed. Rapid or active re-warming techniques require special training.
Note that putting two Hypothermic patients together in a sleeping bag is not a good source of warming. One must have normal body temperature. It is better to wrap the such victim in clothing inside a sleeping bag, and allow him to shiver, which generates heat.
It is highly recommended to register into basic first aid training classes to access more knowledge of what to do in an emergency situation. An instructor will be able to go over basic requirements go over all the tools and gadgets that are in a first aid kit.Its important to have a first aid kit on hand which consist of several items that can be useful in the interim whether your waiting for an ambulance or can treat a person in pain on the spot.