Small injuries happen all the time. Burns, choking, ankle or knee spraining – these are all injuries that can happen at home, at school or at work. Even though these conditions may not be life threatening, they need to be addressed adequately and as quickly as possible. In what follows, we would like to present a few tips about what to do in these cases.
A sprain is an injury of the muscles or the ligaments around joints. Twists, hits or falls can make the ligaments to move out of their place, causing severe pain often accompanied by instant swelling and bruising.
The first thing to do in case of a sprain is to apply a cold compress or ice on the injured joint to reduce the swelling. The compress must be applied for the first two days after the injury. If the condition of the victim is not improving after the first few days, refer to a doctor.
First and second-degree burns are among the most common home and workplace injuries as well. First degree burns cause skin irritation and redness, while second degree burns cause blisters, too.
The first and most important thing to do in case of such burns is to cool down the affected area with the help of cool (not cold) water. After submerging the injured body part in cold water, apply some kind of loose bandage on the wound – anti-septic, non-sticky bandages are best. Do not apply any grease or cream on the burn – these substances seal the surface of the wound and may contribute to the appearance of infections. Pain relievers can be given as appropriate to ease the discomfort.
If the burns are caused by an injury involving electricity or chemicals, do call for medical help immediately, for these burns can be more serious and more complicated to treat than simple burns caused by hot coffee or a hot stove.
This type of injury occurs when a foreign object blocks the path of air into the lungs. The symptoms can be scary: breathing difficulties or noisy breathing, the face and the nails turning blue, even loss of consciousness.
The first thing to do in these cases is to try and remove the object obstructing the airways. You can try to apply blows on the back of the patient, alternating these blows with abdominal thrusts. Another very efficient technique is to use the Heimlich maneuver: stand behind the injured person, put your arms around his or her navel, grasping your hands in the front and press the abdomen hard, pulling upwards.
In more severe cases, the injured person may pass out. If this happens, you need to act immediately. Open the mouth of the victim, reach into the throat and try to remove the obstruction. If the object cannot be removed, apply CPR immediately – the movements involved in cardiopulmonary resuscitation may dislodge the blocked object. You need to have first aid training in order to do CPR.
These are only three of the most common, everyday injuries. If you become involved in any such accidents, keep calm, try to evaluate the situation and apply these first aid measures – your intervention can save lives. First Aid training will keep you prepared for such situations.