Education

First Aid Tips in Different Emergency Situations

First aid is the first thing to do to help a sick or injured person to prevent the condition from being worsen before full medical help is provided. The different emergency situations discussed in this article are burns, fainting, snake bites, dog bite, and bee stings.

first aid tips in different emergency situation

First Aid in Burns

Stop the burning process by doing the following

  • Remove the source heat
  • Remove clothes as soon as possible because clothes retain heat
  • In electrical burn, disconnect the victim from the source of electricity before attempting first aid to avoid electrocution of the rescuer

Cool the burns

  • Immerse the burn area in water for at least 20 minutes, don’t use iced water
  • Cooling the burn injuries with water helps to stop the burn process
  • Reduce pain
  • Reduce swelling and formation of blisters
  • Cleanse the wound

Applications

  • Apply petroleum jelly (vaselin, blue seal) on the burn wound

Do not apply eggs, pap, engine oil or diesel as this can introduce infection

Take the victim to the hospital

First Aid in Fainting

  • Catch the person before he/she falls to the ground or hits the head
  • Lie the person down with the head below the level of the heart/chest. This promotes blood flow to the brain
  • If the person can’t lie down, allow to sit bending forward with the head between the knees
  • Loose tight clothing
  • If unconscious, do not poor water, food or any drink in the person’s mouth (he/she cannot swallow and may choke)
  • Do not pour water on the person’s head or body. The water may enter the nose and choke the person or the wet clothes may give the person chills and worsen the condition
  • Take the person to the nearest health facility

First Aid in Snake Bites

  • Don’t insist on finding and killing the snake before attending to the victim
  • Keep the person calm and reassure as 70% of snake bites are from nonvenomous snakes
  • Apply pressure to the limb (to avoid spread of any venom to vital organs of the body) in the following way:
  • Tie a bandage or cloth about 2-4 cm above the site of the bite
  • Do not tie or bandage too tightly so as not to cut off the blood supply to the limb or make the person uncomfortable
  • Avoid walking in the limb or moving the affected part around; limit movement
  • Ensure the affected part of the body is in normal position and keep it below the level of the person’s heart/chest to reduce the spread of the venom to the heart and to other parts of the body
  • Remove any item or jewelry that may constrict the limb in case it swells such as rings, bracelets, anklets, watches, footwear, etc
  • Don’t give the person anything to eat or drink
  • Don’t cut or incise the site of the bite or apply anything on it; doing so will only serve to introduce infection and make the situation worse
  • Move the person to the hospital within minutes of the bite

First Aid in Dog Bites

  • Wash the wound thoroughly with soap and water
  • Apply iodine or alcohol (methylated spirit)
  • Get information about the dog’s immunization status
  • Get to the hospital immediately

First Aid in Bee Stings

  • Move to a safe area to avoid more stings
  • If possible, remove the stinger by scraping it out of the skin with a blunt object
  • Wash the area carefully with soap and water
  • Apply cold compress/ice pack to reduce pain and swelling
  • If the sting is on an arm leg, elevate it to reduce pain and swelling
  • Apply a cream, gel or lotion such as calamine lotion to help soothe the itching

Most stings cause only a mild reaction such as mild pain, mild swelling, redness and itching and usually subside in 1-2 days. However, present to a hospital if the following occurs:

  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Swelling of the lips, eyelids or throats
  • Dizziness, confusion or feeling faint
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Hives (raised, wide and itchy rashes)
  • Nausea, abdominal pain or vomiting

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Reference

(1) Gilead Medical Squad, Living Faith Church, Quarry, Abeokuta

Bolarinwa Olajire

A lecturer, Educationist, PhD student at FUNAAB, and a Blogger.

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