A lot of us believe that we know some basics about first aid, some of these being passed on from generation to generation, but are all of these true? Some of these beliefs may be incorrect and may cause fatal outcome. Let us discuss some of the common first aid myths in order to avoid and correct them. To learn about all the latest first aid and CPR skills enroll in workplace approved training programs here.
For any accidental swallowing of poison and corrosive substances, induce vomiting.
Swallowing the poison itself burns the throat as the poison goes down, and if vomiting is induced, it just burns the throat more. That is why giving Ipecac syrup is already not advisable nowadays. If accidental swallowing of poison and corrosive substances occurs, call or seek for medical help and assistance. Never give anything to drink or eat, unless advised by your doctor.
For black eye, put on raw meat.
Putting on raw meat on black eyes, just like what we see on movies, just exposes the eye to the bacteria thriving on your raw meat. What you need to soothe black eyes is something cold, and ice itself helps just fine.
Butter, oil, or any greasy substance just worsens the burn because these substances create more heat to the skin. Treat burns with cool, running water for about 5 minutes. If several blisters appear, do not prick and pop them. Consult for medical help.
For choking, give something to drink.
In cases of choking, we usually want to push the object down our throats by drinking or eating something. But this is wrong; this just causes more and more obstruction and constricts the airway. Coughing should be encouraged until the object is expelled. If unable to do so, give blows to the back between the scapulae or give abdominal thrusts.
For high fever, apply rubbing alcohol on skin.
Frequent application of rubbing alcohol can cause irritation to the skin as well as alcohol poisoning. Take ibuprofen, acetaminophen, or any fever medication prescribed by the doctor to lower fever. If high fever persists, seek medical help.
For jellyfish stings, pee on them.
Jellyfish stings are countered by acid, and urine is not always acidic. So peeing on jellyfish stings does not always work; use vinegar instead, and call for help.
For nosebleeds, tilt head back.
Tilting head back during nosebleeds is not advisable because the blood would flow down to your throat and could cause difficulty in breathing and aspiration. Instead, lean forward and pinch the tip of your nose. Doing this controls and stops bleeding as well as it prevents aspiration. Seek for medical help if bleeding does not stop.
For seizures, force something in the mouth.
Forcing fingers, spoons, and sticks inside a person’s mouth during a seizure episode is very dangerous to you and to him/her. You can get bitten, and it can injure him/her and obstruct the airway. What you should do is keep the area safe. Move harmful objects away, and prevent the person from falling. Call for help if the episode lasts for more than 5 minutes.
For snake bites, suck the poison out.
Applying tourniquet, cutting the wound, and sucking the poison out during snake bites is very dangerous and just makes the situation worse. Cleanse the wound, cover it with clean dressing, and stabilize the area by using a splint. Call immediately for help.
For sprains or strains, apply heat.
Application of heat to sprains or strains can cause more swelling and can prevent the injury from healing in a timely pace. For sprains or strains, apply ice to the area for about 15 minutes and rest.
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