NOTE: The first aid information provided below was compiled from personal experience and from the “American Medical Association Handbook of First Aid and Emergency Care”. The information provided in this section is intended solely for informational purposes and is not a substitute for medical evaluation, treatment or consultation. I am not a medical professional and strongly urge you to seek medical care for any injury.



For Cuts and Lacerations:

bulletWash your hands with soap and water before treating the wound.
 
bulletApply pressure to the wound with a sterile cloth for ten minutes until the bleeding has stopped.  Wash thoroughly with soap and water or an anti-microbial soap, and rinse well under running water for 5 to 10 minutes.
 
bulletApply a bandage. Change the bandage twice daily. Leave minor scrapes and scratches exposed to air.  Apply ointments or antiseptic sprays only on the advice of a doctor.
 
bulletFor deep cuts, apply a pressure bandage. A pressure bandage is achieved by placing gauze and then pressure for 10 minutes, then applying a circular bandage such as a sling or ace wrap over the original gauze.
 
bulletFor cuts in the scalp, if the cut is severe seek medical attention at once. For minor cuts, apply a sterile compress and press firmly to stop the bleeding. Once the bleeding has stopped clean the wound with soap and water or hydrogen peroxide and bandage.
 
bulletFor puncture wounds, seek medical attention promptly.
 
bulletIf the bandage soaks through with blood, apply another compress over it and seek medical attention immediately.  If you cannot stop the bleeding seek medical attention immediately.  A wound that is bleeding severely should be elevated above heart level.
 
bulletIf you feel faint or dizzy upon standing, seek medical attention. Also seek medical attention for gaping cuts, where fatty tissue is visible.
 
bulletShould symptoms of infection appear – increased pain, inflammation, fever, or pus - seek medical attention at once.


 
For Burns:
 
bulletFor first degree burns, run cold water over wound for fifteen minutes and cover with a gauze dressing. Do not apply creams to the burn. Symptoms of first degree burns include redness and mild swelling of the skin without blisters.
 
bulletFor second and third degree burns, when blistering or charring/whitening of the skin occurs, seek medical attention immediately.
 
bulletIf you experience difficulty breathing, seek medical attention immediately.


 

For Bruises and Sprains:

bulletFollow the RICE prescription (rest, ice, compression, elevation) used in sports injuries to treat bruises and sprains.  If you experience significant swelling, cannot move, or believe a joint/bone may be out of place or broken, seek medical attention immediately.
 
bulletAfter the first 24 hours, apply moist heat to the injury.


 

The most important thing to remember is to get appropriate treatment for your injuries even though you may be embarrassed to tell your secret.

Severe cuts and burns may cause your body to go into shock – shock can kill you. Symptoms of shock include: pale and cool skin, moist and clammy skin, weakness, rapid and weak pulse, shallow and irregular breathing, anxiety, unusual thirst, vomiting, and unconsciousness in severe cases.

Please seek medical attention for any injury for which you are ill equipped to handle.

It is in your best interest to keep a first aid book handy.  Some of the first aid books available include:

"American Medical Association Handbook of First Aid and Emergency Care"
"The American Red Cross First Aid and Safety Book"


 
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