First Aid Rules Everyone Should Know

What to do before helping

Calm down, help calm the victim

Take two or three deep breaths in and out. When stressed , people fuss, poorly assess the environment, their hands tremble, their knees buckle. In this state, it is easier to harm rather than help. Your task is to overcome anxiety.

If the casualty is conscious, encourage him to breathe slowly and as deeply as possible.

Assess the surroundings

If it is dangerous (for example, you are in a crowd or in a smoke zone), you need to take the victim to a quieter place as soon as possible. Please note that this is not always possible. If there is a suspicion of a serious fracture, spinal injury, internal bleeding, it is impossible to move the victim until the ambulance arrives. In this case, loudly ask those around you to cover you.

Decide if you need an ambulance

We cannot always correctly assess how severe the injuries that a person has received. It is especially difficult with sober assessments in a stressful situation. But it is better to seek qualified help and find out that it is not needed than not to seek help and wait for tragic consequences.

If you think you need an ambulance, you’re probably right. If still in doubt, check the lists of dangerous symptoms for different types of injuries. The listings are below.

Please note: even if you immediately dial 103 or 112 (the unified emergency number), at least 10-20 minutes will pass before the arrival of paramedics or rescuers. Therefore, some time will have to act independently. As, however, in the event that you are sure that the injury is simple and you can do without specialized medical care.

If possible, wear medical or disposable gloves

When providing first aid, you can come into contact with blood through which infectious diseases (hepatitis, syphilis, AIDS) are transmitted. The risk of infection increases if you have scratches or sores on exposed skin. Protect yourself.

Disinfect your hands if sterile gloves are not available

This is especially important if the casualty has open wounds or bleeding: helping can lead to infection. Treat fingers and palms with antiseptic gel, wipe with wet wipes or pharmacy alcohol, or at least rinse with bottled water if other disinfection options are not available.

What to do with bruises and bruises

Most often, bruises and bruises are harmless. But sometimes more serious injuries are hidden behind them: dislocation, fracture, internal bleeding, concussion. So be on the lookout for additional symptoms.

When to call an ambulance

Dial 103 or 112 immediately if:

  • A bruise or hematoma is located on the head and is accompanied by weakness, tinnitus, dizziness, nausea, visual impairment. In this case, we can talk about concussion .
  • After a blow to the stomach, there was a sharp pain, weakness, pallor, tinnitus, cold sweat came out. Perhaps this is internal bleeding caused by damage to vital organs.
  • After a blow to the back, shortness of breath appeared, a cough with blood, or arms and legs became wadded, or even completely ceased to obey. This indicates a possible bruise of the lung or damage to the spine .
  • The blow was in the chest, and now something is wrong with the heartbeat or breathing. The heart or lungs may have been affected (for example, a lung may be affected when a rib is broken).
  • A limb is injured (for example, when an unsuccessful fall on a knee, a hand, an elbow hits a wall), and the impact site not only hurts, but also swells, it becomes difficult or impossible to bend the arm or leg at the joint. It looks like a fracture , dislocation or rupture of ligaments .

What to do while waiting for the doctor

There are only two general rules: ensure peace and apply a cooling compress to the injury site. It can be a bottle of cold water wrapped in a thin cloth or a napkin, snow, ice. Objects with a smooth, cold surface are also suitable, such as a spoon or a phone with a metal case.

If we are talking about a head injury, it is advisable for the victim to provide a semi-sitting position so that blood does not rush to the brain. Otherwise, the risk of a deadly hemorrhage increases. Just keep in mind: if, in addition to a head injury, there are other injuries, especially in the pelvic area, chest, spine, you should not move the victim until the rescuers arrive.

What to do if there are no dangerous symptoms

For injuries that are not life-threatening, the so-called RICE therapy is sufficient.

  • R – Rest. Try to keep the bruised area calm. If it’s a joint, move it less.
  • I – Ice. To reduce pain, apply something cold to the damaged area. For example, a bag of ice or frozen vegetables wrapped in a thin towel, a heating pad filled with ice water, or at least a chilled steel spoon.
  • C – Compress. You can (but not necessarily) apply a tight bandage to the site of injury. For example, put on compression stockings . This will help relieve swelling.
  • E – Elevate. Immediately after the injury, try to raise the affected area above the level of the heart for at least a few minutes. This procedure will reduce the size of a possible hematoma.

To reduce the pain, you can take a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) – for example, a tablet based on ibuprofen.

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What to do with bleeding

Serious damage can be even, at first glance, a small scratch. And all the more dangerous is internal bleeding that is not always noticeable from the outside.

When to urgently call an ambulance

Emergency medical attention is needed if :

  • You cannot stop the bleeding for 5 minutes , even by applying bandages to the wound and, if the limbs are injured, using a tourniquet.
  • In your opinion, there is too much blood, it flows in a stream.
  • You suspect internal bleeding. Its symptoms are severe weakness, pallor, blue fingers, nose, lips, cold sweat, tinnitus . In this state, a person often clutches his stomach. Also accompanying signs may be vomiting with an admixture of blood or a characteristic black stool.
  • There is a presumably deep wound in the abdomen or chest.
  • The wound occupies a large area and actively bleeds.

What to do while waiting for the doctor

First, to provide the victim with peace: any movement increases blood circulation, which means it can increase blood loss. Ideally, find a position in which the wound will be located above the level of the heart (for example, if the leg is injured, then raise it).

Do not wash a heavily bleeding wound even with clean water! This can lead to sepsis.

Second, try to stop the bleeding. Here is the procedure:

  • Carefully remove clothing and surface debris from the wound. Only superficial! In no case go deep, do not try to pull out fragments or other objects if they are inside: this may increase bleeding. Do not remove clotted blood.
  • Apply a pressure bandage. It can be a bandage or a piece of clean cloth. Just fold it several times, cover the wound with it and press it with your palm. Maintain constant pressure until the bleeding stops. But if there are fragments or other foreign objects inside, do not press them.
  • If the blood continues to flow and the wound is located on the limb, if possible, apply a tourniquet (the pharmacy can be replaced with a belt, a piece of durable fabric rolled into a rope, adhesive tape, cord): pull the injured arm or leg tightly at a distance of 7–10 centimeters above the wound.

Be sure to place a piece of paper under the tourniquet, which will indicate the exact time of application. This is important: you have blocked the blood circulation, so after 1.5-2 hours the tissues will begin to die. The harness must be removed in time.

If a person suffers from pain, the Ministry of Emergency Situations of the Russian Federation recommends urgently giving painkillers. Put an analgesic (for example, based on ibuprofen) under the tongue, preferably crushed. You don’t need to take pills.

You have done your best. Wait for an ambulance.

What to do if there are no dangerous symptoms

With small superficial wounds (scratches, torn skin), bleeding is usually capillary. It will stop on its own or as a result of applying a pressure bandage.

Afterwards, wash the wound with clean water, preferably with soap (not hydrogen peroxide or iodine, which can cause further irritation). Then cover the wound with a clean bandage. Under it, if possible, it is worth applying a pharmacy ointment with an antibiotic. The bandage should be changed once or twice a day until the wound heals.

What to do with a penetrating wound

A penetrating wound occurs when an object has pierced the skin and deeply entered the tissues of the body.

When to urgently call an ambulance

Dial 103 or 112 immediately if :

  • The penetrating wound affected the groin, abdomen, chest, neck or head.
  • The damage was caused by a metal object.
  • The wound looks deep and dirty.
  • The affected area bleeds heavily and you cannot stop the bleeding for 10 minutes.
  • The wound can be described by the word “gaping”. The cut is deep and wide enough or has torn edges.
  • A deep cut is located on the face. Even if it is safe, it may leave an unaesthetic scar . Need stitches – the sooner the better.

What to do while waiting for the doctor

Do not remove objects from the wound under any circumstances. Keep the victim calm, if necessary, give painkillers (except when the stomach or head is affected).

Otherwise, the procedure depends on the location of the damage.

  • On the chest. Seal the wound as soon as possible by covering the wound with a bandage. Otherwise, breathing problems may begin. It is best if the person is half-sitting.
  • On the head. Lay the victim horizontally, turning his head to one side (this is important so that the person does not choke on vomit). Cover the wound with a bandage or clean cloth. Apply a cold compress to your head.
  • On the stomach. Lay the person on their back, bending their knees, unfasten the belt at the waist. Apply a wet aseptic bandage, bandage or clean cloth to the wound. Place a cold compress on your stomach. Every 5-10 minutes, moisten the lips of the victim with cold water.

What to do if there are no dangerous symptoms

In any case, it is necessary to contact the emergency room or the surgeon as soon as possible. Even if the wound was not received on the street, dirt probably got into the body. And without professional medical treatment, inflammation can occur.

If you’re lucky – a small one. If you’re not lucky, blood poisoning is possible. In addition, along with the dirt, pathogens of deadly infections – the same tetanus – can get into the wound.

In general, a visit to the doctor is required. Even if it seems that everything is in order and will heal itself.

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What to do if you suspect a fracture

If open fractures (in which the bone breaks the skin) are difficult to confuse with something else, then closed ones often disguise themselves as a normal bruise. But there are signs that suggest that it was the bones that suffered:

  • Sharp pain, due to which it is almost impossible to move the injured limb.
  • The pain is moderate, but the injured area is clearly numb.
  • Large purplish bruise and immediate swelling at the injured site.
  • Noticeable deformity or unnatural position of the injured body part.

When to urgently call an ambulance

Here are signsthat say that a fracture can lead to disability and even death:

  • The bone pierced the skin, fragments are visible.
  • The bleeding is very profuse, or the subcutaneous hematoma is growing rapidly.
  • Even a light touch on the affected area causes acute pain.
  • The limb or joint is in an unnatural position.
  • Fingers, hand or foot became numb to the point of complete loss of sensation and / or turned blue.
  • The victim does not answer questions, does not breathe or does not move.
  • You assume that the injury could have damaged the bones of the neck, skull, or spine.

What to do while waiting for the doctor

If there is bleeding, stop it according to the algorithm indicated in the paragraph about bleeding.

Keep the injured bone at rest: do not move or load it. If possible, try to immobilize the joints above and below the site of the alleged fracture as much as possible. As a rule, a tire is applied for this – a board, a ruler, a rod, a folded magazine or newspapers.

The tire must be tightly, but not tightly fixed with bandages, plaster or tape. Here is a video on how to do it:

For severe pain, apply a pack of ice, snow, a bottle of cold water to the injured area. If this does not help, give an analgesic based on paracetamol or ibuprofen.

What to do if there are no dangerous symptoms

In any case, try to visit the emergency room or the surgeon as soon as possible. The only way to know exactly how the bones feel is to take an x-ray.

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What to do with eye damage

The eyes can be damaged by a blow, whether accidental or intentional. Splinters, large particles of dirt or a jet from a gas or pepper spray can get into them. For any type of injury, the procedure is the same.

When to Seek Urgent Medical Care

The signs below indicate that the damage is really dangerous. It is not necessary to call an ambulance, but you need to get to the nearest emergency room as soon as possible, otherwise the case may turn into blindness.

  • The eye hurts a lot, and this pain does not decrease within 10–15 minutes.
  • There were persistent problems with vision that did not go away for several minutes.
  • Damaged (cut or torn) eyelid.
  • One eye does not move as well as the other.
  • One eye protrudes from the socket further than the other.
  • The pupil has acquired an unusual size or strange shape.
  • Severe hemorrhage is noticeable on the squirrel. The situation is even more dangerous if blood is also visible on the iris.
  • An object is felt in the eye or under the eyelid, which does not come out, despite active blinking and tears in the stream.

What to do while waiting for the doctor

Flush eyes with clean, running water or saline (if available). You need to keep blinking.

Do not rub or try to remove objects stuck in the protein, iris or eyelid, do not apply ointments and medicines to the eye. All this can worsen the condition.

If eye damage is due to chemical spraying, try to find a spray can. On the label there is information about the composition. This may be important for further treatment.

What to do if there are no dangerous symptoms

Even if the eye injury seems minor, be sure to consult an ophthalmologist as soon as possible.

Even light blows can be dangerous. In some cases, they cause retinal detachment or slow intraocular bleeding, which will manifest itself only over time.

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