Basic First Aid

If you or a casualty is having difficulty breathing, bleeding profusely, unconscious or suffering from chest pain Phone 999 and call an ambulance Immediately.

 

Strains, Sprains and Pulled Muscles

Remember “RICE” - Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation. Rest the injured part, particularly an ankle or knee.

Ice the area of injury immediately

A bag of frozen peas wrapped in a thin cloth is an excellent ice pack.

Apply for 20 minutes every two hours initially. Compression is best affected with a crepe bandage or tubigrip.

Remember not to have it on too tight! Elevate the injury, particularly legs. The aim of this is to reduce the pain and swelling.

Treating an injury correctly, immediately, will lessen its severity and speed up the healing. After a day or so start touse the injured area gently.

Warmth may help at this stage. If you are a keen sportsman advice from a physiotherapist may be valuable.

Burns & Scalds

Place the burnt area under running cold water until the pain eases. This may take up to 15 minutes.

Cover the areawith a clean dry tea towel or something similar.

Do not pull clothes off a burnt area. Do not prick blisters. Do not put oil or cream on a burn.

If the burn is large then seek medical advice at casualty. For smaller burns that you are not happy to treat yourself,the practice nurse will be happy to see you in the surgery.

Cuts

Raise the limb and use firm pressure with a clean cloth until the bleeding stops.

If the wound is gaping and looks like requiring stitching or there is heavy bleeding, contact the doctor

Nosebleeds

Sit in a chair leaning forwards with your mouth open and pinch the soft lower part of the nose, not the bone, for 10 minutes.

Avoid blowing the nose for 24 hours. If the bleeding persists, contact the doctor.

Insect Bites and Stings

Prevention is better than cure. If you are prone to nasty bites use an insect repellent.

These are available from your chemist.

Antihistamine tablets from the chemist will usually relieve most symptoms.

Bee stings should be scraped away rather than plucked to avoid squeezing more poison into the wound.

Stings inside the throat can cause dangerous swelling. Contact a doctor immediately.

Choking

A foreign object that is stuck at the back of the throat may block the throat or cause muscular spasm.

Young children especially are prone to choking. A child may choke on food, or may put small objects into their mouthand cause a blockage of the airway.

If the blockage of the area airway is mild, the casualty should be able to clear it; if it is severe, they will be unable to speak, cough, or breathe, and will eventually lose consciousness.

Recognition:

Mild obstruction                                              Casualty able to speak, cry, cough or breathe.

 

Severe obstruction                                         Casualty is unable to speak, cry, cough or breathe.

Casualty will eventually become unconscious without assistance.

 

Treatment for adult or child

Your aims are to remove the obstruction and to arrange urgent removal to hospital if necessary.

 

If the obstruction is mild:

Encourage them to continue coughing.

Remove any obvious obstruction from the mouth.

If the obstruction is severe

Give up to five back blows.

Check the mouth and remove any obvious obstruction.

 

If the obstruction is still present:

Give up to five abdominal thrusts.

Check the mouth and remove any obvious obstruction.

If the obstruction does not clear after three cycles of back blows and abdominal thrusts:

Dial 999 for an ambulance.

Continue until help arrives.

 

 

Treatment for infants:

Your aims are to remove the obstruction and to arrange urgent removal to hospital if necessary.

If the infant is distressed, is unable to cry, cough, or breathe:

Lay them face down along your forearm, with their head low, and support the back and head.

Give up to five back blows, with the heel of your hand.

Check the infant's mouth; remove any obvious obstructions.

Do not do a finger sweep of the mouth.

 

If the obstruction is still present:

Turn the infant onto his back and give up to five chest thrusts.

Use two fingers, push inwards and upwards (towards the head) against the infants breastbone,

one finger's breadth below the nipple line.

The aim is to relieve the obstruction with each chest thrust rather than necessarily doing all five.

Check the mouth.

 

If the obstruction does not clear after three cycles of back blows and chest thrusts:

Dial 999 for an ambulance.

Continue until help arrives.        

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