First Aid Myths: What Not To Do
There are a lot of first aid myths around that cause people to administer first aid wrong.
It is important to be aware of these first aid myths in the event of an emergency so that you can respond to a casualty effectively. Take a look at what not to do when you encounter a medical emergency and what you should do instead.
Tilt your head back to stop a nosebleed
There appears to be a lot of confusion about which way to tilt your head when you are having a nosebleed and the effects of which way you tilt your head. By tilting your head back you are encouraging the blood down into your body which could cause you to swallow or choke on the blood.
What you should do
The best way to stop the bleeding is to pinch your nose and tilt forwards. If the blood continues to run for over 30 minutes, consult medical advice.
If you get a burn put butter on it
This long-term old wives tale was thought to cool the burn and ease the pain. Unfortunately, although it can do this for a brief while the butter will seal off the air from the burn. By sealing of the air on a still quite warm burn you are keeping the heat in and continuing to burn the skin. It just shows that first aid myths could do more harm than help.
What you should do
The first thing you should do with a burn is cool it by running it under cold water for around twenty minutes. This will create both a cooling and numbing effect which will both stop the skin from burning and ease the pain. Once you have cooled your burn cover it up with a sterile wrap and seek medical attention if you feel it is needed. See this link form the NHS for more here.
Chest compressions can be more harmful than helpful
CPR is one of the most important things you can do to keep someone is in cardiac arrest alive. CPR can be vital in maintaining a casualty until the emergency services take over.
The best way to fathom whether a casualty is breathing or not is through the primary survey or DRABC. To find out more about the primary survey take a look at our blog here.
If you have conducted DRABC and you are still are unsure if the casualty breathing; continue with chest compressions anyway.
CPR doesn’t work unless you give both mouth-to-mouth and chest compressions
This one again is one of those first aid myths. The standard way to conduct CPR is through 30 chest compressions followed by two rescue breaths. This should be repeated until the emergency services arrive.
If you don’t feel comfortable giving rescue breaths; chest compressions help to keep blood flowing to the brain and keeping you in a stable state. Although the breath helps to aerate the blood; any blood to the brain is helpful.
You should only shock someone with an AED if their heart has stopped
Firstly if you need some advice on how to use a defibrillator (AED) take a look at our guide here. AED’s are positioned in public places for everyone’s use. The machine will guide you through how to use the electric shocks, you don’t have to be trained professional to use a defibrillator.
For more on how to use an AED, you can attend a First Aid Training Course with 3B Training.
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