How To Do First Aid at Home
As most of us are currently stuck at home due to “lockdown”, it’s well worth learning some basic first aid should an accident occur. Firstly, do not put yourself in danger; always make sure the surrounding area is safe before dealing with a casualty.
What do you treat first?
Commonly known as the priorities of first aid, the following areas need to be checked: Breathing, Bleeding, Breaks, Burns, and Others. These priorities may change depending on the severity of the injuries.
Check to see whether your casualty’s chest is rising and falling. Do they look blue around their nose or mouth? Do not put your cheek close to their mouth to check for normal breathing (Note: this is a change to the usual check for normal breathing, due to the Coronavirus). If they are not breathing, you need to dial 999 and start CPR, after covering the mouth and nose with a clean cloth. Carry out compressions with the Bee Gees song Staying Alive in mind, as this will help you maintain a correct rhythm.
Control bleeding by applying direct pressure onto the area for at least 10 minutes. For minor bleeding, you can raise an arm or leg to help with this process. If the bleeding is severe or does not stop, call 999.
- Minor Cuts: Examine the wound, clean it, and cover with a plaster or wound dressing (if the wound will not remain closed, the plaster peels off, or it continues to bleed, then they will need to go to hospital).
- Embedded Objects: Do not remove anything embedded in the wound, as it may be plugging a hole. Dress around the object with clean bandages without putting any pressure on it to control the bleeding. Depending on the nature and severity of the injury, either transport the casualty to the hospital or call 999.
- Grazes: Expose the wound and gently wash out any loose particles of dirt by using clean gauze. If you cannot remove everything, or you suspect that it may be at risk of infection, then seek professional medical advice.
- Nose Bleeds: Sit the person down and get them to lean forward, holding the soft part of their nose for ten minutes. If the bleeding has not stopped after this time, they will need to continue to hold their nose for a further ten minutes. If it is still bleeding after 20 minutes, then professional medical help should be sought.
Support the casualty in the position you have found them in and do not move them unless they are in immediate danger. If bones are sticking out of the skin, then treat the wound the same as an embedded object to control any bleeding and call 999.
Run the affected area under cool water for at least 20 minutes, remove all jewellery and watches, cover with cling film and call 999 for transport to a hospital. Do not use any creams, lotions, butter, etc. Do not remove clothing, burst blisters, plasters, or touch the affected area. For further information on burns click on this link to the NHS.
This category covers any injury or condition not mentioned above, such as heart attacks and stroke. Depending on the nature of the situation and severity, call 111 or 999 for advice.
Look out for signs of shock
Shock will occur in most of the cases listed above, even if there is no apparent open wound, burn, or injury. The casualty may look pale and have cold, clammy skin with rapid breathing. Treat the injury or condition first, then lay them down, raise their legs (if injuries allow), and keep them warm. Call 999 and monitor them. Do not give them anything to eat or drink. Do not allow them to vape or smoke.
We’re currently developing some online First Aid courses to help you learn vital life-saving skills during “lockdown” and beyond. Keep an eye on our social media pages for updates or call 07974 407988 for a friendly chat about your training needs.