First aid basics: Can you save lives?

What do you do when you burn yourself? What do you do if someone is electrocuted? What do you do if your girl-friend is choking on food?
First aid, if administered on time, can save lives and can evade permanent damage. Accidents can happen at anytime, anywhere to anyone, are you prepared? This is your guide to basic first aid.

Fainting: Lack of blood supply to the brain induces fainting.

What to do: If a person feels like fainting, make the person sit down and place his head between his knees. If he faints, place him on his back. Then loosen the clothes-the neck, waist or places that reduce the blood flow. One way to get the blood to the head is to lift the feet little above head level.

Burns: There are three kinds of burns - first, second and third degree burns.

What to do
First degree - Let cool water flow over the area, clean the injury and dry it. Apply anti biotic and bandage it.

Second degree - There are three layers of skin, second degree burn extends to the middle layer leading to redness, swelling and pain. Hospitalisation is necessary. If the burns are at the joint, restrict movement. Basic treatment for second degree burn is to clean the injury and apply antibiotic cream. Elevate the injured part but let the person lie down.

Third degree - The worst you can imagine. The only option is to hospitalize the person so that oxygen, nutrition and hydration can be administered.

Heat stroke: If you're disoriented, feeling dizzy, feel hot but are unable to sweat, are experiencing headaches and fatigue, then you might be the victim of a heat stroke.

What to do: First, seek shade and let the person rest. Let the person cool down with a cold towel. Take packets of ice and place it under the armpit and the groin. Finally, hydrate the person with electrolytes.

Choking: There are different maneuvers based on different circumstances, if a person is choking.

Choking when the person is standing: Stand behind the person, make a fist; place it at the center, at the end of the ribcage and with your thumb inward. You need to apply four pushes inward and upward. Same goes for children.

When infants choke: Place two fingers dead center between the nipples and give four forceful thrust. Repeat if needed.

Electric shock: Firstly switch off the source of the current with a wooden stick, only then assist the person.

What to do: If the person is not breathing administer CPR and if the burns are second and third degree, hospitalization is a must. For minor burns, check if the person can move about and can function fully.

Nose bleeds: Nose bleeds include bleeding from the mouth and ears too. This might be a result of allergies, dryness, high blood pressure, use of cocaine, blowing your nose with force and blood clotting disorders.

What to do: For nose bleeds, sit and lean forward; hold the soft part of your nose till it stops bleeding. If it still bleeds hold for another ten minutes and place ice over the bridge of the nose.

Cuts: For minor cuts, you can take care of it yourself; deep cuts may need stitches. The difference between the two is that minor cuts stop bleeding after 10 minutes.

What to do: Minor Cuts - Clean the wound with water and no soap. Apply antibiotic, bandage it and change it daily.

Deep cuts - If the object is lodged in a deep wound Do Not get it out, do not clean major wounds. With deep cuts you may require stitches and tetanus shots. Do not blow on open cuts and do not try to stuff back the expose parts.

Dislocation: Call the doctor immediately; do not take matters in your own hands.

What to do: Place ice packs to treat the swelling. For a serious injury, check if the person is breathing or administer CPR and spread a blanket over the person.

Stroke: Blood clots and bleeding may lead to stoppage of oxygen to certain parts of the brain. Some of the causes are smoking, diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease.

What to do: Call for medical help and check if the person is breathing or else perform CPR and keep the person aligned on his side. Also let the person lie down but elevate his head and shoulders.

Fracture: There are different kinds of fractures: Open, close, stress, complicated fractures.

What to do: Reassure the person and help him stay calm. Do not try to reposition the fracture but apply ice. Do not massage, make a support so that the fracture is not left dangling. Consult a doctor at the earliest.

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