AYINDE TITILAYO .A.
RN, RM, RICN, B.NSC
I took you through FIRST AID TREATMENT part one in the last edition and I hope you found the tips helpful. Remember, prevention is always better than cure.
However, you also need to know what to do when such instances occur. Follow these tips stated below incase you find yourself in such situations.
FIRST AID FOR NOSE BLEEDING
Nosebleeds are common. Most often they are a nuisance and not a true medical problem. But they can be both.
To take care of a nosebleed;
• Sit upright and lean forward. By remaining upright, you reduce blood pressure in the veins of your nose. This discourages further bleeding. Sitting forward will help you avoid swallowing blood, which can irritate your stomach.
• Pinch your nose. Use your thumb and index finger to pinch your nostrils shut. Breathe through your mouth. Continue to pinch for five to 10 minutes. Pinching sends pressure to the bleeding point on the nasal septum and often stops the flow of blood.
• To prevent re-bleeding, don't pick or blow your nose and don't bend down for several hours after the bleeding episode. During this time remember to keep your head higher than the level of your heart.
• If re-bleeding occurs, blow out forcefully to clear your nose of blood clots and spray both sides of your nose with a decongestant nasal spray containing oxymetazoline (Afrin, Mucinex Moisture Smart, others). Pinch your nose again as described above and call your doctor.
Seek medical care immediately if...
• The bleeding lasts for more than 20 minutes
• The nosebleed follows an accident, a fall or an injury to your head, including a punch in the face that may have broken your nose.
FOREIGN OBJECT IN NOSE
If a foreign object becomes lodged in your nose:
• Don't probe at the object with a cotton swab or other tool.
• Don't try to inhale the object by forcefully breathing in. Instead, breathe through your mouth until the object is removed.
• Blow out of your nose gently to try to free the object, but don't blow hard or repeatedly. If only one nostril is affected, close the opposite nostril by applying gentle pressure and then blow out gently through the affected nostril.
• Gently remove the object if it's visible and you can easily grasp it with tweezers. Don't try to remove an object that isn't visible or easily grasped.
• Call for emergency medical assistance or go to your local emergency room if these methods fail.
FIRST AID ON CHEMICAL SPLASH TO EYES
If a chemical splashes into your eye, take these steps immediately.
1. Flush your eye with water. Use clean, lukewarm tap water for at least 20 minutes, and use whichever of these approaches is quickest:
• Get into the shower and aim a gentle stream of lukewarm water on your forehead over your affected eye. Or direct the stream on the bridge of your nose if both eyes are affected. Hold your affected eye or eyes open.
• Put your head down and turn it to the side. Then hold your affected eye open under a gently running faucet.
• Young children may do best if they lie down in the bathtub or lean back over a sink while you pour a gentle stream of water on the forehead over the affected eye or on the bridge of the nose for both eyes.
2. Wash your hands with soap and water. Thoroughly rinse your hands to be sure no chemical or soap is left on them. Your first goal is to get the chemical off the surface of your eye, but then you must remove the chemical from your hands.
3. Remove contact lenses. If they don't come out during the flush, then take them out.
• Don't rub the eye — this may cause further damage.
• Don't put anything except water or contact lens saline rinse in the eye, and don't use eyedrops unless emergency personnel tell you to do so.
Seek emergency medical assistance: Take the chemical container or the name of the chemical with you to the emergency department. If readily available, wear sunglasses because your eyes will be sensitive to light.
FIRST AID ON POISONING
Many conditions mimic the signs and symptoms of poisoning, including seizures, alcohol intoxication, strokes and insulin reactions. So look for the signs and symptoms listed below and if you suspect poisoning.
Signs and symptoms of poisoning
Common signs and symptoms to look for include:
• Burns or redness around the mouth and lips, from drinking certain poisons
• Breath that smells like chemicals, such as gasoline or paint thinner
• Burns, stains and odors on the person, on clothing, or on furniture, floor, rugs or other objects in the surrounding area
• Empty medication bottles or scattered pills
• Vomiting, difficulty breathing, sleepiness, confusion or other unexpected signs
When to call for help
Call your local emergency number immediately if the person is:
• Drowsy or unconscious
• Having difficulty breathing or has stopped breathing
• Uncontrollably restless or agitated
• Having seizures
If the person seems stable and has no symptoms, but you suspect poisoning. Provide information about the person's symptoms, age and weight, and any information you have about the poison, such as amount and how long since the person was exposed to it. It helps to have the pill bottle or poison container on hand when you call.
What to do while waiting for help...
Some things you can do for the person until help arrives:
• If the person has been exposed to poisonous fumes, such as carbon monoxide, get him or her into fresh air immediately.
• If the person swallowed the poison, remove anything remaining in the mouth.
• If the suspected poison is a household cleaner or other chemical, read the label and follow instructions for accidental poisoning. If it's medication or if there are no instructions.
• Follow treatment directions that are given by the poison control center.
• If the poison spilled on the person's clothing, skin or eyes, remove the clothing. Flush the skin or eyes with cool or lukewarm water, such as by using a shower for 20 minutes or until help arrives.
• Make sure the person is breathing. If not, start CPR and rescue breathing.
• Take the poison container (or any pill bottles) with you to the hospital.
FIRST AID ON INSECT BITE
Signs and symptoms of an insect bite result from the injection of venom or other substances into your skin. The venom causes pain and sometimes triggers an allergic reaction. The severity of the reaction depends on your sensitivity to the insect venom or substance and whether you've been stung or bitten more than once.
Most reactions to insect bites are mild, causing little more than an annoying itching or stinging sensation and mild swelling that disappear within a day or so. A delayed reaction may cause fever, hives, painful joints and swollen glands. You might experience both the immediate and the delayed reactions from the same insect bite or sting. Only a small percentage of people develop severe reactions (anaphylaxis) to insect venom.
Signs and symptoms of a severe reaction include:
• Facial swelling
• Difficulty breathing
• Abdominal pain
• Deterioration of blood pressure and circulation (shock)
Bites from bees, wasps, hornets, yellow jackets and fire ants are typically the most troublesome. Bites from mosquitoes, ticks, biting flies, ants, scorpions and some spiders also can cause reactions. Scorpion and ant bites can be very severe. Although rare, some insects also carry disease such as West Nile virus or Lyme disease.
For mild reactions
• Move to a safe area to avoid more stings.
• Remove the stinger, especially if it's stuck in your skin. This will prevent the release of more venom. Wash the area with soap and water.
• Apply a cold pack or cloth filled with ice to reduce pain and swelling.
• Try a pain reliever, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen (Novalgin, others), to ease pain from bites or stings.
• Apply a topical cream to ease pain and provide itch relief. Creams containing ingredients such as hydrocortisone, lidocaine may help control pain. Other creams, such as calamine lotion or those containing colloidal oatmeal or baking soda, can help soothe itchy skin.
• Take an antihistamine containing chlorpheniramine maleate (Piriton, others).
Allergic reactions may include mild nausea and intestinal cramps, diarrhea, or swelling larger than 4 inches (about 10 centimeters) in diameter at the site, bigger than the size of a baseball. See your doctor promptly if you experience any of these signs and symptoms.
For severe reactions
Severe reactions affect more than just the site of the insect bite and may progress rapidly. Call emergency medical assistance if the following signs or symptoms occur:
• Difficulty breathing
• Swelling of the lips or throat
• Rapid heartbeat
• Nausea, cramps and vomiting
Take these actions immediately while waiting with an affected person for medical help:
Loosen tight clothing and cover the person with a blanket. Don't give anything to drink.
Turn the person on his or her side to prevent choking if there's vomiting or bleeding from the mouth.
If your doctor has prescribed an autoinjector of epinephrine, read the instructions before a problem develops and also have your household members read them.
FIRST AID ON FAINTING
Fainting occurs when the blood supply to your brain is momentarily inadequate, causing you to lose consciousness. This loss of consciousness is usually brief.
If you feel faint
• Lie down or sit down. To reduce the chance of fainting again, don't get up too quickly.
• Place your head between your knees if you sit down.
If someone else faints
• Position the person on his or her back. If the person is breathing, restore blood flow to the brain by raising the person's legs above heart level — about 12 inches (30 centimeters) — if possible. Loosen belts, collars or other constrictive clothing. To reduce the chance of fainting again, don't get the person up too quickly. If the person doesn't regain consciousness within one minute, call your local emergency number.
• Check the person's airway to be sure it's clear. Watch for vomiting.
• Check for signs of circulation (breathing, coughing or movement). If absent, begin CPR.
If the person was injured in a fall associated with a faint, treat any bumps, bruises or cuts appropriately. Control bleeding with direct pressure.
FIRST AID ON ANIMAL BITES
If an animal bites you or your child, follow these guidelines:
• For minor wounds. If the bite barely breaks the skin and there's no danger of rabies, treat it as a minor wound. Wash the wound thoroughly with soap and water. Apply an antibiotic cream to prevent infection and cover the bite with a clean bandage.
• For deep wounds. If the animal bite creates a deep puncture of the skin or the skin is badly torn and bleeding, apply pressure with a clean, dry cloth to stop the bleeding and see your doctor.
• For infection. If you notice signs of infection, such as swelling, redness, increased pain or oozing, see your doctor immediately.
• For suspected rabies. If you suspect the bite was caused by an animal that might carry rabies — including any wild or domestic animal of unknown immunization status, particularly bats — see your doctor immediately.
Doctors recommend getting a tetanus shot every 10 years. If your last one was more than five years ago and your wound is deep or dirty, your doctor may recommend a booster. Get the booster as soon as possible after the injury.
Domestic pets cause most animal bites. Dogs are more likely to bite than cats. Cat bites, however, are more likely to cause infection because they are usually puncture wounds and can't be thoroughly cleaned. Bites from nonimmunized domestic animals and wild animals carry the risk of rabies. Rabies is more common in bats, raccoons, skunks and foxes than in cats and dogs. Rabbits, squirrels and other rodents rarely carry rabies.
bats, or who are sleeping and discover bats present, seek medical advice, even if they don't think they've been bitten. This is because bat bite marks can be hard to see.
For further questions on First Aid Treatment at home, send your enquiries to email@example.com.