17 Jan First Aid At Home
Most of the time we are available to help but sometimes it’s just not practical or possible to get medical help straightaway. If you have a small accident at home or on holiday which requires first aid attention, it pays to be prepared. Here are a few tips on how to treat some common injuries which may occur at home. As always, use these as a guideline and if you are concerned always seek medical advice either by calling a speaking to a nurse or by making an appointment with your GP.
Immediately cool the affected area for up to 20 minutes using cool running water from a tap or shower. In the absence of water any cool clean fluid (beer, soft drink, etc.) can be used. Don’t use ice. After cooling apply a non-adherent sterile dressing or clean plastic cling-film. DO NOT break blisters or remove peeled skin yourself; don’t try to remove any fabric that is stuck to a burn and don’t apply creams, ointments, lotions or butter. See a doctor if the burn is extensive, involves the face, hands, joints or genitals or causing ongoing significant pain. It is advisable to take children with burns to see your doctor. Burns are painful so use paracetamol or ibuprofen as directed for pain management.
For a bee sting, make sure the sting is removed (scrape, do not squeeze). To relieve stinging use a paste made of baking soda and cold water, or an ice cube for 20 minutes. See a doctor if there is swelling in the eyelids, lips or genitals; if signs of infection develop (redness, swelling, red streaks, heat, discharge of pus, fever or chills); or there are any new or worsening symptoms or pain.
Apply direct pressure to the wound, for a few minutes, using a clean cloth. Raising the injured body part may help to slow down the bleeding but if it won’t stop or blood is spurting out, keep the pressure on and go to the medical centre or call 111.
Cuts and grazes
Wash with clean water. Once a wound seems clean, cover it with a dressing for a day or two but avoid dressings that will stick to the wound. See your doctor or nurse if dirt is embedded in a graze and you can’t wash it out, or if you think a wound has become infected (red, swollen, pus, or fever).
If you have any concerns or the incident involves children, it is always best to seek medical advice and we are just a phone call away if you want reassurance.