In case of an emergency the first thing that we think about is an advice from some close friend or relative. Anyhow, even the best and well –known recommendations can lead us to pretty bad consequences. We collected 11 familiar myths about first aid so you will become more aware of what you should do if somebody needs help.
Using Stitches Instead of Skin Glue to Close Wounds and Cuts
Doing it right: First, you need to stop the bleeding by applying pressure. Afterwards close the edges of the wound, and apply skin glue. Wait until it dries.
Why it’s wrong: Putting stitches on wounds is a long and painful procedure which requires removing the stitches later. The use of skin glue has 2 main advantages: it is quick and virtually painless.
Applying Ice on Bruise
Doing it right: Put a cloth between your skin and the ice. Apply cold for 20 minutes, remove the ice, and wait 20 more minutes. Repeat that several times.
Why it’s wrong: Ice indeed helps reduce bruises, but don’t apply the pack directly to the skin or you’ll get a cold burn.
Lifting Up an Unconscious Person
Doing it right: Lift the person’s legs up first, unbutton any tight items of clothing, and don’t let them stand right after they come around.
Why it’s wrong: If someone faints, don’t try lifting them or sprinkling cold water on them — it’ll just aggravate the spasm. After they regain consciousness, don’t let them drink coffee or energy drinks: caffeine will lead to dehydration.
Using Butter or Sour Cream to Treat Burns
Doing it right: Hold the burned area in cool water for 15 minutes. Never burst the burn blister because that will remove the protective layer and leave the wound opened for infections that can lead to festering.
Why it’s wrong: The only reason you’ll feel better after this is because the substance is cold on the burn. The danger here, though, is that butter or sour cream dries and creates a film, disrupting thermal exchange (heat goes deeper and does more damage).
Rubbing a Person with a Fever with Vinegar or Alcohol
Doing it right: A fever can be alleviated by drinking a lot and cool air in the room (61-64°F). If these conditions are observed, the patient will get over the fever, if it’s not too high, by themselves.
Why it’s wrong: Vinegar and alcohol are absorbed into the blood. Alcohol rubbing may create intoxication, while vinegar will raise acidity too much. It’s especially dangerous for children.
Applying Ointments to a Wound
Doing it right: Clean the wound in cool water with soap, and dress it with a dry clean bandage.
Why it’s wrong: A wound will better heal in fresh air, while ointments create unwanted moisture.
Dealing with a Foreign Objects in your Eye
Doing it right: Cover the eye with gauze, and call a doctor. Only if it’s a chemical burn should you immediately wash the eye with water.
Why it’s wrong: You risk a wrong movement of your hand and resulting injuries.
Setting a Bone on your Own
Doing it right: Immobilize the injured limb, and get the victim to the hospital. The limb mustn’t be set forcefully. Instead, you should bandage it in a comfortable position, immobilizing not only the place of possible fracture but the 2 closest joints as well.
Why it’s wrong: You shouldn’t set a dislocated joint on your own as it may result in additional injuries.
Making yourself Vomit in Case of Poisoning
Doing it right: Call an ambulance immediately. If you’re still sure vomiting will do you good, don’t use manganese, baking soda, or milk to induce it. Instead, drink lots of warm water.
Why it’s wrong: The standard recommendation for poisoning is to make yourself vomit. However, it is strictly prohibited if you’ve been poisoned with acid, alkali, or other caustic substances.
Fulling Out Objects from Wound
Doing it right: Large shard in the chest or knife in the leg may look pretty scary. Instead of helping them pull the object out of their body, take the patient to the hospital.
Why it’s wrong: You can pull a small glass shard from your hand or a splinter from a finger, but never try to pull objects from serious wounds. Doctors keep them in place until the patient is in surgery. Apart of that, bleeding will occur that may lead to death.
Applying Warmth to a Sprain
Doing it right: Apply cold in the first days after an injury. It will lessen inflammation and pain. Ensure a minimum load on the injured limb for 48 hours.
Why it’s wrong: Warmth can’t help if you have sprained muscles. They will do quite the opposite; warmth will strengthen the blood flow, leading to a more severe swelling.