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Do's And Don'ts Of First Aid?

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Lets start out with burns.

First-degree burn
The least serious burns are those in which only the outer layer of skin is burned. The skin is usually red, with swelling and pain sometimes present. The outer layer of skin hasn't been burned through. Treat a first-degree burn as a minor burn unless it involves substantial portions of the hands, feet, face, groin or buttocks, or a major joint.

Second-degree burn
When the first layer of skin has been burned through and the second layer of skin (dermis) also is burned, the injury is called a second-degree burn. Blisters develop and the skin takes on an intensely reddened, splotchy appearance. Second-degree burns produce severe pain and swelling.

If the second-degree burn is no larger than 3 inches (7.5 centimeters) in diameter, treat it as a minor burn. If the burned area is larger or if the burn is on the hands, feet, face, groin or buttocks, or over a major joint, treat it as a major burn and get medical help immediately.

For minor burns, including first-degree burns and second-degree burns limited to an area no larger than 3 inches (7.5 centimeters) in diameter, take the following action:

Cool the burn. Hold the burned area under cold running water for at least five minutes, or until the pain subsides. If this is impractical, immerse the burn in cold water or cool it with cold compresses. Cooling the burn reduces swelling by conducting heat away from the skin. Don't put ice on the burn.
Cover the burn with a sterile gauze bandage. Don't use fluffy cotton, which may irritate the skin. Wrap the gauze loosely to avoid putting pressure on burned skin. Bandaging keeps air off the burned skin, reduces pain and protects blistered skin.
Take an over-the-counter pain reliever. These include aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others), naproxen (Aleve) or acetaminophen (Tylenol, others). Never give aspirin to children or teenagers.
Minor burns usually heal without further treatment. They may heal with pigment changes, meaning the healed area may be a different color from the surrounding skin. Watch for signs of infection, such as increased pain, redness, fever, swelling or oozing. If infection develops, seek medical help. Avoid re-injuring or tanning if the burns are less than a year old — doing so may cause more extensive pigmentation changes. Use sunscreen on the area for at least a year.

Caution

Don't use ice. Putting ice directly on a burn can cause frostbite, further damaging your skin.
Don't apply butter or ointments to the burn. This could prevent proper healing.
Don't break blisters. Broken blisters are vulnerable to infection.
Third-degree burn
The most serious burns are painless, involve all layers of the skin and cause permanent tissue damage. Fat, muscle and even bone may be affected. Areas may be charred black or appear dry and white. Difficulty inhaling and exhaling, carbon monoxide poisoning, or other toxic effects may occur if smoke inhalation accompanies the burn.

For major burns, dial 911 or call for emergency medical assistance. Until an emergency unit arrives, follow these steps:

Don't remove burnt clothing. However, do make sure the victim is no longer in contact with smoldering materials or exposed to smoke or heat.
Don't immerse large severe burns in cold water. Doing so could cause shock.
Check for signs of circulation (breathing, coughing or movement). If there is no breathing or other sign of circulation, begin cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).
Elevate the burned body part or parts. Raise above heart level, when possible.
Cover the area of the burn. Use a cool, moist, sterile bandage; clean, moist cloth; or moist towels.

Next Bleeding. (Severe only)

Have the injured person lie down and cover the person to prevent loss of body heat. If possible, position the person's head slightly lower than the trunk or elevate the legs. This position reduces the risk of fainting by increasing blood flow to the brain. If possible, elevate the site of bleeding.
While wearing gloves, remove any obvious dirt or debris from the wound. Don't remove any large or more deeply embedded objects. Don't probe the wound or attempt to clean it at this point. Your principal concern is to stop the bleeding.
Apply pressure directly on the wound until the bleeding stops. Use a sterile bandage or clean cloth and hold continuous pressure for at least 20 minutes without looking to see if the bleeding has stopped. Maintain pressure by binding the wound tightly with a bandage (or a piece of clean cloth) and adhesive tape. Use your hands if nothing else is available. If possible, wear rubber or latex gloves or use a clean plastic bag for protection.
Don't remove the gauze or bandage. If the bleeding continues and seeps through the gauze or other material you are holding on the wound, don't remove it. Instead, add more absorbent material on top of it.
Squeeze a main artery if necessary. If the bleeding doesn't stop with direct pressure, apply pressure to the artery delivering blood to the area of the wound. Pressure points of the arm are on the inside of the arm just above the elbow and just below the armpit. Pressure points of the leg are just behind the knee and in the groin. Squeeze the main artery in these areas against the bone. Keep your fingers flat. With your other hand, continue to exert pressure on the wound itself.
Immobilize the injured body part once the bleeding has stopped. Leave the bandages in place and get the injured person to the emergency room as soon as possible.
If you suspect internal bleeding, call 911 or your local emergency number. Signs of internal bleeding may include:

Bleeding from body cavities, such as the ears, nose, rectum or vagina
Vomiting or coughing up blood
Bruising on neck, chest, abdomen or side (between ribs and hip)
Wounds that have penetrated the skull, chest or abdomen
Abdominal tenderness, possibly accompanied by rigidity or spasm of abdominal muscles
Fractures
Shock, indicated by weakness, anxiety, thirst or skin that's cool to the touch

Finally Heat Exaustion.

Signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion often begin suddenly, sometimes after excessive exercise, heavy perspiration and inadequate fluid intake. Signs and symptoms resemble those of shock and may include:

Feeling faint or dizzy
Nausea
Heavy sweating
Rapid, weak heartbeat
Low blood pressure
Cool, moist, pale skin
Low-grade fever
Heat cramps
Headache
Fatigue
Dark-colored urine
If you suspect heat exhaustion:

Get the person out of the sun and into a shady or air-conditioned location.
Lay the person down and elevate the legs and feet slightly.
Loosen or remove the person's clothing.
Have the person drink cool water.
Cool the person by spraying or sponging him or her with cool water and fanning.
Monitor the person carefully. Heat exhaustion can quickly become heatstroke.
If fever greater than 102 F (38.9 C), fainting, confusion or seizures occur, dial 911 or call for emergency medical assistance

Some information from mayoclinic.com

Some information from EMS training NC state standards.

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