Accidents can happen, and when they do it is important to keep a cool head. Not everyone is accustomed to seeing blood, and sometimes even the most innocent activity can lead to a deep cut that will bleed profusely.
Knowing how to react when and having a well-stocked first aid kit available will help you be prepared.
8 golden rules of first aid
- Stay calm
- Check whether your surroundings are safe. Don’t put yourself or the injured person at risk.
- Decide if you or the injured person needs medical aid; ask for advice if not sure.
- Reassure the injured person. If they are severely injured and under shock, and keep them warm. Stay with the injured person, keep them comfortable and don’t move them if you suspect an injury to the back or neck. Call for medical help in that case.
- Tell the medical experts as much information about the accident and symptoms as you can. Also, if you know about allergies or blood group or vaccinations or medical condition of the person (i.e. if they are on medication)
- Wash your hands before you apply first aid and wear disposable gloves to protect yourself and to prevent infections.
- Clean the wound(s) carefully, wiping away any dirt and grit. Use a clean cotton cloth with a disinfectant or rinse with cold water, then pat area dry before applying a clean dressing. Do not remove embedded objects, leave that to medical staff.
- Keep your first aid supplies up to date. Do not forget to replace any items you use from your first aid kit and check expiry dates regularly. Check our First Aid Kit guide for a more tips.
Why wound dressing?
Taking the time to dress even a minor wound instead of letting it dry will create optimum conditions for undisturbed and fast healing of your skin.
Dr. Rainer Wolber, Research & Development, Beiersdorf AG says, “In every wound the protective function of the skin is impaired. The objective of wound dressings is not only to protect the wound, but also to enable conditions in which healing of the skin can proceed as undisturbed as possible, so that the skin’s healthy structure can be restored.
In the treatment of minor everyday injuries, standard first aid dressings and plasters protect your wound from external influences and prevent contamination and infection, ensure absorption of blood and secretion, and reduce pain and mechanical trauma to a minimum during dressing removal and improve your comfort.
When do I need a doctor? When to seek medical advice
Most minor cuts and bruises can be treated effectively with first aid, but how do you know if an injury needs closer attention?
We recommend you contact a medical professional in the following circumstances:
- if the wound is deep and causes major bleeding
- if the wound shows signs of infection such as redness, warmth, pain and swelling
- if there are embedded foreign objects
- in case of an animal or human bite or
- in case of contact with animal blood
- if the wound is in the area of the face
- if there is insufficient tetanus vaccination
- and of course any time you have questions or are uncertain
You should also seek medical advice in case of breathing problems, unconsciousness, a deep wound with a major loss of blood, a severe burn, a suspected fracture or broken bone a suspected heart attack, a severe allergic reaction, a snake, animal bite or human bite, poisoning, severe shock, any condition which turns rapidly worse.
Content provided by Elastoplast