Basic First Aid Information
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First Aid Disclaimer
Listed below are examples of common workplace injuries, and suggestions for treatment in the absence trained medical personnel. This document does not take the place of formal training or certification. Nor is the information contained herein intended as a substitute for professional medical treatment. Please consult a qualified healthcare provider for all serious injuries.
Cuts and Scrapes
Most minor abrasions will stop bleeding without assistance. For a wound that is bleeding heavily, use a sterile compress to slow bleeding. After bleeding has been stopped, clean the affected area with an antiseptic or clean water. Gently pat the wound dry before applying anti-biotic cream and a sterile dressing. Cuts that are gaping, jagged or more than inch deep should be checked by a healthcare professional to determine if stitches are necessary.
Move the victim into the shade and loosen or remove clothing (within reason). Apply cold packs or damp towels to help bring down core temperature. Have the person drink a cool (not cold) beverage, preferably one that will replace electrolytes. If confusion, fainting or seizures occur, seek immediate medical attention.
Sprains and Strains
Try not to move the injured muscle or joint. Place a cold pack on the injured area as soon as possible. Keep cold compress on for an hour, alternating 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off. Immobilize the injured limb with a splint or elastic wrap. If pain persists for more than a few days, you should follow up with a medical professional.
If more than one person is available, one person should call 911 while someone else assists the victim. The Red Cross recommends the "5 and 5" approach for helping someone who is choking. First, deliver five solid blows to the victim's back with the heel of your hand. If the object has not moved, give 5 abdominal thrusts (also known as the Heimlich maneuver). To perform the Heimlich maneuver, stand behind the victim and wrap your arms around their waist. Make a fist with one hand and place it just above the victim's navel. Grab your fist with the other hand and pull toward you in a series of five quick, upward thrusts. Repeat back blows and abdominal thrusts as necessary until the object breaks free. Follow up with a healthcare professional.
Heat burns:Remove the source of heat immediately. Cool the burn as much as possible with water or a cold compress. Allow wound to air dry completely. If a blister forms, do not pop it as this could lead to infection. A topical anesthetic can be applied to help control pain. Loosely wrap a sterile bandage around the burned area. If clothing or other objects are melted onto the skin, do not attempt to remove - seek immediate medical attention.
Chemical burns:Remove any contaminated clothing. Do not attempt to wipe the chemical off. This can spread the chemical, and lead to larger burns. Instead, flush the affected area with running water for at least 15 minutes. Gently pat dry. If burning sensation continues, rewash the burned skin for several more minutes. Cover loosely with a sterile bandage. Follow up with a health care professional to minimize any permanent damage.
Chemical splashes:Do not rub eyes. Use an emergency eyewash station or sterile saline solution to flush the eyes for at least 15 minutes. Gently pat dry. Cover eyes with sterile pads and seek immediate medical attention.
Foreign objects:Do not touch eyeballs with instruments such as cotton swabs or tweezers. Blinking rapidly may help remove small objects like dust or sand particles. If object remains after 60 seconds of blinking, rinse the eye with sterile saline solution. Gently pat dry - do not rub. If the object remains lodged or scratches the surface of the eye, seek immediate medical help.
Call 911. Turn off or unplug the electrical source before attempting to help the victim. If this is not possible, use a non-conductive object such as wood or plastic to move the source away. Gently lay the person down, with legs elevated. Check to see if the person is breathing. Begin CPR if necessary. Cover burned skin loosely with a sterile dressing. Seek immediate medical attention.