A Helping Hand Is Always Welcome In Emergencies — Or Is It?

Posted by GreaterGoodness

A lot of people find themselves paralyzed when confronted with an emergency situation that requires a first aid response. Most people would rather call 911 or wait for a more knowledgeable person to step up, but there are some who bravely step forward to provide first aid without knowing that it won’t work or, worse, could be fatal to the person in need of help.

A helping hand is always welcome in case of emergencies, but when another person’s life is on the line, it’s better to ensure that the methods you’re using are appropriate ways to relieve pain or save a life.

Moving an Injured Person Involved in an Accident Away From the Scene

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Image by Mike Renlund via Flickr

Causing unnecessary movement is one of the most dangerous things to do with an injured person. A person who has suffered a spinal cord injury may suffer additional injuries if moved by inexperienced people.

Don’t try to move an injured person even if there’s no apparent injury. Call for help and wait for trained responders.

Treating Burns With Butter

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Image by Gail via Flickr

Butter is an oily substance that may offer a quick fix, however spreading it on top of a burn could make it more difficult for the doctor to treat the patient later, according to the University of Rochester Medical Center. It also increases the risk of contracting wound infections.

Treat the burns with cool running water until the burning sensation subsides. Wait until the cold soaks in to ensure that the burn doesn’t travel further down into the skin.

Leaning Back to Control a Nosebleed

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Image by popofatticus via Flickr

Television programs have misinformed a lot of people about how to treat nosebleeds. According to Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, tilting the head back will only make the blood flow down the throat into the stomach and sometimes the lungs, causing irritation, vomiting or retching.

Tilt your head forward and pinch the nostrils together just below the nose bridge. Use a tissue to catch the blood. Apply pressure for ten minutes or until the gush stops. Don’t blow your nose as it may cause further nosebleeds.

Applying Heat to a Sprain, Fracture or Strain

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Image by Slip via Flickr

Heat is often used for chronic injuries, such as sore muscles or joint pains, but it can make the swelling worse and impede the healing of an acute injury.

In case of an acute injury, such as a fracture, strain or sprain, apply ice immediately on the affected area. Ice helps to control the pain and reduce the swelling. A cold compress is usually applied to acute injuries for the first 48 hours.

Using Alcohol Sponge Baths to Reduce Fever

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Image by Lenore Edman via Flickr

While alcohol can provide a quick cooling effect and helps lower temperature, it can also be absorbed by the skin and may cause alcohol poisoning, especially among young children.

Take an over-the-counter fever reducer, such as ibuprofen, according to dosage instructions. Consult a doctor immediately or go to an emergency treatment center if the fever persists for several days.

Stopping the Bleeding of an Injured Limb by Applying a Tourniquet

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Image by UNC – CFC – USFK via Flickr

A tourniquet is intended for the correction of a sprained or broken limb and also to stop the flow of blood. Applying a tourniquet, however, can cause permanent damage to the limb. It is often used as a last resort to impede severe bleeding.

Use layers of clean cloth or sterile gauze to pad the wound. Control the bleeding by applying direct pressure. Clean the wound, but don’t waste time disinfecting the wound. Dressing it and saving a life are the utmost priorities.

Rubbing the Eyes to Remove Debris

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Image by Mish Sukharev via Flickr

Trying to remove debris from the eyes may scratch the surface, causing damage.

Rinse the irritated eye with clean water. If the debris is still there, put a gauze or a clean paper cup and secure it with tape so nothing else can enter it. If the irritant is a chemical, immediately rinse it with water for about 15 minutes.

Inducing Vomiting by Inserting Fingers Down the Throat or by Taking Syrup of Ipepac

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Image by ricardo via Flickr

Vomiting may be harmful when a person ingests poisonous substances.

Don’t give anything to a person who has swallowed a poisonous substance unless instructed by the Poison Control Center. Check the packaging for recommendations. Seek medical attention immediately.


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