When it comes to first aid, most of us think we know what we’re doing. We may have taken a course at some point in our lives, or watched a few episodes of “ER” and feel confident that we could handle any situation that came up. But the truth is, even those of us with training can make costly mistakes when it comes to helping others. In this article, we will take a look at six of the most serious and unfortunate first aid mistakes you could make. Each mistake will be explained in detail, along with information on how to avoid it. So please read on, and learn from the mistakes of others so that you can be better prepared should an emergency arise.
Not Applying Unna Boot Correctly
Unna boot is a type of bandage that is used to treat venous ulcers. It is important to apply this bandage correctly, as it can help to improve circulation, speed up the healing process and prevent further complications. Be sure to follow the instructions on the package carefully, and if you are unsure of how to apply it, ask a medical professional for help. Not applying the bandage correctly can cause it to slip or come off, which can lead to further injury or infection. This can be especially dangerous if the ulcer is located near a joint, as it can put additional pressure on the area and cause further damage.
Not Checking For Signs of Life Before Beginning CPR
One of the most common mistakes made during CPR is not checking for signs of life before beginning chest compressions. Many people mistakenly believe that as long as someone is not breathing, they must need CPR. However, this is not always the case. Other vital signs must be checked first, such as a pulse. If there is no pulse and the person is not breathing, then CPR should be started. But if there is a pulse, chest compressions should not be performed. Instead, you should focus on keeping the person’s airway clear and monitoring their vital signs until help arrives.
Giving Mouth-to-Mouth Resuscitation to Someone Who is Vomiting
Another common mistake made during CPR is giving mouth-to-mouth resuscitation to someone who is vomiting. This can do more harm than good, as the vomit can enter the lungs and cause further respiratory distress. If someone is vomiting, you should turn them on their side so that they do not choke on their vomit. You should also avoid giving them anything by mouth, including water or food. If you for any reason must give CPR to someone who is vomiting, be sure to tilt their head back and lift their chin so that the vomit will not block their airway.
Not Checking for Allergies Before Giving Medications
While it’s important to administer medications quickly in an emergency, it’s also important to take a moment to check for allergies. This is especially true if you are not familiar with the person you are helping. Many people have severe reactions to certain medications, so it’s always best to err on the side of caution and check before giving anything. If possible, ask the person if they have any allergies or medical conditions that might contraindicate certain medications. If they are unable to answer, look for a medic alert bracelet or necklace that can provide this information.
Not Immobilizing an Injured Neck or Spine
Not immobilizing an injured neck or spine can be a very serious mistake, as it can lead to further injury or even paralysis. If you suspect that someone has a neck or spine injury, it is important to immobilize them as much as possible. This can be done by gently placing them on a hard surface and supporting their head and neck with your hands. It is also important to avoid moving the person more than necessary. If possible, wait for EMS to arrive so that they can properly immobilize the person before moving them.
Not Cleaning a Wound Before Applying a Bandage
Even if you are in a hurry, it is important to take the time to clean a wound before applying a bandage. This will help to prevent infection and ensure that the wound heals properly. Be sure to wash your hands thoroughly before beginning, and use a clean cloth or gauze to gently clean the wound. Apply pressure to the wound if necessary to stop any bleeding, and then dry it off before applying a bandage. Not cleaning a wound before applying a bandage can lead to infection, which can be extremely dangerous especially if the wound is located near a joint or bone.
First aid is an important skill that everyone should know, but it’s also important to be aware of the potential mistakes that can be made. These 6 mistakes can be costly for your patient, so it’s important to avoid them if at all possible. If you are unsure of how to properly administer first aid, be sure to seek out training from a medical professional. With proper training and awareness, you can help to ensure that your patients receive the best possible care in an emergency.