First Aid Mistakes To Avoid

pedestrian accidentSummer is almost upon us so it is time to be prepared for First Aid situations. First Aid mistakes, however well-intended , can cause the victim more harm than good.  The last thing in the world you want is to make an injury worse than it already is.

Sooner or later, you will need to help an injured person.  Here are some tips to help you avoid these damaging first aid mistakes.

1) Wash the wound with hydrogen peroxide or alcohol... Nope!

hydrogen peroxide and alcoholThis is a very common first aid mistake. Most minor wounds should be flushed with clean, cool water.  Hydrogen Peroxide and alcohol can irritate the skin surrounding the wound.

After flushing with water, stop the bleeding with compression.  Apply an antiseptic / antibiotic.  Cover the wound with a dressing

2) Put butter on a burn to stop the burning and sooth the pain... Absolutely not!

butterButter on a burn can increase the risk of infection.  It can also make it difficult for a doctor to treat the burn later.

Run clean, cool water over the burned area instead.  Then cover the area with dry, sterile gauze.  See a doctor if the burn is severe or starts to blister.

3) Give mouth-to-mouth to a heart attack or drowning victim... Not the best idea.

mouth-to-mouthResearch shows that chest compressions save more lives than mouth-to-mouth.  Keeping the heart beating does more to sustain life than inflating the lungs.

Try to keep a pace of 100 beats per minute, which coincidentally corresponds to the meter of that Bee Gees disco abomination, "Staying Alive".

4) Induce vomiting immediately if a child swallows poison... Wait!...Not so fast.

poisonBack in the day, most families kept a bottle of syrup of ipecac in the medicine cabinet for just such an occasion.

Experts now say to first call the Poison Control Centers  (800) 222-1222.  That's because bringing up the poisonous substance may do as much damage as was done when it went down.  Talk to a medical professional before taking action.

5) Tip your head back to stop a nosebleed... Not unless you like to swallow blood.

nose bleedTipping your head back does not help stop a nosebleed. Instead, lean forward.  And use your thumb and index finger to pinch the soft part of your nose.

This will compress the tiny blood vessels in your schnozzola and help stop the bleeding.  After the bleeding stops, remember to refran from blowing your nose for a while.


The preceding addresses some first aid mistakes commonly made around everyday injuries.  But, what about trauma?  Would you know what to do to help a person with a serious injury?  Examples include:

Broken Bones

broken bone

Heart Attacks

heart attack

Car Crash

car crash

Diabetic Crisis


Gunshot Wound


Snake Bite




Puncture Wound