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  Katie Boyles   November 17, 2015   First aid 0 Comments

5 common first aid myths busted

Velocity Care provides science-based practices for common first aid issues

First AidPopular culture is very good at spreading trends and disseminating bits of information that are not always based in fact. For example, the television show Friends caused many to believe that urine can treat jellyfish stings. However, this first aid technique is not as effective as many people assume.

Here, Velocity Care has compiled a list of five common first aid errors, along with the correct, science-based practice that will actually care for the injury.

  1. Urine does not heal jellyfish stings.

Instead, avoid an awkward situation and rinse the sting area with seawater instead. Do not use freshwater, ice or rub the area because it may worsen the pain. If you can see tentacles, remove them immediately with tweezers. Apply vinegar or isopropyl alcohol. Watch for symptoms of any allergic reactions and, if needed, transport the wounded individual to a medical care facility.

  1. Do not put butter, grease or oil onto a burn.

Covering the skin with any of these will actually cause the burn to retain heat, making it worse. Instead, submerge the burn area immediately in cool, sterile water or a saline solution. Do not submerge the area for longer than 10 minutes – the wound needs to breathe. Place a sterile dressing on the area and, if it helps relieve the pain, moisten it with cool water. Depending on the severity of the burn, transport the burn victim to a medical care facility.

  1. Do not use a bite block or physically restrain a person who is having a seizure.

When someone is suffering from a seizure, the first step is to clear the area around the person and pad any immovable objects to prevent injury. Do not put your fingers or any other objects into the person’s mouth. Only a properly trained professional should insert an oropharyngeal airway. Experts recommend that those experiencing seizures should be turned onto one side during the episode to avoid aspiration of vomit. Call 911 as soon as possible.

  1. Do not soak a sprain in hot water.

Hot water will only increase swelling of the affected area. Instead, remember the RICE method:

  • Rest
  • Ice
  • Compression wrap
  • Elevate

Place the sprained appendage on a comfortable, elevated pillow for relief.

  1. To control a nosebleed, do not tilt the head back or down between the knees.

Most nosebleeds begin in the septum area of the nose; from there, the blood can flow either out of the nose or back into the throat. The blood you see coming out of the nose may only be a small portion of the total blood loss. The correct way to control a nosebleed is to tilt your head forward and pinch the nostrils for 15 minutes. Wait until after 15 minutes to check – if you release pressure too soon, your nose will continue to bleed.

Use Velocity Care’s fact-based practices to heal your family when these common first aid issues arise. Remember: Trends are not always accurate. It’s always a good idea to command a strong foundation of accurate information about your health.

Velocity Care is dedicated to providing the best possible care for you and your family. Owned and operated by board-certified emergency medicine physicians, we provide premier medical care with little or no wait. Subscribe to email updates to stay informed about the best ways to care for your family’s health.

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Photo credit: 123RF Stock Photo

Medical disclaimer

This site offers medical, health, fitness and nutritional information and is designed for educational purposes only. General information found on this website is not intended to diagnose any medical condition or to replace your health care professional.

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