Bites which have been caused by an animal or a human should always be referred for medical examination because there is a risk that bacteria on teeth and in saliva will lead to infection.
Bleeding can be quite severe depending upon the type and number of bites, and the first abider’s initial aim should be to control the bleeding.
Treatment for a Superficial Wound
- If bleeding is not severe then wash the wound thoroughly with soap and water to try to remove some of the possible contamination.
- Control bleeding by applying a sterile dressing or a clean pad and pressing it firmly against the wound.
- When bleeding has ceased, cover the wound with a fresh dressing held in place with adhesive tape or bandaging.
- Seek medical examination of the wound. Do not apply Medicated ointment to the wound.
Treatment for a Severe Wound
- Arrange for the prompt removal of the casualty to hospital.
- Control serious bleeding by applying direct pressure to the wound(s).
- Cover the wound with a sterile dressing or a pad of clean cloth.
- Observe the casualty for signs of shock
Burns and Scalds – nipro medical corporation
Bums are sustained in a number of ways – most commonly from dry heat, friction or corrosive chemicals – whilst scalds are caused by liquids and vapors. Although heat accounts for most bums and scalds, it is important to remember that contact with extreme cold can also bum, as can radiation.
At the scene of a burns incident
- Make sure you do not put yourself in danger from the presence of fire, electrical hazards, etc.
- Where possible, stop the burning of affected tissues by rapid cooling. The most effective way of doing this is to place the affected limb or part under cold running water
for at least 10 minutes. This will help to minimize tissue damage, swelling, shock and pain.
- If removing the casualty to hospital, turn off the water and cover the wound. A non-stick sterile dressing is preferable, but if not available, a clean handkerchief, pillowcase or sheet will do; alternatively cling film or a plastic bag may be used. Bums are highly vulnerable to infection, so it is important not to leave a wound exposed to the atmosphere for any length of time.
- Keep the casualty as calm as possible and observe for signs of shock. Always get medical help quickly for all but the most minor of bums.
Never use an adhesive dressing on a bum.
Never apply creams, ointments, sprays, butter, or indeed anything else to a bum – these will have to be removed and will cause additional pain and distress to the sufferer. Never prick or burst any blister that appears on a bum – these are nature’s defense against infection.
Never try to remove anything sticking to a bum – in fact try not to touch or interfere with the affected area at all. However, do remove articles such as jewellery, belts or clothing from around the affected area as swelling is likely to occur.
Burns to the mouth and throat
Bums on the face and mouth are extremely serious as they can cause rapid swelling of the air ways Summon medical help immediately and be prepared to clear the airway and, if necessary, resuscitate. Inform the ambulance service that you suspect bums of the airway.
Burns may be caused by an electrical current passing into the body. Although most damage is done at the points of entry and exit, occasionally tracks of damage are caused internally. Severe electric shock may cause cardiac arrest if the victim is unconscious, disregard any burns initially and give priority to the ABC of resuscitation.
If the source of electricity is low voltage, such as from the domestic supply, it is essential to isolate the casualty from the current, either by disconnecting the power or using wood or plastic to separate the victim from the appliance. Alternatively, wrench the cable from the plug or grab the victims clothing and pull him or her free. Do not come into contact with the victim’s skin.
Chemicals that cause severe bums are normally found in industry, but some paint strippers and other domestic chemicals can also inflict similar bums. Try to find out what the substance was in order to inform the “doctor, summon medical help immediately and, if possible, remove the casualty from the scene of the accident. In the meantime:
Flood the burnt area with copious amounts of running water. Protect yourself with rubber gloves.
Carefully remove any clothing that is likely to be contaminated with the chemical.
Get the casualty to hospital as quickly as possible.
Chemical burns to the eyes
If the eyes are affected, it is essential to pour as much water into them as possible. This will obviously need to be done as gently as possible, and as the eyes will probably be tightly shut in pain. it may be necessary to price them open firmly to irrigate the whole eye. Chemical bums to the eyes can cause lasting damage, and even blindness, so it is essential to seek hospital treatment without delay. A glass of water can be used to administer the water if a tap is not available or not appropriate.
Cardiac arrest – nipro medical corporation
Cardiac arrest is the term used to describe any sudden cessation of the heart, characterized by absence of pulse and breathing. Cardiac arrest may be the result of severe heart attack, anaphylactic shock (see p.450), electric shock, poisoning (including drug overdose), hypothermia or suffocation.
During cardiac arrest, the brain and heart muscle are completely starved of oxygen, a state that can be tolerated for only a few minutes before permanent damage results. It is vital, therefore, that resuscitation procedures are instigated immediately.
Cardiac Arrest Resuscitation
Resuscitation is the emergency action required when there is sustained interruption of the oxygen supply to the brain. In order that this vital oxygen supply may be restored, three vital conditions must be met:
- The airway must be clear in order to permit oxygen-rich air to enter the lungs.
- There must be adequate breathing taking place in order that the oxygen can enter the bloodstream.
- The blood must be pumped around the body providing effective circulation to the brain and all body tissues.
When presented with an unconscious casualty, it is important to assess his or her condition quickly before attempting resuscitation. It is therefore important to ask the following questions:
- Is the casualty unconscious with no evidence of pulse or breathing? If so, dial 999 for an ambulance and carry out artificial ventilation and chest compression until the ambulance arrives.
- Is the casualty unconscious and not breathing but with the pulse still present? If so, give 10 breaths of artificial ventilation and dial 999 for an ambulance. Continue artificial ventilation until the ambulance arrives or spontaneous breathing is resumed. Check the pulse frequently.
- Is the casualty unconscious but breathing with pulse present? If so, treat any obvious injuries, dial 999 for an ambulance and place the casualty in the recovery position.
A Open the Airway
- Remove any visible obstructions from the mouth.
- Placing two fingers under the casualty’s chin, gently raise the jaw. Simultaneously, tilt the casualty’s head well back by applying gentle pressure to the forehead with your other hand. Sometimes the airway may be blocked by the tongue as a result of loss of muscular control during unconsciousness, and this man oeuvre will lift the tongue clear.
B Check for Breathing
Place your face close to the casualty’s mouth and listen and feel for breathing for a full ten seconds. At the same time look along the chest and the abdomen for signs of movement.
C Check the circulation
If the heart is not beating adequately, there will be an absence of movement and breathing and the casualty may have an abnormal color. Check the casualty’s condition for ten seconds before commencing resuscitation.
Mouth to mouth or artificial ventilation
If the casualty is not breathing then breathing the exhaled air from your lungs into his or hers may keep them adequately ventilated until help arrives.
Place the casualty flat on the back and ensure the airway is open. Remove any obvious obstructions from the mouth. (Broken or loose dentures should be removed, but well fitting dentures should remain in place).
Pinch the casualty’s nose “between” the index finger and thumb. Take a deep breath then form a seal around the casualty’s mouth with your lips.
Blow steadily into the mouth until the chest rises. Each full inflation should take about two seconds.
Remove your lips from the casualty’s and allow the chest to ‘exhale’, or fall, fully before giving a subsequent breath.
If the chest fails to rise
Check that the head is tilted back correctly.
Ensure that your lips are forming a proper seal around the casualty’s mouth.
Check that air is not escaping from the nostrils.
Check that the airway is not blocked by vomit or blood. If an airway obstruction is suspected then finger sweeps may be performed on an adult. Keep the casualty’s head tilted back and sweep your finger round the mouth and hook out any obstruction but do not extend the fingers into the casualty’s throat. (This man oeuvre is not suitable for children).
The first aider should administer a further three breaths and check the casualty again. If this is not effective and no one else is available to call an ambulance then give ventilation for a full minute before going to contact medical help.