A small wound or an accidental sprain may seem like no big deal at the moment.
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“Shaking it off and it will heal on its own” is a common cultural response.
However, minor injuries and accidents can go unnoticed and possibly escalate into much bigger problems. Although there may be no immediate symptoms, doesn’t necessarily equate that there is no lasting damage.
But not all injuries are considered a medical emergency. You should be the one to decide whether an injury could be worthy of an adhesive bandage, or if worse, a trip to the ER.
Minor injuries are unfortunate but common in our everyday lives. They can be painful, but most of the time, they do not threaten your life, mobility, or long-term survival.
This blog is to give you information regarding common minor injuries requiring first aid and what you can do when an accident like this occurs.
Cuts, Scrapes, and Scratches
For minor cuts and scrapes, the first thing to do is clean the wounded area gently with water and apply direct pressure until the bleeding stops. Rinse the wound under cool running water or saline wash then apply an adhesive bandage.
Depending on the severity of the wound, some lacerations need to be evaluated for the possibility of needing stitches. If you think the cut bleeding is out of control, call EMS as soon as possible.
Most of us experienced having a bloody nose at some time in our lives. Nosebleeds are common but can appear very dramatic at times. To stop the nosebleed, apply firm pressure below the nose using your thumb and forefinger. Pinch for good ten minutes, then let go and see if the bleeding stops.
If the bleeding is suspected from an injury to your nose or head, call an ambulance right away.
Splinters can be a minor annoyance in your day. The best way to deal with a splinter sticking out of the skin is to wash your skin with water and get a pair of tweezers to pull it out. For splinters under the skin, use a needle to scrape away the skin above until you see the top of the splinter. Grab the end of the splinter using the tweezer and pull it out.
Everybody gets burned at some point – whether by a curling iron, a hot pot or accidentally splashing boiling water on your skin. The severity of the degree of the burn is based on the depth and how much of your outer and inner skin is affected.
First-degree and minor second-degree burns can be treated at home by placing the burned area under running cool water and applying ointments. While third-degree and serious burns require immediate medical treatment.
It can be difficult to tell the difference between a sprain and a fracture. A fracture is simply a broken bone while a sprain can be a ligament or tendon that has been stretched out or torn. First-degree sprains are often treatable with the RICE method (rest, ice, compression, elevation) and it should start feeling a little better in a couple of days. If the sprain does not seem to get better in time, it might be worth calling the doctor for a professional opinion.
RICE TREATMENT: HOW TO DO IT
The acronym RICE is a first aid treatment, often used in treating soft tissue injuries like sprains, strains, and bruises. This treatment is best used immediately after sustaining the injury and should feel better within the first 48 hours. RICE treatment involves four steps:
- Rest. Stop any type of activity right away to protect the injury from the additional strain.
- Ice. Apply a bag of ice (covered in a towel) to the injured area to minimise pain and swelling.
- Compression. Wrap the injury firmly using an elastic to further reduce swelling.
- Elevation. Use pillows to elevate the injury in the level of the heart or above. This allows the blood to move to the injured area and back towards the heart, making the blood circulation normal. Elevation also prevents additional pain and swelling.
Taking precautions, being alert, and knowing the right first aid treatment can prevent an injury from getting worse. Use these first aid tips for minor injuries and create the most optimal health outcome post-injury.
For first aid training courses, visit firstaidpro.com.au or call 1300 029 132 for more information.