From minor mishaps to more serious scares, explain what to do……………
Symptoms typically come on within four hours, and vomiting and diarrhoea can occur together or separately. When the vomiting subsides, give plenty of water or non-fizzy drinks in frequent small sips. Rehydration sachets are ideal if you have them. The affected person can eat when they feel hungry. If there is no improvement after 24 hours, then seek medical advice (call NHS Direct, for example).
Bees are generally not as aggressive as wasps, and stings usually occur if they are stood on or squashed accidentally.
What To Do Immediately It’s the venom that causes the pain and swelling. If you can see the sting, carefully scrape it away using a credit card or fingernail. After that, apply an ice pack, as this will help reduce swelling and ease the pain.
What Not To Do Try to remove the sting with tweezers. The sting may have a venom sac attached to the end of it and using the tweezers may well squeeze more venom into the casualty.
When To Get Medical Help If the swelling dramatically increases or if thee person feels dizzy or has trouble breathing, then call 999, as this can be a sign of severe allergic reaction.
Feeling very thirsty, having a headache, dizziness and cramps in the abdomen are signs of heat exhaustion. It happens when we become dehydrated and can’t produce a sweat, which cools us down.
What To Do Immediately Get the patient out of direct sun and remove any excess clothing – leaving just one thin layer. Ideally give them as isotonic drink. If water is all that’s available, get them to take regular short sips. Lie them down with legs raised to send blood to the brain to reduce dizziness.
What Not To Do Let them gulp lots of water quickly. This may overload their system making them sick, which will futher dehydrate them.
When To Get Medical Help If there are no signs of improvement within 15 to 20 minutes, call an ambulance.
Accidents with barbecues are a major cause.
What To Do Immediately Place the burnt area under cold running water for at least ten minutes. This will take water for at least ten minutes. This will take the heat out of the skin ans stop damage to the lower layers. if there is no water, use whatever cool liquid you have to hand. After ten minutes, wrap it in clingfilm.
What Not To Do Never use creams, lotions or butter – they’re not as good as water.
When to Seek Medical Help It depends on the severity, locations and size of the burn as well as the age of the person. A baby, young child or elderly person should receive swift medical attention.
Although the skin can burn after just half an hour in the sun, it can take up to 12 hours for the full extent of the damage to show.
What To Do Immediately Take the heat out of the skin with a cool bath or shower, take an anti-inflammatory such as ibuprofen to ease pain and reduce inflammation, and use a moisturiser that has been chilled in the fridge.
What Not To Do Drink alcohol, even a spritzer with ice, as it will further dilate the blood vessels that are near the skin, making it feel even hotter.
When To Get Medical Help If you have sunburn together with fluid-filled blisters, see a doctor. Blisters can lead to complications such as infections.
Bleeding often looks worse than it is, but prompt action is important. When someone loses in excess of 1.2 litres of blood, the situation can become critical.
What To Do Immediately Use a clean towel and apply pressure to the cut. If you don’t have a towel, use your hand. Get them to sit down, as they made may feel dizzy.
What Not To Do Don’t tie a tourniquet above the wound as this may reduce blood supply to the whole limb. And don’t try to remove anything embedded in the wound, as leaving it in place could help reduce the bleeding.
When To Get Medical Help If the cut is severe with significant blood loss, lie the person with legs raised so blood gets to the head.
The tiny blood vessels lining the nose are fragile, so something like a blow to the nose or even repeated sneezing can cause a nosebleed.
What To Do Immediately Tip your head forward to allow the blood to run of your nose. Next, pinch the soft part of your nose for around ten minutes – a clot should from. If blood is still flowing repeat for another ten minutes and try again.
What Not To Do Don’t put your head back as blood can flow down your throat and cause vomiting. And don’t blow your nose when the bleeding has stopped as this will dislodge any clot.
When To Seek Medical Help If there is still profuse bleeding after half an hour, then go to casualty.
Essential first-aid kit
Wonder if you’ve got the basics? Here’s what to stock up on:
- Ice packs or pads that you can keep in the fridge (or you can use frozen peas)
- Chewable aspirin
- Antiseptic cream
- Antihistamine cream
- Rehydration sachets
- Or buy a Compact Plus first-aid kit,
The real emergencies
- Someone Has Collapsed : Check for breathing by tipping their head back and looking and feeling for breaths. If they are breathing, push them on to their side with their head tilted back. Call 911/999.
- Fractures : The priority is to immobilise a suspected broken limb so it cannot move, which could cause more damage. Support it with a cushion or items of clothing. Call 911/999 and do not give anything to eat or drink.
- Choking : Hit the person firmly on the back between the shoulder blades. The blockage should shifit within five attempts. With infants under one, lie them along your forearm face down, keeping the head supported. Deliver up to five back blows, keeping their head lower than their bottom. Never give a choking person water – this may add to the blockage.
- A Blow To The Head : Apply something cold to the injury. If they become drowsy, vomit, lose clear fluid from their nose or they deteriorate, call 999.
- Heart Attack : Sit the person down and call an ambulance. If they’re conscious, give them a 300mg chewable aspirin. Don’t give them anything to eat or drink until they’ve been seen in A & E. If they lose consciousness and stop breathing, lie them flat on their back, push in the middle of the chest so it goes inwards, and release. Continue until an ambulance arrives.
- Heat Stroke : They may seem disorientated and confused. Call an ambulance. Cover them in a dry sheet and gently pour a jug of water over the sheet. Pour more water on every few minutes. If the person is conscious, give them sips of fluid as you wait for help.