Thousands of people get seriously injured in Australia within their homes every year. Some of these home accidents even cause lives.
Different types of accidents and hazards can happen in our day to day lives and whether it is a little scratch or a life-threatening emergency, learning basic first aid tips is proven useful for every member of the household. Everyone should learn basic first aid tips that can save lives in case of emergencies.
Small accidents are fairly common in Australian homes. We can prevent many deaths and lifelong disabilities with a little awareness of home first aid.
What is First Aid?
First aid is the first, efficient, and prompt response to anyone suffering from minor or major illnesses or injuries. The aim of first aid response to provide care in emergencies in order to preserve life and prevent the existing condition from deteriorating. First aid also plays a huge role in promoting recovery.
In other words, first aid is the initial intrusion in a medical condition prior to the availability of professional help.
A quick primer on basic first aid procedure can help get you through a home emergency, at least until the paramedics arrive or until you can get access to medical treatment.
The following first aid tips are recommended by First Aid Pro, a provider of first aid course in Sydney.
Basic First Aid for Cardiac Arrest
If a person in your home is suspected of being in cardiac arrest, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) may be the most important medical procedure of all. In a cardiac arrest emergency, the person’s heart is no longer pumping blood and there is a high chance that a person may not survive if no first aid is applied.
Performing CPR and using an automated external defibrillator (AED) could save a life.
First Aid for Suspected Cardiac Arrest
- Command someone to call triple zero (000)
- Immediately start chest compressions. Compress hard and fast in the chest area, allowing recoil in between compressions.
- If you are trained in first aid, use the combination of chest compression and rescue breathing.
- A defibrillator or AED should be applied and used. Ask bystanders to find one while you are performing chest compressions.
Basic First Aid for Bleeding
Luckily, almost all bleeding can be controlled. While mild bleeding usually stops on its own, severe bleeding can cause shock and eventually death if left untreated. Here are steps you can take when someone in the family got injured and has uncontrolled bleeding.
First Aid for Bleeding
- Cover the wound using a gauze pad or a clean cloth
- Apply direct pressure on the wound area in an attempt to stop the blood flow.
- Do not remove the cloth and add more layers if necessary. The cloth will then help the clots stop the blood flow.
According to the 2010 American Heart Association Guidelines, the use of elevation and pressure points certainly help in stopping the bleed in an emergency.
Basic First Aid for Burns
Putting a stop to the burning process is the very first step in treating a burn. To prevent burn accidents from happening in our homes, ensure that all chemicals are cleaned off and electricity that may cause fire needs to be turned off.
Whilst many household appliances and supplies may cause a burn, it is important to know how to properly manage them when we encountered one.
First Aid for Burns
- Flush the burned area with cool running water (not iced) and wait for several minutes.
- Apply a light gauze bandage, preferably non-stick.
- Do not apply ointments, jelly, butter, or any oily remedies to the burn.
- Take ibuprofen, acetaminophen, or any pain relief medication if necessary.
- Do not break any blisters that may have formed after.
The severity of the burn is based on its depth and size. For serious burns, you may need to see your doctor or call emergency services (000).
Basic First Aid for Sprains and Fractures
The symptoms of a sprain are almost exactly the same as a fracture or a broken bone. Until an X-ray is obtained, all extremity injuries need to be treated as fractures when applying first aid.
First Aid for Suspected Sprain/Fractures
- Stabilize the limb using a splint and padding to immobilize the limb
- Apply a cold pack on the injury and its surrounding area (avoid placing the ice directly on the skin)
- Elevate the extremity
- Take anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen or naproxen if necessary.
If the symptoms worsen and the pain starts to become unbearable, we recommend seeing a doctor for professional help.
Basic First Aid for Nosebleeds
Most of us have had a bloody nose at some point in our lives, even the inside of our homes. Nosebleed is simply bleeding from the inside of the nose due to trauma.
The biggest cause of nose trauma in our homes aside from banging it somewhere solid is digital trauma – otherwise known as picking it.
First Aid for Nosebleed
- Lean slightly forward, not backward,
- Pinch the nose just below the bridge area with enough pressure. Do not pinch the nostrils closed by pinching it lower.
- Check after five minutes after the initial bleeding to see if the bleeding has stopped. If not, continue pinching and check for another 10 minutes. Do the cycle until the bleeding has stopped.
- Applying a cold pack to the nose bridge while pinching can also help to stop the bleeding.
Now that you are aware of some of the basic first aid homes, you are now one step ahead in saving lives in your household. The following procedures are easy to learn and do by anyone and it can save someone’s life or prevent an injured individual from sustaining serious injuries or infections.
However, please note that these are not a substitute for proper first aid training but can be an introduction to what you can do.