Common first aid conditions and treatment

First aid treatment

There is a long list of things that happen in our day to day lives requiring first aid. RAM Training has compiled a list of common scenarios requiring first aid treatment and a guide on how to treat them. You can create a safer environment by keeping a stocked first aid kit in your home, workplace and car.

Insect bites and stings

 

Insect Bites
The most common type of insect bites and stings you are more likely to encounter are from bees, wasps and ants in Australia. Each should be treated according to the insect. If the victim is allergic to the sting or is showing any life-threatening signs it is vital to call Triple Zero (000) straight away.

Wasp & Bee stings

 

Bee and wasp stings are best treated by sliding or scraping the stinger out. This method is a lot more effective than pulling; you can use your fingernail or a key card if one is available. Wash the area as soon as possible and apply ice to reduce any swelling. If a person is allergic, bee and wasp stings can be fatal. Anaphylactic shock from a sting can only be treated by injecting adrenaline. Seek medical attention immediately if you are unsure.

Ant bites

 

Ant bites are one of the most common insect bites in Australia. If you are stung by an ant wash the area with water and soap then apply antiseptic if available. Apply an icepack if needed to reduce pain and swelling. Pain relief medication may also be required. If symptoms persist or there is any sign of an anaphylactic reaction seek medical attention immediately.

Nose bleeds

 

Nose Bleed
Nose bleeds can be common in some people but if it is out of the ordinary there can be a bigger reason. Seek medical attention immediately if bleeding does not stop after simple first aid management or after a lengthy period of time.

To manage a nosebleed:

  • First aid manual
  • Adhesive tape
  • Different sizes of sterile gauze pads
  • Several sizes of adhesive bandages
  • Elastic bandage
  • Antiseptic wipes
  • Splint
  • Soap
  • Antibiotic ointment
  • Antiseptic solution
  • Hydrocortisone cream
  • Acetaminophen and ibuprofen
  • Tweezers

Minor burns

 

Minor Burns
First degree burns can normally be treated with some simple first aid. If it is a large burn or has any blistering or sever pain seek medical attention. First degree burns only affect the outer layer of a person’s skin. These burns cause redness, swelling and pain.

For minor burns only:

  • Cool the area down by running under cool (not cold) water for 10-15 minutes or until pain stops
  • Cover area with a sterile gauze bandage loosely
  • Take an over-the-counter pain medication
  • Talk to doctor if you have any concerns and seek medical advice if you are unsure

Abrasions

 

Abrasions
Abrasions occur when the surface layer of the skin has been broken. They generally occur on knees, ankles and elbows. The scraped skin of an abrasion can contain dirt. If you are unsure how to treat a cut or scrape seek medical advice first.

  • Clean the area with a sterile gauze or non-fibre shredding material with water and an antiseptic
  • Don’t scrub at embedded dirt
  • After cleaning the wound cover it with a non-stick and sterile dressing
  • Change the dressing according to instructions
  • Seek medical attention if you are unsure

Sprains

 

Sprains
A sprain is a joint injury generally involving a small tear of the ligament and joint capsule. People most commonly sprain their ankle or wrist but they do occur in other places. Symptoms include pain, swelling, stiffness and reduced efficiency of function.

Sprains are an internal injury and you should always seek medical attention to ensure it is not more serious. In the meantime:

  • Stop any activity
  • Rest the injured area
  • Apply icepacks every 2 hours for 15 minutes at a time
  • Bandage the area firmly (expand swapping below and above area)
  • Avoid any exercise, alcohol, heat or massages which can worsen swelling
  • Seek medical attention particularly if symptoms worsen over 24 hours

Disclaimer

The information in this article is not medical advice and should not replace it. Seek professional medical attention immediately if you are unsure of the first aid treatment for any condition. In an emergency call Triple Zero (000).

Written by Shenoa Gittins

Shenoa is the Operations Manager and co-owner of RAM Training Services.
You can connect with Shenoa Gittins via Google+ and Facebook.

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