First-Aid: Some Common Do Nots To Avoid Accidents

Do not use a tourniquet to stop bleeding — the chances are you will do more harm than good by cutting off the blood supply for too long.

Do not throw the head back for a nosebleed — this makes the blood trickle to the back of the throat from where it is swallowed. Subsequent vomiting can make the nosebleed worse.

Do not give people salt water to make them sick when they swallow tablets. Do not give any water because rather than diluting the poison, water speeds up its absorption in the stomach.

Do not use antiseptics undiluted — they are no more effective than in the correct dilution and can damage the body.

Do not force a damaged elbow into a sling — you may do serious damage to the nerves and blood vessels nearby. Do not force a zip fastener open if the foreskin is caught. Cut the bottom of the zip open and peel open the teeth of the zip from below.

Do not try to remove beads or other foreign bodies from children’s ears and nose — leave them to the experts. Do not leave hand injuries hanging down — keep them up to stop swelling. Pin the cuff to the person’s lapel or dress high up on the chest.

Do not cover wounds or infections of the fingers with nylon fingerstalls for more than an hour or so. The warm, moist conditions Savour the breeding of germs.

Do not use other people’s medicines.

Do not give anything by mouth to someone you suspect has broken a bone — he may need an anaesthetic later. Do not make an emergency pillow for someone who has collapsed in the street — you may endanger his breathing by bending the neck forwards.

Do not leave an unconscious person for longer than it takes to summon help.

Do not move anyone you think has damaged his back unless he is threatened by danger.

Do not give unconscious people anything to drink or eat. Wait until the person is alert enough to hold a cup for himself.

Do not remove people from the scene of the crash because the ambulance crew may never find them.

Do not take people to hospital by private car after a serious accident or illness because you deprive them of the treatment they would receive in the ambulance.

Do not try lifting a vehicle off someone — you will probably hurt yourself or fail and let it drop back on the person, so inflicting even more damage.

Do not touch anything until the mains supply has been switched off when you arrive at the scene of an electric shock.

Do not cover people up more when they have a fever.

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