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Dangerous First Aid Myths

By M.L. LewisPublished 8 months ago 4 min read

Over 4 million people suffer a minor injury every year. A third of these cases will occur at home. The National Safety Council state that if you get proper first aid on site, this could prevent 25% of ER visits. In this new age of technology, there are many sites that offer first aid advice and training. Unfortunately, there is an ugly side to our new wave of information. This leads many to swear by fake, unhelpful medical tips. As I mention in all of my health- base medical articles, I’m not a medical professional. I am certified in administering first aid, but I still have to tell you that you are taking my advice at your own discretion.

Ipecac Syrup

This was a major piece in a first aid kit for many years. You take Ipecac Syrup if you or your child should accidentally ingest a poisonous substance. Once consumed, it’ll make you vomit the substance up, getting it out of your system before it’s absorbed into the bloodstream. Recent studies on Ipecac Syrup have proven this to be false. The National Poison Control Center (NPCC) discovered that throwing up certain types of poisons has proven to be more harmful than good. After this discovery, they’ve been encouraging people to dispose of it. Pharmacies have recently stopped carrying it for this purpose. If you or a loved one you know consumed a poisonous product, contact NPCC at 800-222-1222 for proper medical instructions.

Buttering A Burn

An old wives’ tale that has been passed down for many generations. When I got burned at work, my boss put sour cream on it because she swore it would help. Even though she thought she was helping, it wasn’t. Whether it be sour cream or butter, you should never put dairy products on a burn. The oils found in dairy can trap heat inside of the wound, making it harder to treat. To properly treat a burn, apply cold, clean, running water over it for one minute. Then carefully dry it and cover it with a loose bandage. If it swells or changes colors, then it has become infected. So, head to the hospital for further treatment.

A Wooden Spoon In The Mouth

Health class taught many of us that when you see someone having a seizure, stick something in their mouth, like a wooden spoon, to prevent them from biting their tongue. Unfortunately, once someone starts having a seizure, they would have already bitten their tongue. The next reason this is a bad idea is if it’s not a solid object, the person having the seizure is most likely to bite it off. This will now become a choking hazard to them. If you cannot grab an item in time, most people stick their fingers in the other person’s mouth. This will cause you to get stitches or lose a finger. Your best bet when handling a seizure situation is to keep the person from further injuring themselves in their surroundings. Try your best to hold them still, while protecting their neck and head. Have a bystander call 9-1-1, but if there isn’t one, call them yourself.

Coffee Grounds Clot Blood

No, it doesn’t. In fact, this is just going to make things worst. Researchers have found bug parts in most coffee grounds, and some types come from animal feces, so it’s not the cleanest thing to be putting in an open wound. Because of how loose the grounds are, it’ll make cleaning the wound even more difficult when you get to the hospital. Medical staff can’t begin treatment until a wound is thoroughly clean to prevent infection. By applying coffee grounds, you’ll just slow the treatment process down. If you are bleeding, what you should do is apply direct pressure to it with a sterile cloth like gauze. If you’re still bleeding profusely after fifteen minutes or feeling dizzy, then you should call 9-1-1.

Rubbing Frostbite

Frostbite can occur any time of the year, but it occurs the most in the winter months. Frostbite is a condition that develops when the tissue below the skin freezes due to blood flow slowing down in that part of the body. It commonly affects the toes, fingers, and nose. Your first reaction to the early stages of frostbite, which is numbness in the area, is to rub it to restart blood flow. By rubbing the affected area, you’re only pushing the ice crystals deeper into the tissue, causing nerve damage. If frostbitten, you’ll want to treat it slowly by soaking the affected area in lukewarm water in 30 minutes intervals, until you have regained feeling in the area. Yes, it’s going to feel like you’re sticking it in a bowl of hot needles, but once the feeling is back, it’ll feel quite nice. If severely discolored, a shade of black, or blistering, seek medical care.


About the Creator

M.L. Lewis

Doom and gloom is all I know. My heart skips a beat at the thought of armageddon. I've been preparing for the apocalypse my whole life. I have been studying it for so long that I am currently working on my Ph. D. on the subject.

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