Basic First Aid Guide

As a homesteader, whether urban or rural, you should know basic first aid. The below guide offers guidance for many common injuries and ailments. At the end, we have included for FREE a Pocket First Aid Guide, because in an emergency you might forget something important,  and it can serve as a great reference while camping or backpacking.

Another important aspect of proper first aid is a well-stocked first aid kit, for your home and for your vehicle(s). Just like the Boy Scout motto: “Always be Prepared”.

For more first aid advice, check out the Mayo Clinic Website First Aid advice section.

 

Check Pulse

The heartbeat causes a rhythmical expansion and contraction of the arteries as it forces blood through them. This cycle of expansion and contraction can be felt a various points of the body, called the pulse. The common area for checking the pulse are:

  • Side of neck(carotid)
  • Groin(femoral)
  • Wrist(radial)
  • Ankle (posterior tibial)

DO NOT use your thumb to check a subject’s pulse, because you may confuse the beat of your own pulse with that of the subject.

To check the femoral pulse, press the tips of your first two fingers into the middle of the groinfemoral-pulse-1

To check the radial pulse, place your first two fingers on the side of the wristradial-pulse-1

To check the posterior tibial pulse place your first two fingers on the inside of the anklefoot-pulse-1

To check the carotid pulse, place the first two fingers besides their adam’s applecarotid-pulse-1

How to take a temperature

Always use a digital thermometer to check someone’s temperature. Various types are available, including:

  • thermometer-cartoonDigital thermometers, which can be used in the rectum (rectal), mouth (oral) or armpit (axillary), though an armpit reading is the least accurate
  • Digital ear thermometers (tympanic membrane)
  • Temporal artery thermometer, which measures the temperature of the temporal artery in the forehead

 

Because of the potential for mercury exposure or ingestion, glass mercury thermometers have been phased out and are no longer recommended.

No matter which type of thermometer you use, take these precautions when using it:

  • Read the instructions that came with the thermometer.
  • Clean it before and after each use with rubbing alcohol or soap and lukewarm water.
  • Don’t use the same thermometer for both oral and rectal temperatures. Get two and label which is used where.
  • Never leave a child unattended while taking his or her temperature.


Rectal temperature (for infants)

  • Turn on the digital thermometer and dab petroleum jelly or another lubricant on the tip of the thermometer.
  • Lay the child on his or her stomach.
  • Carefully insert the tip 1/2 to 1 inch (1.3 to 2.5 centimeters) into the rectum.
  • Hold the thermometer and child still until the thermometer beep indicates it’s done. To avoid injury, don’t let go of the thermometer while it’s inside the child.
  • Remove the thermometer and read the number.

Oral temperature

  • Turn on the digital thermometer. Place the thermometer tip under the tongue.
  • Close the mouth around the thermometer for the recommended amount of time or until the thermometer beep indicates it’s done.
  • Remove the thermometer and read the number.

Armpit temperature

  • Turn on the digital thermometer. Place the thermometer under the armpit, making sure it touches skin, not clothing.
  • Hold the thermometer tightly in place until you hear the thermometer beep indicating it’s done.
  • Remove the thermometer and read the number.

Ear temperature

  • Turn on the digital thermometer. Gently place it in the ear, no further than indicated by the instructions that came with the device.
  • Hold the thermometer tightly in place until you hear the thermometer beep indicating it’s done.
  • Remove the thermometer and read the number.

Temporal artery temperature

  • Turn on the thermometer. Gently sweep it across the forehead and read the number.

 

Basics of First Aid

Most injured or ill service members are able to return to their units to fight or support primarily because they are given appropriate and timely first aid followed by the best medical care possible. Therefore, all service members must remember the basics.

  • Check for BREATHING: Lack of oxygen intake (through a compromised airway or inadequate breathing) can lead to brain damage or death in very few minutes.
  • Check for BLEEDING: Life cannot continue without an adequate volume of blood to carry oxygen to tissues.
  • Check for SHOCK: Unless shock is prevented, first aid performed, and medical treatment provided, death may result even though the injury would not otherwise be fatal.

 

Take the following steps for cuts, scrapes, and lacerations:

  • Wash Your Hands
    • Use a mild soap and thoroughly wash your hands.
  • first aid for cutsStop the Flow of blood
    • Apply direct pressure on the spot.
  • Clean the wound
    • Use clear water to rinse the wound
    • Clean around the area with soap and water. Gently wipe around the area with a soft washcloth. Avoid getting soap into the wound, it can cause irritation.
    • If dirt of debris is in the wound after washing, use tweezers, cleaned with alcohol, to remove the particles.
    • If debris remains, see your doctor.
    • Proper cleaning reduces the risk of infection.
  • Apply an antibiotic
    • Apply a thin layer of antibiotic ointment (Neosporin, Polysporin) to keep the surface area moist.
    • This products can cause a rash in some people, if a rash occurs, stop using it immediately.
  • Cover the wound
    • If it is just a minor scratch or scrape, leave it uncovered.
    • Apply the appropriate bandage. If the area is a spot that sees a lot of movement, like on the palm, it may require a wrap to secure the covering in place.
  • Change the dressing regularly
    • Do this at least once a day, or whenever the bandage becomes dirty or wet.
  • Monitor for signs of infection
    • See your doctor if the wound isn’t healing, or you notice any redness, increased pain, drainage, pus, warmth, or swelling.
  •  Call your doctor in the event that
    • The cut is deep or over a joint
    • You are not able to get the cut or laceration clean
    • The injury is a deep puncture wound or the person has not had a recent (in the last 5 to 10 years) tetanus shot or booster
    • The cut is from a human, animal, or zombie bite

 

 

How to Treat Minor Burns

  • first-aid-for-burnsCool the burn to help soothe the pain
    • Hold the burned area under cool(NOT cold) running water for 10-15 minutes, or until the pain eases. OR apply a clean, damp towel.
  • Remove Rings or other tight items from the area
    • Do this quickly and gently, before the area swells.
  • DON’T break small blisters(smaller than your little fingernail)
    • If blisters break, gently clean the area with mild soap and water
    • Apply an antibiotic ointment
    • Cover with an appropriate nonstick bandage
  • Apply aloe vera
    • You can use a store bought gel or ointment, or if you grow an Aloe Vera Plant, you can break off a small section and use that directly
  • If needed, take an over the counter pain reliever

 

See your doctor if you develop large blisters. Large blisters are best removed, as they rarely will remain intact on their own. Also seek medical help if the burn covers a large area of the body or if you notice signs of infection, such as oozing from the wound and increased pain, redness and swelling.

minor_burn

Is it a minor burn or a major burn?

managing-a-burn-degreesIf it’s not clear what level of care is needed, try to judge the extent of tissue damage, based on the following burn categories:

1st-degree burn

A first-degree burn is the least serious type, involving only the outer layer of skin. It may cause:

  • Redness
  • Swelling
  • Pain

You can usually treat a first-degree burn as a minor burn. If it involves much of the hands, feet, face, groin, buttocks or a major joint, seek emergency medical attention.

2nd-degree burn

A second-degree burn is more serious. It may cause:

  • Red, white or splotchy skin
  • Swelling
  • Pain
  • Blisters

If the second-degree burn is no larger than 3 inches (7.6 centimeters) in diameter, treat it as a minor burn. If the burned area is larger or covers the hands, feet, face, groin, buttocks or a major joint, treat it as a major burn and get medical help immediately.

3rd-degree burns

The most serious burns involve all layers of the skin and underlying fat. Muscle and even bone may be affected. Burned areas may be charred black or white. The person may experience:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Carbon monoxide poisoning
  • Other toxic effects, if smoke inhalation also occurred

 

Nosebleed care

  • Sit upright and lean forward. By remaining upright, you reduce blood pressure in the veins of your nose. This discourages further bleeding. Sitting forward will help you avoid swallowing blood, which can irritate your stomach.
  • epistaxiPinch your nose. Use your thumb and index finger to pinch your nostrils shut. Breathe through your mouth. Continue to pinch for five to 10 minutes. Pinching sends pressure to the bleeding point on the nasal septum and often stops the flow of blood.
    • A trick I use at home is while pinching, apply an ice pack over the area, it constricts the blood vessels and helps to slow/stop the flow of blood.
  • To prevent re-bleeding, don’t pick or blow your nose and don’t bend down for several hours after the bleeding episode. During this time remember to keep your head higher than the level of your heart.
  • If re-bleeding occurs, blow out forcefully to clear your nose of blood clots and spray both sides of your nose with a decongestant nasal spray containing oxymetazoline (Afrin, Mucinex Moisture Smart, others). Pinch your nose again as described above and call your doctor.

When to seek emergency care

  • The bleeding lasts for more than 20 minutes
  • The nosebleed follows an accident, a fall or an injury to your head, including a punch in the face that may have broken your nose

When to contact your doctor

  • You experience frequent nosebleeds. You may need a blood vessel cauterized. Cautery is a technique in which the blood vessel is burned with electric current, silver nitrate or a laser. Your doctor may pack your nose with special gauze or an inflatable latex balloon to put pressure on the blood vessel and stop the bleeding.
  • You’re experiencing nasal bleeding and taking blood thinners, such as aspirin or warfarin (Coumadin, Jantoven). Your doctor may advise adjusting your medication dosage.

 

Bruises

If your skin isn’t broken, you don’t need a bandage. But you can enhance bruise healing with these simple techniques:

  • Elevate the injured area.
  • Apply an ice pack wrapped in a towel or a cloth dampened with cold water. Do this for about 10 minutes. Repeat several times a day for a day or two after the injury as needed.
  • Rest the bruised area, if possible.
  • Consider acetaminophen (Tylenol, others) for pain relief, or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others) for pain relief and to reduce swelling.

Consult your doctor if you:

  • Notice very painful swelling in the bruised area
  • Are still experiencing pain three days after a seemingly minor injury
  • Have frequent, large or painful bruises, particularly if your bruises appear on your trunk, back or face, or seem to develop for no known reasons
  • Have easy bruising and a history of significant bleeding, such as during a surgical procedure
  • Notice a lump (hematoma) form over the bruise
  • Are experiencing abnormal bleeding elsewhere, such as from your nose or gums or in urine or stool
  • Suddenly begin bruising, but have no history of bruising
  • Have a family history of easy bruising or bleeding

 

Muscle Strains and Sprains

ricer-sprain

  • Rest:
    • Rest is recommended for the early recovery phase, lasting 1 to 5 days depending on the severity of the injury.
    • Immobilization is not usually necessary, and can be potentially harmful. Immobilization in a splint or cast should be carefully supervised by your doctor, as this can lead to stiffness of the muscle.
  • Ice:
    • Ice application helps reduce swelling and pain.
    • Ice application should begin as soon as possible after sustaining a muscle pull.
    • Ice applications can be done frequently, but should not be done for more than 15 minutes at a time. A good interval is 15 minutes of ice, 15 minutes without ice.
  • Anti-Inflammatory Medications:
    • An over the counter anti-inflammatory medication, like Ibuprofen, can help reduce the inflammation associated with a muscle pull.
  • Gentle Stretching:
    • Stretching is useful in treatment and prevention of muscle strain injuries. Muscles that are more flexible are less likely to be injured.
  • Heat Applications:
    • Combine heat applications, electric heating pad or hot water bottle, with gentle stretching.
  • Avoid Muscle Fatigue:
    • Muscles help absorb energy, and restoring the strength of the muscle will help prevent re-injury. Muscles that are fatigued are more likely to be injured. Athletes should use caution, especially as they become fatigued, as the muscle becomes more susceptible to strain injuries.
  • Warm-Up Properly:
    • Warming up prior to athletic competition or sports will help loosen the muscle and prevent injuries. Jumping into a sport with stiff muscles can lead to a higher chance of straining the muscle.

 

 

How to recognize an eye injury

first-aid-for-eyes

If you notice any of these signs in yourself or someone else, get medical help right away.

  • The person has obvious pain or trouble seeing.
  • The person has a cut or torn eyelid.
  • One eye does not move as well as the other.
  • One eye sticks out compared to the other.
  • The eye has an unusual pupil size or shape.
  • There is blood in the clear part of the eye.
  • The person has something in the eye or under the eyelid that can’t be easily removed.

What to do for an eye injury

For all eye injuries:

  • DO NOT touch, rub or apply pressure to the eye.
  • DO NOT try to remove the object stuck in the eye.
  • Do not apply ointment or medication to the eye.
  • See a doctor as soon as possible, preferably an ophthalmologist.

If your eye has been cut or punctured:

  • Gently place a shield over the eye. The bottom of a paper cup taped to the bones surrounding the eye can serve as a shield until you get medical attention.
  • DO NOT rinse with water.
  • DO NOT remove the object stuck in eye.
  • DO NOT rub or apply pressure to eye.
  • Avoid giving aspirin, ibuprofen or other non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs. These drugs thin the blood and may increase bleeding.
  • After you have finished protecting the eye, see a physician immediately.

If you get a particle or foreign material in your eye:

  • DO NOT rub the eye.
  • Lift the upper eyelid over the lashes of your lower lid.
  • Blink several times and allow tears to flush out the particle.
  • If the particle remains, keep your eye closed and seek medical attention.

In case of a chemical burn to the eye:

  • Immediately flush the eye with plenty of clean water
  • Seek emergency medical treatment right away.

To treat a blow to the eye:

  • Gently apply a small cold compress to reduce pain and swelling.
  • DO NOT apply any pressure.
  • If a black eye, pain or visual disturbance occurs even after a light blow, immediately contact your Eye M.D. or emergency room.
  • Remember that even a light blow can cause a significant eye injury.

To treat sand or small debris in the eye:

  • Use eyewash to flush the eye out.
  • DO NOT rub the eye.
  • If the debris doesn’t come out, lightly bandage the eye and see an ophthalmologist or visit the nearest emergency room.

 

 

First Aid Treatment and Identification: Shock

Signs and symptoms of shock vary depending on circumstances and may include:

  • Cool, clammy skin
  • Pale or ashen skin
  • Rapid pulse
  • Rapid breathing
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Enlarged pupils
  • Weakness or fatigue
  • Dizziness or fainting
  • Changes in mental status or behavior, such as anxiousness or agitation

Seek emergency medical care

If you suspect a person is in shock, call 911 or your local emergency number. Then immediately take the following steps:

  • shock02Lay the person down and elevate the legs and feet slightly, unless you think this may cause pain or further injury.
  • Keep the person still and don’t move him or her unless necessary.
  • Begin CPR if the person shows no signs of life, such as breathing, coughing or movement.
  • Loosen tight clothing and, if needed, cover the person with a blanket to prevent chilling.
  • Don’t let the person eat or drink anything.
  • If the person vomits or begins bleeding from the mouth, turn him or her onto a side to prevent choking, unless you suspect a spinal injury.

 

Nature can throw many things at you, below is a listing of how to treat common injuries, like incest bites or stings, or more serious concerns like animal bites.

Insect Sting or bite

For mild reactions to bee or wasp stings or insect bites

To take care of an insect bite or sting that causes a mild reaction:

  • Move to a safe area to avoid more bites or stings.
  • If needed, remove the stinger.
    • Use a pair of tweezers to gently pull the stinger out. Be careful to not break it.
    • If the stinger is deep or won’t easily come out, a home remedy I use is to take a piece of white bread, soak it in milk and cover the area, using a bandage to hold it over the area. Leave this on until dry, then check the bread to verify the stinger has come out.
  • Wash the area with soap and water.
  • Apply a cool compress. Use a cloth dampened with cold water or filled with ice. This helps reduce pain and swelling. If the injury is on an arm or leg, elevate it.
  • Apply a cream, gel or lotion to the injured area. Use products containing ingredients such as hydrocortisone, pramoxine or lidocaine to help control pain. Use creams such as calamine lotion or those containing colloidal oatmeal or baking soda to help soothe itchy skin.
  • Use over-the-counter medications. Try a pain reliever, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol, others) or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others), or an antihistamine (Benadryl, Chlor-Trimeton, others).

Usually, the signs and symptoms of a bite or sting disappear in a day or two. If you’re concerned — even if your reaction is minor — call your doctor.

When to seek emergency care

Call 911 or your local emergency number if the injured person experiences:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Swelling of the lips, eyelids or throat
  • Dizziness, faintness or confusion
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Hives
  • Nausea, cramps or vomiting
  • A scorpion sting and is a child

Take these actions immediately while waiting for medical help:

  • Ask the person if he or she is carrying an epinephrine autoinjector (EpiPen, Auvi-Q, others) to treat an allergic attack.
  • If the person says he or she needs to use an autoinjector, ask whether you should help inject the medication. This is usually done by pressing the autoinjector against the person’s thigh and holding it in place for several seconds.
  • Loosen tight clothing and cover the person with a blanket. Don’t give him or her anything to drink.
  • Turn the person on a side to prevent choking if he or she is vomiting or bleeding from the mouth.
  • Begin CPR if the person shows no signs of circulation, such as breathing, coughing or movement.

 

Snake Bite

If you are bitten by a venomous snake, call 911 or your local emergency number immediately, especially if the area changes color, begins to swell or is painful. Many hospitals stock antivenom drugs, which may help you.

snake-bites-first-aid-treatment

If possible, take these steps while waiting for medical help:

  • Remain calm and move beyond the snake’s striking distance.
  • Remove jewelry and tight clothing before you start to swell.
  • Position yourself, if possible, so that the bite is at or below the level of your heart.
  • Clean the wound, but don’t flush it with water. Cover it with a clean, dry dressing.

Caution

  • Don’t use a tourniquet or apply ice.
  • Don’t cut the wound or attempt to remove the venom.
  • Don’t drink caffeine or alcohol, which could speed the rate at which your body absorbs venom.
  • Don’t try to capture the snake. Try to remember its color and shape so that you can describe it, which will help in your treatment.

 

Animal bites

  • rabiesFor minor wounds. If the bite barely breaks the skin and there’s no danger of rabies, treat it as a minor wound. Wash the wound thoroughly with soap and water. Apply an antibiotic cream to prevent infection and cover the bite with a clean bandage.
  • For deep wounds. If the animal bite creates a deep puncture of the skin or the skin is badly torn and bleeding, apply pressure with a clean, dry cloth to stop the bleeding and see your doctor.
  • For infection. If you notice signs of infection, such as swelling, redness, increased pain or oozing, see your doctor immediately.
  • For suspected rabies. If you suspect the bite was caused by an animal that might carry rabies — including any wild or domestic animal of unknown immunization status, particularly bats — see your doctor immediately.

 

Human bites

If you sustain a human bite that breaks the skin:

  1. Stop the bleeding by applying pressure with a clean, dry cloth.
  2. Wash the wound thoroughly with soap and water.
  3. Apply an antibiotic cream to prevent infection.
  4. Apply a clean bandage. Cover the affected area with a nonstick bandage.
  5. Seek emergency medical care.

 

Cold and Heat can lead to serious issues, and may require first aid. Know what to expect and how to treat them.

 

Heat Related Illness or Injury

If you have a sunburn

  • Take a cool bath or shower, which may be soothing. Or apply a clean towel dampened with cool tap water.
  • Apply moisturizer, aloe vera lotion or gel, or low-dose hydrocortisone cream, which may provide relief in some cases.
  • Don’t break small blisters (no bigger than your little fingernail). If blisters break, gently clean the area with mild soap and water, apply an antibiotic ointment, and cover it with a nonstick gauze bandage.
  • If needed, take an over-the-counter pain reliever such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others), naproxen sodium (Aleve) or acetaminophen (Tylenol, others).

See your doctor if you develop large blisters. Large blisters are best removed, as they rarely will remain intact on their own. Also seek medical help if you experience immediate complications, such as extreme pain, headache, confusion, nausea or chills.

If you suspect heat cramps

  • Rest briefly and cool down
  • Drink clear juice or an electrolyte-containing sports drink
  • Practice gentle, range-of-motion stretching and gentle massage of the affected muscle group
  • Don’t resume strenuous activity for several hours or longer after heat cramps go away
  • Call your doctor if your cramps don’t go away within one hour or so

 

Heat exhaustion signs and symptoms include:

  • first-aid-sign-nhe-17815_1000Faintness or dizziness
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Heavy sweating often accompanied by cold, clammy skin
  • Weak, rapid pulse
  • Pale or flushed face
  • Muscle cramps
  • Headache
  • Weakness or fatigue

If you suspect heat exhaustion

Untreated, heat exhaustion can lead to heatstroke, which is a life-threatening condition. If you suspect heat exhaustion, take these steps immediately:

  • Move the person out of the heat and into a shady or air-conditioned place.
  • Lay the person down and elevate the legs and feet slightly.
  • Remove tight or heavy clothing.
  • Have the person drink cool water or other nonalcoholic beverage without caffeine.
  • Cool the person by spraying or sponging with cool water and fanning.
  • Monitor the person carefully.

Call 911 or your local emergency number if the person’s condition deteriorates, especially if he or she experiences:

  • Fainting
  • Confusion
  • Seizures
  • Fever of 104 F (40 C) or greater

Heatstroke signs and symptoms include:

  • Fever of 104 F (40 C) or greater
  • Changes in mental status or behavior, such as confusion, agitation, slurred speech
  • Hot, dry skin or heavy sweating
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Flushed skin
  • Rapid pulse
  • Rapid breathing
  • Headache
  • Fainting, which may be the first sign in older adults

Seek emergency medical care

If you suspect heatstroke, call 911 or your local emergency number. Then immediately move the person out of the heat and cool him or her by whatever means available, for example:

  • Put the person in a cool tub of water or a cool shower.
  • Spray with a garden hose.
  • Sponge with cool water.
  • Fan while misting with cool water.
  • Place ice packs or cool wet towels on the neck, armpits and groin.
  • Cover with cool damp sheets.

Let the person drink cool water or other nonalcoholic beverage without caffeine, if he or she is able.

Begin CPR if the person loses consciousness and shows no signs of circulation, such as breathing, coughing or movement.

 

Cold Related Illness or Injury

Hypothermia First Aid Care

  • Be gentle.
    • When you’re helping a person with hypothermia, handle him or her gently.
    • Limit movements to only those that are necessary.
    • Don’t massage or rub the person. Excessive, vigorous or jarring movements may trigger cardiac arrest.
  • Move the person out of the cold.
    • Move the person to a warm, dry location if possible.
    • If you’re unable to move the person out of the cold, shield him or her from the cold and wind as much as possible.
  • Remove wet clothing.
    • If the person is wearing wet clothing, remove it.
    • Cut away clothing if necessary to avoid excessive movement.
  • Cover the person with blankets.
    • Use layers of dry blankets or coats to warm the person.
    • Cover the person’s head, leaving only the face exposed.
  • Insulate the person’s body from the cold ground.
    • If you’re outside, lay the person on his or her back on a blanket or other warm surface.
  • Monitor breathing.
    • A person with severe hypothermia may appear unconscious, with no apparent signs of a pulse or breathing.
    • If the person’s breathing has stopped or appears dangerously low or shallow, begin CPR immediately if you’re trained.
  • Share body heat.
    • To warm the person’s body, remove your clothing and lie next to the person, making skin-to-skin contact. Then cover both of your bodies with blankets.
  • Provide warm beverages.
    • If the affected person is alert and able to swallow, provide a warm, sweet, nonalcoholic, noncaffeinated beverage to help warm the body.
  • Use warm, dry compresses.
    • Use a first-aid warm compress (a plastic fluid-filled bag that warms up when squeezed) or a makeshift compress of warm water in a plastic bottle or a dryer-warmed towel. Apply a compress only to the neck, chest wall or groin.
    • Don’t apply a warm compress to the arms or legs. Heat applied to the arms and legs forces cold blood back toward the heart, lungs and brain, causing the core body temperature to drop. This can be fatal.
  • Don’t apply direct heat.
    • Don’t use hot water, a heating pad or a heating lamp to warm the person. The extreme heat can damage the skin or, even worse, cause irregular heartbeats so severe that they can cause the heart to stop.

 

frostbiteFrostbite First-aid

  • Protect your skin from further exposure.
    • If you’re outside, warm frostbitten hands by tucking them into your armpits.
    • Protect your face, nose and ears by covering them with dry, gloved hands.
    • Don’t rub the affected area and never rub snow on frostbitten skin.
  • Get out of the cold.
    • Once you’re indoors, remove wet clothes.
  • Gently rewarm frostbitten areas.
    • Soak hands or feet in warm water — 99 to 108 F (37 to 42 C) — for 15 to 30 minutes.
    • If a thermometer isn’t available, test the water by placing an uninjured hand or elbow in it — it should feel very warm, not hot.
    • Don’t rewarm frostbitten skin with direct heat, such as a stove, heat lamp, fireplace or heating pad. These can cause burns.
  • If there’s any chance the affected areas will freeze again, don’t thaw them.
    • If they’re already thawed, wrap them up so that they don’t refreeze.
  • Take pain medicine.
    • If you are in pain, take over-the-counter ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others) to reduce pain and inflammation.
  • Don’t walk on frostbitten feet or toes if possible.
    • This further damages the tissue.
  • Know what to expect as skin thaws.
    • If the skin turns red and you feel tingling and burning as it warms, normal blood flow is returning. But seek emergency medical attention if the numbness or pain remains during warming or if blisters develop.

Disclaimer: This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, emergency treatment or formal first-aid training. Don’t use this information to diagnose or develop a treatment plan for a health problem or disease without consulting a qualified health care provider. If you’re in a life-threatening or emergency medical situation, seek medical assistance immediately.

This video offers an hour long training for Basic First Aid.

 

FREE First Aid Pocket Guide

I also want to offer you a FREE First Aid Pocket Guide. This First Aid Pocket Guide is downloadable and printable. If you want to use this for camping or backpacking, simply print it out, fold it in half and laminate it. It can be held together with a simple hole punch and keyring. If interested, comment below and I’ll put together a video guide on how to assemble this First Aid Pocket Guide to make it waterproof.

 

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11 comments to Basic First Aid Guide

  • Robin Galin  says:

    I printed off the first aid pocket guide and laminated it for our bug out bags.

    • DowntownKevin  says:

      So happy we could help you guys in your first aid prep.

  • Cassara  says:

    I could read several books about this, but instead you have gathered all the basic information right here for me. THANKS!!

    • DowntownKevin  says:

      Glad we could help.
      Basic First Aid is very important as it keeps you healthy, without having to count on others for your own health and safety.

    • Jayhawk  says:

      Learned a lot from this articles.

  • May  says:

    I printed off several copies of the first aid guide and laminated them. I keep a copy in all my first aid kits, because you can never be too prepared.

    • DowntownKevin  says:

      I’m glad we could be a part of keeping your family safe. Let me know if there is anything else we can do for you.

  • Jess  says:

    I must say you have are providing a great resource guide here for first aid, it is even better that you provide the free printout pocket first aid guide. Thanks so much!

  • Mystic Clark  says:

    First aid is a truly great skill that everyone should know and regularly practice the regulars of.

  • Allie  says:

    Hello,
    I just wanted to drop in and say thank-you for this helpful post. I have plans to print out the pocket guide, so I downloaded it.

    Allie

  • […] Pro-tip: Print off and laminate our FREE Pocket First Aid Guide […]

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