If you haven’t undergone the proper first aid training, you may find yourself at a loss for what to do in an emergency situation. In a panic, you may end up falling back on first aid knowledge you think you know or you have heard somewhere else, and this may not be correct.
The following are a few of the most common first aid misconceptions:
• Misconception: the best treatment for bleeding is to put the wound under a running tap
This will only cause the body’s clotting agents to be washed away and the wound to bleed more. Instead of doing this, put pressure on a bleeding wound to help it clot before calling the emergency services.
• Misconception: putting the head back is the best way to treat a nosebleed
Putting the head back during a nosebleed causes the blood to go down the back of the airway. You should instead advise the person to pinch the end of their nose, whilst breathing through the mouth, as they tilt their head forwards.
• Misconception: you should try to induce vomiting in a person who has swallowed poison
With some poisons, this can cause burning as the poison is brought back up. The only thing to do in this situation is to get immediate medical advice, whilst you try to find out what poison was ingested and when.
See pt. 2 for more common first aid conceptions. Remember, the only way to know what to do in an emergency situation is to undergo proper first aid training.