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Listed below are 10 of some of the most common first aid mistakes and what you should do. 

  1. Severed finger part

Wrong Approach: Don’t attempt to preserve the severed part by placing it directly on ice.

Correct Approach: Do wrap the severed part in damp gauze and if you have saline, even better.  Put it in a sealed bag and place the bag on ice. Then immediately go to the emergency room.  As for the wound, apply ice to help reduce the swelling and keep it covered it with a dry, clean cloth.

  1. Knocked-out tooth

Wrong Approach: Don’t scrub the tooth even if it’s dirty (it’s ok to rinse only)

Correct Approach: Place the tooth in milk and go straight to the Emergency Room. The tooth can still possibly be implanted back.

  1. Burns

Wrong Approach: Don’t apply ice or even butter to it. Ice will lead to sever blistering.  It’s also important not to break any blisters or pull off clothing stuck to the skin.

Correct Approach: Do run the burn on cool not cold water for 10-15 minutes if possible. Apply antibiotic ointment to mild burns and head to the hospital for any burns to the region of the mouth, eyes or genital areas, even if they are mild.

  1. Electrical burns

Wrong Approach: Not going to the Emergency Room. An electrical burn can cause invisible and serious injury deep within the body..

Correct Approach: Make sure you go to the ER immediately.

  1. Sprained ankle

Wrong Approach: Don’t apply heat on it.

Correct Approach:  Make sure to treat a sprain with ice. If bearing weight on it is very painful then go to the ER. There may be a fracture.

  1. Nosebleed

Wrong Approach: Don’t lean back. After the bleeding has stopped, don’t blow your nose or bend forward.

Correct Approach:  Sit upright and lean forward and firmly pinch your nose just below the nasal bone for a period of 5 to 10 minutes. If the bleeding continues for 15 minutes or if you feel that you’re swallowing a lot of blood then go to the ER.

  1. Bleeding

Wrong Approach: Don’t use tourniquets. Using one could cause permanent tissue damage.

Correct Approach: Apply a steady pressure to the wound with a clean towel or gauze pack and wrap the wound securely. If the bleeding doesn’t stop or if the wound is gaping or caused by an animal bite then immediately go to the ER. Lastly, be sure to keep the victim warm so to prevent shock.

  1. Ingestion of poison

Wrong Approach: Don’t induce vomiting or use Ipecac syrup (unless instructed to do so by emergency personnel).

Correct Approach:  Do call poison control center at (800) 222-1222.

  1. Being impaled

Wrong Approach: Don’t remove the object from the victim, you could easily cause further damage and increased risk of bleeding.

Correct Approach: Try and stabilize the object, if possible, and go to the ER or call 911.

  1. Seizures

Wrong Approach: Don’t insert anything in the victim’s mouth.

Correct Approach: Make sure to lay the victim on the ground, if possible, in an open space and roll the victim onto their side and call 911.