5 Quick First Aid Tips for Common Injuries - PIH Health

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Published on November 27, 2017

5 Quick First Aid Tips for Common Injuries

First Aid

First AidYou may find yourself in a bind and in need of some quick first-aid tips. Nosebleeds, sprained ankles, bug bites, minor burns and nausea are five common injuries or conditions that may call for immediate treatment to help with recovery. Here are five tips to address these common maladies:

  1. Nosebleeds: Nosebleeds can happen suddenly and without warning, for example, caused by trauma to the face or by scratching the nasal membrane too hard. If you experience a bloody nose (epistaxis) treat it by leaning forward (not back to avoid swallowing blood); pinch the part of your nose just below the bridge, and hold for a minimum of five minutes. If you receive excessive nose bleeds without cause, contact your primary care physician (PCP).
  2. Ankle Sprains: A sudden twist of the joint can make even the strongest person fall to his or her knees. To help soothe a sprained ankle, Antonio Escobedo MD, a board certified internal medicine physician with PIH Health, suggests compressing the area by wrapping an ice pack over the ankle with a bandage and elevating it for 15-20 minutes. After the time has concluded, you can remove the ice pack, but keep the ankle elevated. Lastly, rest. Staying off the injury and allowing it to heal, will help you avoid further injury. If the injury persist or worsens, schedule an appointment with your PCP to rule out any serious concerns.
  3. Bug Bites: Bug bites happen frequently. First, try to determine the culprit. The most common in California are: fleas, bee sting, mosquitos, and spiders (to name a few). If you notice a severe reaction (anaphylaxis), call 911 immediately. For milder cases of bug bites, apply ice to the irritated spot for 1-2 minutes to soothe any pain, dry off and apply hydrocortisone or calamine lotion to the infected area to calm the itch.
  4. Burns: Depending on the severity of the burn, you may need to see a doctor or call 911, or you may be able to treat it at home.
  • Call 911 if the burn is severe, you see charring; the burn is on the face, large parts of the body or in hidden areas.
  • If the burn is not severe, rinse the burned area with cool water for 2-5 minutes. Longer if needed. Do not use ice, as that may cause frostbite on burned/damaged skin.
  • Apply burn ointment to help soothe pain.
  • If applicable, and ok with your doctor, take over-the-counter (OTC) pain relief such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen.
  1. Nausea: Motion sickness, food poisoning, vertigo and pregnancy often cause nausea. Although you can’t always stop or remove the cause, you can help treat it. Try sipping on ginger soda or chewing on a ginger candy -- the ginger helps aid in digestion and often soothes weary stomachs. Another option is to take OTC anti-nausea medication. Check with your physician before consuming any dosage. If neither of these options helps your nausea, consult your physician.

These tips are not meant to address serious conditions and should only be used to help in mild cases. Always report any illness and injury to your primary care physician (PCP) and call 911 in emergency situations.

The information in Healthy Living Online is for educational purposes only.  It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice.  The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation, or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan.

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