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Basic First Aid Procedures

Most Common Basic First Aid Procedures


Updated June 20, 2014

A quick primer on the most basic first aid procedures. This is no substitute for proper first aid training, but it will get you through a minor crisis.

Basic First Aid for Bleeding

Bleeding Hand
(c) Manchan/Getty Images

Regardless how severe, almost all bleeding can be controlled. If left uncontrolled, bleeding may lead to shock or even death.

Basic First Aid for Burns

The first step to treating a burn is to stop the burning process. Chemicals need to be cleaned off. Electricity needs to be turned off. Heat needs to be cooled down. Sunburn victims need to be covered up or go inside.

Basic First Aid for Blisters

Whether or not a blister needs any treatment is still debatable. If the blister is small, unbroken and not very painful, it is probably best to leave it alone. If the blister is large or painful -- especially if the activity isn’t finished (such as you are in the middle of a hike) -- follow these steps to drain and dress it.

Basic First Aid for Fractures

xray fractured ankle
(c) charlie, About.com Guest
All extremity injuries need to be treated as broken bones (fractures) until an X-ray can be obtained.

Basic First Aid for Sprains

The symptoms of a sprain are almost exactly the same as that of a broken bone. When in doubt, sprains should be treated the same as broken bones.

Basic First Aid for Nosebleeds

soccer player bloody nose
(c) Mark Dadswell/Getty Images
Most of us have had a bloody nose at some time in our lives. It simply means bleeding from the inside of the nose, the mucous membrane (where snot comes from).

Basic First Aid for Frostbite

Frostbite occurs when the body's tissues freeze deeply in the cold. Ice crystals that form in the tissues cause damage to the cells.

Basic First Aid for Bee Stings

Stinging bee
(c) Dimas Ardian/Getty Images
Bee stings are either annoyingly painful or deadly, depending on if the victim is allergic to the venom.

Basic First Aid for Splinters

Splinters can become infected if left under the skin too long. Look for signs of infection before trying to remove a splinter.

Basic First Aid for Jellyfish Stings

The problem with jellyfish is that they sneak up on their victims. Swimmers are cruising along in the ocean one minute, and feeling the sting of the jellyfish the next.

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