First Aid

Sprains, Strains & Pulled Muscles

Remember “RICE” - Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation. Rest the injured part, particularly an ankle or knee. Ice the area of injury immediately. A bag of frozen peas wrapped in a thin cloth is an excellent ice pack. Apply for 20 minutes every two hours initially. Compression is best effected with a crepe bandage or tubigrip. Remember not to have it on too tight! Elevate the injury, particularly legs. The aim of this is to reduce the pain and swelling. Treating an injury correctly, immediately, will lessen its severity and speed up the healing. After a day or so start to use the injured area gently. Warmth may help at this stage. If you are a keen sportsman advice from a physiotherapist may be valuable.

Burns & Scalds

Place the burnt area under running cold water until the pain eases. This may take up to 15 minutes. Cover the area with a clean dry tea towel or something similar. Do not pull clothes off a burnt area. Do not prick blisters. Do not put oil or cream on a burn. If the burn is large then seek medical advice at casualty. For smaller burns that you are not happy to treat yourself, the practice nurse will be happy to see you in the surgery.

Cuts

Raise the limb and use firm pressure with a clean cloth until the bleeding stops. If the wound is gaping and looks like requiring stitching or there is heavy bleeding, contact the doctor.

Choking

Try not to panic. Do not try to retrieve the object from the throat. Hold young children across your knee and hit them firmly between the shoulder blades or give them a short squeeze on the tummy. Hold an adult from behind just below the ribs in a bear hug. Give several short squeezes. If none of these work dial 999.

Nosebleeds

Sit in a chair leaning forwards with your mouth open and pinch the soft lower part of the nose, not the bone, for 10 minutes. Avoid blowing the nose for 24 hours. If the bleeding persists, contact the doctor.

Insect Bites And Stings

Prevention is better than cure. If you are prone to nasty bites use an insect repellent. These are available from your chemist. Antihistamine tablets from the chemist will usually relieve most symptoms. Bee stings should be scraped away rather than plucked to avoid squeezing more poison into the wound. Stings inside the throat can cause dangerous swelling. Contact a doctor immediately.