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Six Dangerous First Aid Myths

Six Dangerous First Aid Myths

Road sign saying 'Wrong Way'. Photo by Neon Brand at Unsplash.


First Aid can save lives, but misconceptions about the right way to help people in emergencies can, unfortunately, result in worse injuries or even deaths.

Here are six common First Aid myths and misconceptions that you need to know about:

Myth 1: If someone is having a heart attack, lie them down on the floor
Not true. It can actually be harder for the heart attack victim to breathe when lying down. It’s better to help them into a half-seated position with head and shoulders supported, plus knees bent.

Myth 2: If someone has a nosebleed, tilt their head back
This can actually cause blood to run into the person’s throat, resulting in vomiting in some cases. It’s better to tilt their head forward, pinch their nostrils closed and ask them to breathe through their mouth.

Myth 3: Tie a tight tourniquet around a bleeding arm or leg 
If you do this, you risk stopping the person’s blood flow altogether or even causing tissue damage. It’s better to put pressure on the wound with a dressing, bandage or piece of clean cloth.

Myth 4: Put butter on a burn to soothe it
Butter contains oil, which can actually retain the heat of the burn. It’s better to hold the burned area beneath cold running water for ten minutes or more, then cover the burn with a plastic bag or cling film.

Myth 5: If someone is choking on an object, try to remove it from their throat
Putting your fingers down someone’s throat to try to remove a foreign object could actually result in it being pushed down further. Instead, it’s better to thump the person firmly between the shoulder blades to try to dislodge it. If this doesn’t work, you could also try the Heimlich manoeuvre (abdominal thrusts), if you have been properly trained to do so. But ideally, you would have a LifeVac to hand, which is 100% effective in removing blockages from airways.

6. If someone has swallowed a dangerous liquid, make them vomit 
This could actually cause more damage as the liquid (for instance, bleach) might re-injur the person on the way back up their throat. Making the person sick could also block their airways. In this situation, it’s better to call 999 and let them sip gently on cold milk or water while waiting on the ambulance.

We hope we’ve managed to bust some common First Aid myths and misconceptions with this list. If you think it might be time for you to do an accredited First Aid course, then get in touch. We offer courses throughout the UK and we’ll match you to the right training for you.

You might also like:
Which First Aid course?
Five Good Reasons to Train in First Aid.
Buy a LifeVac — it could save a life.

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