Posted June 8, 2015
Cuts, scrapes and bug bites typically are nuisances that people either ignore or apply ointment and maybe a small bandage. But what’s the best way to treat more painful and dangerous ailments? Often people rely on advice from family and friends, which may be outdated or incorrect. Medical experts provide advice on the best way to treat three common problems:
- Ingested poisons – For years, Syrup of Ipecac has been a staple in many first-aid kits. It was considered the primary way to treat ingested poisonings. But studies at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center discovered that ipecac removes only 50 to 60 percent of the toxic substance from the stomach. It also causes extreme vomiting and can lead to dehydration. There also is a concern that poisonous substances that burn the esophagus when ingested, may cause more damage and burning when expelled The best treatment solution is to contact the national poison control center hotline at 800-222-1222 and visit a hospital emergency room.
- Burns – The best remedy for a burn is to run cool water over the affected area for at least 10 to 20 minutes. This may seem like a long time, but medical experts say the heat from a burn goes deep into the skin and destroys tissue. Cool water helps lower the temperature of the skin and it also cleans the tissue. Pat the skin dry and cover the burn with sterile gauze or a non-adhesive bandage to keep it clean. If blisters form, don’t pop them as they contain sterile liquid that promotes healing.
- Nose bleeds – Some people stuff a tissue into the affected nostril while others apply a cold cloth and tip back their head. Medical professionals recommend pinching the nose to apply pressure to the tissue and keeping the head at a normal level with the chin parallel to the ground. Then sit down, relax and wait for the bleeding to stop. Note: Tilting your head backwards causes blood to drain into the throat and cause gagging.
Learn more treatment solutions for common first-aid problems by reviewing these Reader’s Digest articles:
7 First Aid Mistakes That Are More Dangerous Than You Think