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Handling common medical emergencies at home: First Aid

CHOKING
Perform five abdominal thrusts (also known as the Heimlich maneuver). Press hard into the upper abdomen with a quick, upward thrust — as if trying to lift the person up.

INJURIES AND WOUNDS

Rinse cuts and scrapes with cool water. Apply pressure using gauze to stop bleeding. Apply band aid or gauze dressing. Seek medical help if bleeding still soaks the dressing

NOSE BLEEDING

Apply pressure for 5-10 minutes using thumb and index finger to squeeze together the soft portion of the nose to stop bleeding.

BURNS

Soak the simple burn in cool water for at least 5 -15 minutes. Treat the burn with an antibiotic ointment. Wrap a dry gauze bandage loosely around the burn for protection. Give paracetamol for pain.

FEBRILE CONVULSION OR SEIZURE

Lay child on his or her side to prevent choking especially if child has a lot of saliva coming out of the mouth.
Do not put anything in the child’s mouth.
Do not try to give the child fever-reducing medicine.
Do not try to put the child into cool or lukewarm water to cool off.
Get immediate medical care if the child’s seizure lasts more than 5 minutes

POISONING

Poisoning can be due to swallowing, injecting, breathing in, or other means, usually occurring by accident.

Seek immediate medical help by calling by the national toll-free Poison Help hotline 524-1078 for proper first aid

Symptoms of poisoning may take time to develop. Some signs include chemical-smelling breath, burns around the mouth, difficulty breathing, vomiting, or unusual odors on the person.

For poisoning by swallowing:
DO NOT make a person throw up unless told to do so by poison control or a health care professional.

Check and monitor the person’s airway, breathing, and pulse. If necessary, begin rescue breathing and CPR.

Keep the person comfortable. The person should be rolled onto the left side, and remain there while getting or waiting for medical help

For inhalation poisoning:
If possible, rescue the person from the danger of the gas, fumes, or smoke. Open windows and doors to remove the fumes.

After rescuing the person from danger, check and monitor the person’s airway, breathing, and pulse. If necessary, begin rescue breathing and CPR.

Get medical help.
Note: It is important to have a first aid kit available. Keep one at home and one in your car. It should include a first-aid guide. Read the guide to learn how to use the items, so you are ready in case an emergency happens.

Dr. Petty Dio

Petty D. Dio, MD is a wife, mother, and a practicing pediatrician. She is also active in integrating best health care practices to safeguard the health and happiness of the children in the community. She also does regular mission work locally and in South Korea.

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