First Aid and Emergency Care


ACETONE: found in some nail polish and paint removers. Small doses (such as the amount in the bottles sold for removing nail polish) are not likely to be dangerous.

Antidotes: Induce vomiting. Give one to two tea- spoons of bicarbonate of soda in water. Follow with coffee or tea.

ACIDS: often give off fumes and are highly corrosive to tissues.

Antidotes: Avoid vomiting. Give large amounts of milk, or repeated tablespoon doses of milk of magnesia. Or give bicarbonate of soda or other household remedies for heartburn and hyperacidity.

ALKALIES: lye (used in many products for stopped-up drains), strong ammonia water, quick lime.

Antidotes: Avoid vomiting. Give large amounts of ciuus fruit juices, or vinegar diluted with water, or large amounts of milk.

ARSENIC: found in various ant, mouse and rat poisons, also in plant sprays. Produces burning stomach pain, thirst, constriction in throat.

Antidotes: Induce vomiting. Give large amounts of milk, milk of magnesia, egg whites, or universal antidote.

ASPIRIN: a common ingredient in many household headache and pain remedies. Poisoning produces sleepiness, flushing, ringing in the ears, gastric irritation.

Antidotes: Induce vomiting. Give soda bicarbonate (baking Soda) in water, one or two teaspoons.

BARBITURATES: include various kinds of sleeping pills and sedatives.

Antidotes: Unless victim is comatose, induce vomiting. Follow by large amounts of strong coffee. If victim is comatose, proceed with artificial respiration.

BELLADONNA: or one of its active ingredients, atropine, found in many medications used for spastic conditions of the intestinal tract. Overdosage produces dilated pupils, dryness, excitement, collapse.

Antidotes: Induce vomiting. Give strong tea or universal antidote. Repeat induction of vomiting. Combat shock; have victim lie down. Give artificial respiration if necessary.

BICHLORIDE OF MERCURY: often called corrosive sublimate, and frequently used as a germ-killer. Produces burning pain in mouth, stomach, and throat; also nausea and vomiting.

Antidotes: Give large amounts of milk, or the whites of several eggs. Induce vomiting. Repeat procedure.

CARBOLIC ACID (creosote): produces corrosive changes in lips and mouth, with burning in mouth and stomach. Weakness and collapse may follow.

Antidotes: Do not induce vomiting. Give large amounts of olive or cottonseed oil, or several egg-whites. Follow with Epsom salts in water (one ounce to pint of water.

CHLORINE: the active agent in various bleaches.

Antidotes: Give an emetic. Induce vomiting. Follow with dilute ammonia, one teaspoon in water.

CLEANING FLUIDS: include benzine, kerosene, gasoline, carbon teuachloride.

Antidotes: Do not induce vomiting (except when poison is specifically carbon tetrad~loride). Give strong coffee or tea. Artificial respiration may be necessary. Occasionally, poisoning may result from inhalation of fumes. Remove victim to fresh air and give coffee.

CARBON MONOXIDE POISONING: motor exhaust fumes. Produces headache, loss of muscular power, reddish lips & Death.

Antidotes: Remove victim to fresh air, Give O2

COPPER SULFATE @lue vitriol, Bordeaux mixture)
: produces burning pain in mouth, throat and stomach; also irritative symptoms including nausea, vomiting, diarrhea; also collapse and shock.

Antidotes: Give whites of eggs, large amounts of milk. Induce vomiting. Repeat procedure. Artificial respiration may be necessary

DIGITALIS: a widely used heart medication often prescribed in derivatives such as digoxin, digitoxin, gitaligen, having similar propertes. Produces weakness, headache, slow pulse, collapse and delirium.

Antidotes: If no more than one half hour or so has passed since taking, induce vomiting. If longer, do not induce vomiting. Give strong tea repeatedly. Have victim lie down.

FLUORIDES: the active ingredient of many ant and mouse poisons.

Antidotes: Induce vomiting. Give large amounts of milk, or calcium tablets.

IODINE: produces stomach and throat pains.

Antidotes: Give any starchy substance such as cornstarch, flour or bread. Then in- duce vomiting.

LEAD: found in some paints, white and red lead. Produces pain in throat and stomach, vomiting, convulsions, collapse. (More chronic forms of poisoning produce headache, high blood pressure.)

Antidotes: Induce vomiting for acute poisoning. Give large amounts of milk or Epsom salts. Induce vomiting again.

OIL OF WINTERGREEN: chemically related to aspirin, producing similar symptoms.

Antidotes: Give one or two teaspoons of baking soda in water. Induce vomiting. Re- peat the baking soda and leave it to be absorbed.

PHOSPHORUS: found in roach and rodent poisons. It often has a disagreeable garlicky odor.

Antidotes: Do not induce vomiting. Give half a glass of hydrogen peroxide.

STRYCHNINE: found in rodent poisons.

Antidotes: Induce vomiting. Give strong tea and the universal antidote.

TURPENTINE: produces burning pain, excitement, weakness, nausea, shock.

Antidotes: Induce vomiting. Give one to two ounces of Epsom salts in a pint of water.


Fractures and Dislocations

Hip fracture: Hip fractures are most common in elderly women and usually are caused by simple falls. Hip fractures also occur in motor vehicle accidents and other sudden deceleration incidents. Blood loss can be moderate to severe. The affected extremity may appear to be shorter than the other extremity. Discoloration and swelling may be present over the fracture site. A hip fracture is a serious injury that must be evaluated by an orthopedist. Humerus fracture: The humerus is the longest and strongest bone in the upper extremity, and substantial force is required to fracture it; blood loss can be heavy. Neurovascular compromise may develop. This is a serious injury that requires evaluation by an orthopedist.

Wrist fracture: Wrist fractures often occur when persons fall on their outstretched hands or when they throw up their hands to protect themselves against hitting the interior of the vehicle in a motor vehicle accident.

Ankle fracture: The bones of the lower legs often are fractured in sports accidents, motor vehicle accidents, and falls. If the injury was caused by rapid vertical deceleration (a fall), suspect spinal and heel injuries as well, because the energy would have been directed up the body on impact. Obvious deformity may be present, or the only indication of trauma may be swelling and pain.

Dislocations: Any dislocation of a joint can be serious. Disruption of the blood supply and nerves in the area can result in loss of the limb or permanent disability. Even if the dislocated joint slips back into place, the patient still must be evaluated by an orthopedist. Hip dislocation. A hip dislocation is a serious orthopedic emergency. The blood supply to the head or top of the hip may be impaired, causing necrosis and necessitating replacement with an artificial joint in the future. Pressure on the sciatic nerve can result in permanent disability. Hip dislocation often occurs in motor vehicle accidents when a person's knees strike the dashboard, and the energy then is directed back to the hips. Pain is often severe, and the leg may rest in an abnormal position.

Knee dislocation: When the bones forming the knee are dislocated or fractured, serious injury to the popliteal artery may occur. Therefore, arteriograms are obtained in the hospital whenever a patient has a dislocated knee. Serious knee injuries may necessitate amputation of the leg; consequently, knee dislocation is an orthopedic emergency .

Shoulder dislocation: The shoulder is the most commonly dislocated joint . Shoulder dislocations are most often sustained in athletic activities. Dislocations of the shoulder may become chronic and require surgical intervention.

Elbow dislocation: Like shoulder dislocations, elbow dislocations are generally associated with athletic activity. Serious damage to nerves and vessels may occur.

Impalement: Penetrating trauma may result in foreign bodies or objects impaling bones, muscles, or tendons. Disability or loss of the extremity may occur.

Lacerations: Although simple lacerations often heal with only simple suturing, lacerations that penetrate the tendons and ligaments in the hands and feet can result in permanent disability if not thoroughly irrigated and repaired.

Traumatic Amputations: Often sustained in industrial and recreation accidents, traumatic amputations are serious emergencies. Depending on the circumstances, the amputated parts can sometimes be replanted, so the parts should always accompany the patient to the hospital. Blood loss may be significant, and some disability and disfigurement are to be expected.

Sprain: Tearing of a ligament that connects one bone to the other commonly is due to twisting forces and results in a sprain. Although sprains are not usually serious, the patient should be evaluated by a physician.

Strain: Overstretching or overexerting a muscle, as in sports activities, can cause a strain of that muscle, which is associated with pain. The strain is generally in the area of the tendon, where the muscle attaches to the bone.


Emergency Care for Open Wounds

Where there is severe bleeding from an artery, always control it by direct pressure and elevation, and then, only if necessary, at a pressure point, and only as a last resort use a tourniquet.

If a limb is involved, elevation will help to control bleeding.

Shock usually follows wounds, especially if much blood is lost. Give emergency care promptly, and administer oxygen.

Carefully cut or tear the clothing so that the injury may be seen.

If loose foreign particles are around the wound, wipe them away with clean material. Always wipe away from the wound, not toward it.

Do not attempt to remove a foreign object embedded in the wound, since it may aid the doctor in determining the extent of the injury. Serious bleeding and other damage may occur if the object is removed. Stabilize the object with a bulky dressing.

Leave the work of cleansing the wound to the doctor.

Do not touch the wound with your hands, clothing, or anything that is not clean, if possible, and do not pour water or any other liquid into or on the wound.

Immobilize the injured part, and keep the patient quiet.

Place a bandage compress or dressing over the wound, and tie it in place.

All dressings should be wide enough to completely cover the wound and· the area around it.

The dressing and bandage should be applied firmly and snugly, but should not be so tight as to affect the blood supply to the injured part.

The bandage should be securely tied or fastened in place so that it will not move.

There should be no loose ends that could get caught on any other object while the patient is being moved.

Protect all bandages, compresses, or gauze dressings by an outer bandage made from a roller or triangular bandage, except dressings for wounds of the eye, nose, chin, finger, and toe, or compound (open) fractures of the hand and foot when splints are applied. If a bandage is used, open it enough to cover the entire dressing.

Unless otherwise specified, tie the knots of the bandage compress and cover bandage over the wound on top of the compress pad to help in checking the bleeding.

Preserve all avulsed parts.

Calm and reassure the patient.


Emergency Care for Amputated Body Parts

  1. Wrap the part completely in gauze or a clean towel.
  2. Wet the towel with cool water.
  3. Place the wrapped body part in a plastic bag & seal it shut.
  4. Place the sealed bag in to another bag or bucket filled with ice.
  5. Take the bag with the amputated body part to the hospital with the victim.

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