Blog First Aid

3 Common First Aid Mistakes to Avoid

A person putting on a band-aid on an injured finger
Written by Nancy

First aid is meant to save lives and provide relief in cases of health emergencies. However, the slightest mistake can end up making the problem worse. With the wrong measures, you may increase the risk of infection or put a minor injury in a potentially risky state.

Instances where you need to administer first aid are usually chaotic, and it takes a lot of skill and knowledge to act in a calm, rational yet quick manner. But often, people work in haste, worsening the situation by making the following mistakes.

Treating Burns

We all think we know how to treat burns, but when we or someone around us gets burned, all hell breaks loose. And the first thing most people do is apply a cold soothing ointment or cream to make it stop burning. This is not the right way to treat burns at all.

Correct Approach: The skin’s burned area should be exposed to cold—not icy—water for 10 to 15 minutes.

Moving an Injured Person

Say you witness an accident on the street with an overturned car and an injured person inside. The first thing most people will try to do is remove the person from the car. This could cause so much more damage to the person’s limbs or injuries, resulting in permanent disability.

Correct Approach: The correct thing to do is not to remove the person unless you have some sort of first aid training. The only thing you should do is call an ambulance and, in the meanwhile, try to stop any bleeding you can without moving the injured person too much.

Administering Cardiac Compressions

First of all, you need to know, movies have got it all wrong. There is a very proper protocol that needs to be followed for cardiac compressions. Compressions that are too slow will be useless, and compressions that are too fast won’t give the heart enough time to refill before the next compression completely. Too much pressure can also cause severe damage to the lungs.

Correct Approach: Check for pulse and breathing first, and then a doctor. If none of the aforementioned things are present, cardiac compressions are in order.  Call an ambulance and start the compressions with a rhythm of 100 per minute.

You don’t ever want to be the person who could’ve almost saved a life; it’s a terrible feeling to have to live with. Make sure you’re prepared to deal with the worst.

Sign up for Emergency First Aid Training and CPR courses to know precisely how to act in an emergency situation. The Metro Safety Training School in British Columbia is a great place to learn. They also offer workplace safety courses for workers across the region.

Get in touch with them today!

About the author


I’m Nancy and no, I didn’t always look like I do in that picture on the right. My foray into health and fitness began as a brace-faced, 16 year-old who was too afraid to wear a two-piece at the beach because I felt my body paled in comparison to my much more toned friends.

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