The normal course of daily living ensures that at some point we will injure ourselves. The body is great at healing minor injuries, and first-aid basics will help keep injuries from becoming serious or infected.
As we move up to more serious injuries, again knowing what to do first is important, even if follow-up care must be done by a medic or hospital emergency room.
It's always better to prevent injury if you can. Pay attention to hazards that can cause falls. In the kitchen use cutting blocks and sharp knives - they are safer because you use less pressure while cutting.
A soft-tissue wound is an injury to the soft tissue. Any time the soft tissue is damaged or torn, the body is threatened. Injuries may damage the soft tissue at or near the skin’s surface or deep in the body.
Soft tissues are the layers of skin and the fat and muscle beneath the skin’s outer layer.
Severe bleeding can occur at the skin’s surface or beneath, where it is harder to detect. Germs can enter the body through the wound and cause infection.
If a person’s tooth is knocked out, control the bleeding and save the tooth so it may possibly be reinserted. Generally, the sooner the tooth is replaced, the better the chance is that it will survive.
If the person is conscious and able to cooperate, rinse out the mouth with cold tap water, if available.
You can control the bleeding by placing a rolled sterile dressing into the space left by the missing tooth.
Have the person gently bite down to maintain pressure.
To save the tooth, place it in milk, if possible, or cool water if milk is not available.
Be careful to pick up the tooth only by the crown (white part) rather than by the root.
An injury to the abdomen may be either open or closed.
Injuries to the abdomen can be very painful. Even with a closed wound, the rupture of an organ can cause serious internal bleeding, resulting in shock. It is especially difficult to determine if a person has an internal abdominal injury if he or she is unconscious.
Always suspect an abdominal injury in a person who has multiple injuries.
If the injury penetrates the rib cage, air can pass freely in and out of the chest cavity and the person cannot breathe effectively. With each breath the person takes, you will hear a sucking sound coming from the wound. This sound is the primary sign of a penetrating chest injury called a sucking chest wound.
Without proper care, the person’s condition will worsen. The affected lung or lungs will fail to function, and breathing will become more difficult.
Puncture wounds to the chest range from minor to life threatening. Stab and gunshot wounds are examples of puncture injuries. The penetrating object can injure any structure or organ within the chest, including the lungs.
A puncture injury can allow air to enter the chest through the wound. Air in the chest cavity does not allow the lungs to function normally.
Puncture wounds cause varying degrees of internal and external bleeding. A puncture wound to the chest is a life-threatening injury.