First Aid Tips


Severe Wounds

CALL FOR HELP IMMEDIATELLY. Phone 911 or local EMS providers.

  • Control bleeding by applying direct pressure on wound with a sterile dressing. If blood soaks through, do not remove first dressing — add additional dressings on top. This will speed clotting.
  • If fracture or neck/back injuries are not suspected, elevate injured area.
  • If bleeding continues, apply firm pressure at appropriate pressure point (femoral arteries-groin area, brachial arteries-inside upper arm).
  • Apply pressure bandage, if needed, over dressings already on the wound.
  • Do not attempt to remove impaled objects. Bandage in place.

Minor Wounds

  • Wash minor wounds that are not bleeding severely with soap and water.
  • Apply antiseptic or antibiotic ointment to the wound.
  • Apply a clean dressing.

Head Injuries

SIGNS & SYMPTOMS: Wound of scalp or skull, blood or clear fluid draining from nose and/or ears, lowered level of responsiveness, deformity of skull, bruising around eyes or ears, nausea and vomiting, shallow or irregular breathing.

  • Call for help. Phone 911 or local EMS providers immediately.
  • Immobilize the head and neck. Do not move the patient.
  • Do not attempt to stop bleeding or draining from ears or nose.
  • A head injury may also indicate a neck injury. Treat neck, head and body as one unit.
  • Watch for vomiting and keep airway clear.

Simple Fractures

SIGNS & SYMPTOMS: Deformity, swelling, discoloration, pain and tenderness.

  • Do not move patient except in the case of life-threatening danger.
  • Call 911 or local EMS providers.
  • If EMS is not immediately available, ice or cold packs may help to reduce pain and swelling.
  • If you must transport the patient, splint or immobilize fractured limbs in the position found.
  • Continue to check for proper circulation and sensation and loosen splint if either is impaired or decreased.

Open or Compound Fractures

SIGNS & SYMPTOMS: Skin is broken and bleeding, bone may be visible. Call for help. Phone 911 or local EMS providers immediately.

  • Control bleeding, but do not elevate area.
  • Keep a close eye on circulation.
  • Do not apply cold packs.
  • Continually recheck circulation