It's very important to be familiar with first aid procedures. But many of those we think we know can actually be quite dangerous.
1. Treating a wound with liquid oxygen, iodine or alcohol - dangerous!
The problem? Liquid oxygen kills tissue cells which delays the healing process. Iodine and alcohol can cause a burn in direct contact with the wound.
What to do instead: Wash the wound under fresh water, rub antibiotic cream. Only use a band aid if necessary.
2. Unqualified CPR.
The problem? CPR performed by an unqualified individual can cause rib fracture and risk the heart and lungs.
What to do instead: Only use CPR when the person has no pulse, is not breathing and there is no doctor around. Perform compressions at a 100bpm rate, use only your fingers for children.
Only do mouth to mouth breathing when a pulse has returned. An alternative is 30 compressions followed by 2 breathes and repeat.
3. Paracetamol can cause liver problems.
The problem? In high doses, Paracetamol, the active substance in many painkillers, can disrupt liver and kidney function.
What to do instead: Use only up to 1 gram per use, 4 grams per day. Avoid mixing different painkillers to not overdose.
4. Don't tilt your head or lie down when your nose bleeds.
The problem? Tilting your head and lying down raises blood pressure. Because you can't evaluate the cause and risk of the bleeding, avoid these.
What to do instead: Hold your head straight, cool down your nose, use your thumb and finger to block one nostril at a time for 15 minutes, breath through your mouth.
If the bleeding doesn't stop call an ambulance, as this can be a symptom of a greater condition.
5. Don't carry a car accident victim out of a vehicle.
The problem? The victim may have a spine or neck injury and every slight movement can kill him or make him disabled for life.
What to do instead: Call an ambulance and track the breathing of the victim until paramedics arrive.
6. Using a tourniquet to stop a bleeding can lead to amputation.
The problem? An improper or unwarranted use of a tourniquet can restrict bloodflow to a limb and cause necrosis (tissue cells death).
What to do instead: Use a sterile fabric to apply pressure to a wound until an ambulance arrives.
Only use a tourniquet to stop a life risking bleeding.
7. Don't pull the tongue out of a person having a seizure.
The problem? A person having an epileptic seizure can swallow an object or suffocate easily.
What to do instead: Make sure the person's head is safe and remove any sharp objects from his vicinity.
If the seizure lasts more than 5 minutes call an ambulance.
8. Don't suck the poison out when bitten.
The problem? The poison can affect your mouth.
What to do instead: If you were bitten in your limbs, make sure the bitten spot is lower than your heart, call an ambulance, relax, and drink a lot of water.