Everyone wants to do the right thing if they find themselves in an emergency situation, but due to stress and inexperience, it’s not uncommon for people to make some mistakes when rendering first aid. The team at Gold Cross Ambulance understands what should be done during an emergency situation, and we want to help clear up some misconceptions so that you can provide a high level of care until paramedics arrive.

Below, we take a closer look at five mistakes that are commonly made when rendering first aid.

Common First Aid Mistakes

Here’s a look at five mistakes that we commonly see or hear about when it comes to rendering first aid, and what you should do instead.

Poison Should Be Puked Up – If your child swallows something that should not be ingested, your natural reaction may be for them to try and puke it up as soon as possible. That may be the recommended protocol, but there’s also the possibility that trying to regurgitate the substance could cause additional health issues. Instead, contact poison control and listen to their advice on how to best handle your specific situation.

Move The Victim To A Safe Location – You want the injured party to be safe from additional harm, but if there is a suspected head or neck injury, moving the person could end up leading to paralysis or even death. In these situations, try to make the scene safe instead of moving the patient. If that’s impossible, contact an ambulance dispatcher and follow their instructions for safely stabilizing and moving the individual.

Heat Up Frostbite – If your fingers or toes are frozen or you believe you may have suffered frostbite, you may assume that running them under hot water is the best way to thaw them out. However, extremely hot temperatures can cause additional damage, so it’s best to gradually heat the area with lukewarm water.

Butter On A Burn/Steak On A Black Eye – Your grandmother may swear that the best treatment for a burn is butter, or your uncle may have told you that back in the day he put a frozen steak on his black eye, but these methods simply aren’t the best ways to treat these injuries. Butter and frozen steaks can introduce more bacteria to the wound site, so skip these methods. Run a burn under cool water and then apply an antiseptic and a bandage, and for black eyes, stick with a bag of frozen peas or some ice in a bag so as not to increase your risk of an infection.

Tilt Your Head Back During A Nosebleed – While you likely won’t need the paramedics to assist with a nosebleed, you may need more medical care if you treat it incorrectly. If you tilt your head back while your nose is bleeding, that can lead to blood traveling down your throat and into your stomach, which can lead to vomiting or other uncomfortable symptoms. Instead, tilt your head slightly forward and pinch the middle of your nose for 5-10 minutes.

Many people aren’t always sure what to do when rendering first aid simply because we don’t typically have a lot of experience with medical situations. The team at Gold Cross is here to help with any of your care needs, but we hope this list can help you provide the right type of care if a medical issue arises in the future. For more information, or to talk to a member of our team, give Gold Cross Ambulance a call today at (952) 727-3020.

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