Do you know what to do when you cut your finger? Experts are recommending some new advice.
The Canadian Red Cross, Heart & Stroke Foundation, and three other major organizations have made some changes to the Canadian First Aid and CPR Guidelines.
It used to say wash a cut with soap and water, but Don Marentette with Red Cross recommends you skip the soap.
“We’re learned that some kinds of soap can sometimes be irritating to the skin. When there is a cut or something like that, it’s just not a good thing,” Marentette explains. “So we’re really recommending that people, when they’re washing wounds, just rinse it with some good, clean tap water.”
They are also recommending that if someone is having an allergic reaction and after one dose of epinephrine isn’t showing improvement within 5-10 minutes, a second dose from an auto-injector pen is needed.
Head and neck injuries are a major point of emphasis as well. In the past, cervical collars were used to treat neck injuries but Martenette says that those can cause discomfort and that they shouldn’t be used in all cases. Instead, support the head manually until professionals arrive.
And when it comes to blows to the head, you may not always experience symptoms right away. You could get your “bell rung,” and it the past it would be a sign of toughness to get back in the game as soon as possible. But Martenette points out that as philosophies surrounding head injuries are changing in pro sports, so too they are changing when it comes to first aid.
“What’s missing is how we measure that when someone isn’t a professional athlete and they don’t have access to that baseline data. We really need people to understand that if they’ve sustained some type of head injury, especially the young kids, they need to be removed from the field of play as assessed by a medical professional as soon as possible.”
The Red Cross also recommends that if you are experiencing chest pains, chewing two Aspirin tablets while waiting for medical assistance is a very good idea. Roughly 70,000 heart attacks happen in Canada every year.