First Aid Tips - Genesis Health System

First Aid Tips

Listed below you will find first aid tips to either perform or not perform depending on the situation and severity of the condition.


1st degree - skin red & swollen:

  • DO immerse in cold water or apply cold compress until pain subsides.
  • DO see physician if pain persists or if injury does not begin to heal.
  • DON'T apply ointments, fats or butter.

2nd degree - skin blistered or white:

  • DO remove or cut away clothing, immerse injured area in cold water or apply cold compress.
  • DO cover with wet dressing under plastic.
  • DO seek medical attention as soon as possible.
  • DON'T break blisters and do not use antiseptic ointments, sprays or home remedies.

3rd degree - skin white or charred with damage to underlying tissue:

  • DO cover with thick sterile dressing, clean sheet or other clean household linen.
  • DO call ambulance immediately.
  • DO elevate hands and feet if they are involved.
  • DON'T remove particles of burned clothing.


  • DO begin Heimlich maneuver to dislodge object if necessary.
  • DO see physician immediately for follow-up exam.
  • DON'T interfere if person can cough, speak or breathe.

Cold Exposure

Frostbite - skin is hard, pale and has no feeling:

  • DO (if outdoors) shelter victim from wind, tuck hands into armpits under coat, cover face with dry gloved hands elevate feet.
  • DO get person inside as soon as possible and immerse affected areas in warm water (101 - 103 F).
  • DO seek medical help immediately.
  • DON'T rub affected areas and don't use direct heat.

Hypothermia - victim is clumsy, confused, irritable and sleepy

  • DO shelter victim from cold, if outdoors, cover head and insulate from ground.
  • DO change victim into warm, dry clothes, if possible, and re-warm gradually in heated room or warm bath.
  • DO seek medical help immediately.
  • DON'T give alcohol.


  • DO apply pressure to stop bleeding.
  • DO wash abrasions and lacerations with warm, soapy water and soak puncture wounds. DO cover wound with a sterile bandage and change whenever it gets dirty or wet.
  • DO seek medical attention if bleeding won't stop, if stitches are needed or if wound becomes infected.

Eye Injury (object in eye)

  • DO try to locate object on white of eye or inside the upper or lower lid.
  • DO try to gentle remove object with moist cotton swab or moistened corner of handkerchief.
  • DO seek immediate medical aid if object cannot be easily removed or if eye has been penetrated or injured by strong light or chemicals.
  • DON'T use a dry cotton swab or handkerchief, don't probe or rub eye.


  • DO keep a thermometer in your home first aid kit to accurately check for fever.
  • DO encourage frequent amounts of cool liquids and remove extra clothing.
  • DO consult a physician when fever is higher than 101 F or child won't take fluids.
  • DON'T give aspirin to a child under 15 years of age. Use acetaminophen (Tylenol) per label directions.

Head Injuries

  • DO apply a clean pad or handkerchief to wound with steady pressure to control bleeding (almost all head wounds bleed profusely, even superficial ones).
  • DO seek immediate medical attention.
  • DON'T give alcohol, stimulants, sedatives or narcotics.


  • DO sit in a chair with head tipped forward.
  • DO tie a clean pad lightly over the wound-without pressure-if you suspect a serious head injury.
  • DO place ice pack on nape of neck for 15-20 minutes.
  • DO seek medical help if bleeding does not stop in 20 minutes.
  • DON'T lie down or pack nose with any type of dressing.


  • DO call for poison treatment information 1-800-942-5969.
  • DO follow instructions and keep patient at rest.
  • DO take the victim to a hospital as soon as possible.
  • DON'T induce vomiting unless told to do so... never induce vomiting if patient is drowsy or unconscious.


  • DO elevate joint as much as possible and apply ice packs 20 minutes each hour for 1st 24 hours (put crushed ice in plastic bag, cover skin with cloth).
  • DO apply warm packs after 24 hours.
  • DO use an elastic bandage, being careful not to wrap too tightly.
  • DO report to doctor if pain becomes more severe or injury does not improve within a few days.


  • DO stay out of sun or protect skin by wearing clothing or applying a sunscreen or sun block lotion.
  • DO apply cool wet compresses.
  • DO consult a physician if the sunburn is very painful.
  • DON'T puncture blisters-if a blister breaks, remove the dead skin.