First Aid Tips for Common Health Conditions

First aid is the first and immediate assistance given to any person suffering from either a minor or serious illness or injury. This is done until full medical treatment is available

Although in many instances, medical care is unnecessary and the ill or injured person will safely recover, first aid does not take the place of proper medical care.

Purpose of first aid

  • Preserve life
  • Prevent illness or injury from becoming worse
  • relieve pain, if possible
  • Promote recovery
  • Protect the unconscious

Basic first aid for various conditions

1. Burns

A burn is tissue damage that results from scalding, overexposure to the sun or other radiation, contact with flames, chemicals or electricity, or smoke inhalation.

Burns can be very painful and may cause:

  • red or peeling skin
  • blisters
  • swelling
  • white or charred skin

First aid for minor burns

  • Cool down the burn by holding the burn under cool, running water
  • Remove jewelry, belts and other restrictive items, especially from around burned areas and the neck.
  • Avoid breaking blisters. Blisters with fluid protect the area from infection. If a blister breaks, clean the area and gently apply an antibiotic ointment
  • Loosely bandage the burn using a sterile gauze.
  • Take an over-the-counter pain reliever if necessary.

2. Fainting

Fainting, or syncope, is a sudden and temporary loss of consciousness caused by a temporary reduction in blood flow to the brain.


  • Fear or other emotional trauma
  • Severe pain
  • Sudden drop in blood pressure
  • Low blood sugar due to diabetes
  • Hyperventilation
  • Dehydration
  • Standing in one position for too long
  • Standing up too quickly

First aid for fainting

  • Have the person lie down with their legs raised 8 to 12 inches. This promotes blood flow to the brain.
  • Turn their head to the side so the tongue doesn’t fall back into the throat.
  • Loosen any their clothing e.g. belts, collars or other constrictive clothes
  • Apply moist towels on their face and neck
  • To reduce the chance of fainting again, don’t get the person up too quickly

3. Nose bleeding

Nose bleeding can be defined as simply bleeding from the blood vessels in the nose.

Causes of nose bleeding

  • Drying of the nasal membranes
  • Nose picking (digital trauma
  • Injury to the nose due to a blow to the face

First aid for nose bleeding

  • Sit up straight and lean forward slightly. Don’t lie down or tilt your head backward.
  • With thumb and index finger, firmly pinch the nose just below the bone up against the face.
  • Apply pressure for 5 minutes. Time yourself with a clock.


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