Basic First Aid

TL;DR

Practice bodily preventative maintenance as much as possible.

Avoid dwelling on the worst-case scenario when accidents happen, since it’s also often unlikely.

Learn a vast variety of small tricks to deal with minor aches and pains.

If you ever are in a medical emergency:

  1. Call 911/112 immediately, even if you only suspect something.
  2. Control any bleeding.
  3. Clean and bandage all wounds.
  4. Take care of any special circumstances (which you should know about beforehand).

First, keep yourself generally safe

A little preventative maintenance can go a long way toward your safety:
  • Drink plenty of water to avoid or minimize most health issues.
  • Stay hygienic to avoid infections.
  • Breathe correctly by fully expanding your lungs.
  • Keep a good, upright posture to move your entire body correctly.
  • When your body temperature reaches 105 degrees, your vital organs are at risk of failure.
  • Having a beard can help with asthma and allergies and will also protect facial skin from the sun’s radiation.

Maintain a healthy diet, avoid too much alcohol or drugs, and manage your weight correctly.

Closely watch symptoms as they arise, but don’t presume the worst:
  • As long as you’re staying aware of your physical problems, and making preventative efforts, you’ll typically sidestep the worst-case situations.
  • The most likely scenario is usually nothing to worry about.
  • Like auto mechanics, doctors simply make educated guesses based on the symptoms, so they’re not necessarily right.
  • Often, your attitude about your ailments affects how your immune system responds.
  • However, if you’re not sure, even a little, getting medical attention can save lives.


Minor issues

Allergies:
  • Eat a spoonful of apple cider vinegar or a cup of yogurt

Asthma:
  • Eat a spoonful of apple cider vinegar
  • Eat marshmallows
  • Eat onions
  • Slow down your breathing

Arthritis/joint pain:
  • Eat fish or take fish oil
  • Eat marshmallows
  • Eat pineapple
  • Rub aloe vera on your joints

Brain freeze:
  • Press your tongue or thumb against the roof of your mouth

Burnt tongue:
  • Apply honey or sugar to the burn

Canker sore/mouth ulcer:
  • Put a chewable heartburn pill directly onto the sore for a few hours
  • Wash your mouth with baking soda mixed into water
  • Wash your mouth with equal parts milk of magnesia and Benylin/Benadryl

Chapped lips:
  • Dip a soft-bristled children’s toothbrush into Vaseline and vigorously scrub your lips
  • Mix a teaspoon of Epsom salts with a teaspoon of pure maple syrup and apply to lips
  • Mix non-petroleum jelly and raw sugar and apply to lips
  • If the lips split, hold a damp black tea bag to the area

Note: avoid most over-the-counter chapstick because they contain desiccants.


Congestion/stuffy nose:
  • Eat chicken noodle soup
  • Eat garlic
  • Hold your breath, bob your head up and down repeatedly, then resume breathing
  • Have sex
  • Mix a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar into water and drink
  • Push your tongue against the roof of your mouth and press your finger between your eyebrows for twenty seconds

Constipation:
  • Drink senna leaf tea or dried aloe vera juice
  • For painful gas, lay on your back and lift your left knee to your chest to fart it out

Coughing/cold:
  • Drink thyme tea
  • Eat a tablespoon of honey
  • Eat a teaspoon of raw honey mixed with a quarter teaspoon of cinnamon
  • Eat oregano
  • Eat red peppers
  • Exercise vigorously
  • Gargle or drink pineapple juice
  • Lay on your stomach
  • Raise your hands above your head
  • Mix two lemons, half a cucumber, and ten to twelve mint leaves in three quarts of water, brew it overnight, then drink it throughout the day

Cramps:
  • Drink children’s pediatric electrolyte solution
  • Drink pickle juice

Diarrhea:
  • Drink apple cider vinegar
  • Drink fiber mix:
    • A glass of water
    • Fiber powder
    • Corn husks
    • Oats
    • Psyllium husks
  • Eat apples

Heartburn (acid reflux):
  • Kneel with your head bowed lower than your stomach while, which strengthens your lower esophageal sphincter

Hiccups:
  • Drink something while someone else pulls on your earlobes
  • Hold your breath and swallow three times
  • Inhale through your mouth, swallow your saliva twice, and slowly exhale through your nose
  • Masturbate
  • Try to force yourself to hiccup

Need to pee:
  • Scratch on the back of the calf
  • Think about sex
  • If you can’t pee, multiply random numbers in your head

Need to sneeze:
  • Rub or press your tongue on the roof of your mouth
  • Tickle the inside of your nose with a feather or cotton removed from a cotton swab

Overheating:
  • Hang a damp towel over an open window
  • Place an ice pack on the wrist
  • Run wrist under cold water for at least 5 minutes
  • Wet paper towels, fold into ankle and wrist cuffs and wear

Parasites, worms, and lice:
  • To suffocate lice, apply mayonnaise or any other high-oil product
  • To remove worms and other parasites, eat honey with vinegar

Period cramps:
  • Blend a smoothie of a cup of fat-free milk, a tablespoon of chocolate syrup, half a banana, half a cup of strawberries, a kiwi peel, and ice
  • Apply a heating pad to the affected area
  • Fart to relieve pressure
  • Masturbate with a tampon to barely touch it, then pee afterward and change the tampon to avoid a bladder infection
  • Run hot water onto a cloth or paper towel and wring out until damp, then place it over the cramp
  • Use a pad instead of a tampon or menstrual cup

Shivering:
  • Stick out your tongue

Small cuts, papercuts, and razor cuts:
  • Apply superglue to the cut
  • Lick them to speed up the healing process
  • Rub lip balm onto the cut

Something in your eye:
  • Fill a bowl of water big enough for face and open your eyes in it
  • Grab your eyelashes and pull your eyelid down with your fingers, then blink several times rapidly
  • Pull back the bottom eyelid and wipe the inside of the eyelid with a clean finger
  • If eye drops hurt, run the bottle under hot water for a few seconds first

Spicy foods:
  • Eat dairy products (yogurt is more effective than milk)
  • Eat a teaspoon of sugar

Splinter:
  • Apply a paste of baking soda mixed with water, then wait a few minutes for it to pop out
  • Pour a small amount of white glue over the area, let it dry completely, then peel it off with the splinter
  • Bottle technique
    1. Fill a wide-mouthed bottle with hot water nearly to the brim
    2. Press your hand tightly onto the bottle
    3. Wait for the suction to pull on the flesh and the steam to draw out the splinter

Tinnitus:
  • Your ears have basically “locked in” on the sound, even after the sound is gone.
  • Watch this linked video to clear the noise.

Toothache:
  • Dip a cotton swab in mouthwash and bite down on it
  • Eat marshmallows
  • Rub ice on the back of the hand
  • Rub ice on the webbing on the back of the hand between the thumb and index finger

Itches, bug bites, and skin irritations

Use any anti-itch solution to tighten the blood vessels and reduce any skin itching:
  • Apply anti-itch cream
  • Rub deodorant onto the itch
  • Apply baking soda mixed into a paste with water directly to the area
  • Apply a mixture of baking soda and vinegar

Place slices of raw potatoes on the skin, which will also heal blisters.

For more severe issues like measles or chicken pox, add baking soda to a bath.

If earrings irritate your skin, put Vaseline on them before putting them in.

For poison ivy:
  • Rub liquid dish soap onto the affected skin, then rinse after letting it sit
  • Apply a paste of baking soda and water directly to poison ivy

General bug bites:
  • Press a hot spoon onto the skin to break up the proteins that cause the itch
  • Make an X on the bite with your fingernails
  • Apply scotch tape or nail polish to the area
  • Mix a teaspoon of Epsom salt into a cup of boiling water, cool down for twenty minutes, stir and place on the bite

Mosquito bites:
  • Apply soap or white-out to the affected area
  • Rub a banana peel into the bite

Migraines and general headaches

Bite on a pencil.

Cut a lime in half and rub it on your forehead.

Massage the back of the neck or the temples on both sides.

Put an ice pack or a bag of frozen peas at the base of the skull.

Take short, rapid breaths.

Eat something:
  • Eat ginger
  • Eat a mint or chew mint-flavored gum
  • Eat fish or take fish oil

Drink something:
  • Cinnamon tea
  • Ginger tea
  • Grape juice
  • Peppermint tea
  • Gatorade
  • Make a tea of three mint leaves, a half cucumber, a half lemon, and a cup of filtered water

Take a bath:
  • Soak your feet in hot water
  • Add Epsom salt for more effect

Nausea/indigestion

Smell rubbing alcohol.

Apply heat to the stomach:
  • Use a heating pad or electric blanket
  • Run hot water onto a cloth or paper towel and wring out until damp
  • Lay on your left side and rub your stomach in clockwise circles

Drink something:
  • Chai tea
  • Chamomile tea
  • Ginger tea
  • Mix a spoonful of honey into your drink
  • Mix a tablespoon of Epsom salts into a cup of warm water
  • Mix a half teaspoon of baking soda into four ounces of water
  • For chronic indigestion, drink water consistently a half hour before eating

Eat something:
  • 15-20 almonds
  • Applesauce
  • Bananas
  • Chicken broth
  • a few grams of ginger root
  • Oatmeal
  • Papaya
  • Plain yogurt
  • White rice
  • Pair a Unisom sleeping pill with Vitamin B6

Carsickness and seasickness:
  • Focus on an object outside the vehicle, such as the horizon or the scenery
  • Tilt your head from side to side
  • If you’re on a cruise, hang out in the pool, since the water will stay level
  • To avoid motion sickness in 3D movies, sit in the rear center of the theater

When you know you will throw up soon:
  • Squeeze hard on your left thumb
  • Drink equal parts milk of magnesia and Benylin/Benadryl
  • Eat vanilla ice cream to prevent stomach acid from burning your throat

Psychosomatic pain

The brain connects pain with sight, so look away from your injury.

If you can’t swallow pills, press your tongue against the roof of your mouth before swallowing.

To avoid the “pins and needles” sensation, rock your head side to side or stretch your neck.

Pain from needle sticks:
  • Put pressure around the area before sticking
  • Forcibly cough while the needle goes through

Sore/itchy throat

If your throat is itching or you have curds in it, scratch your ear.

Drink something:
  • Lemon tea
  • Mix a quarter cup of vinegar and a quarter cup of honey, then take a tablespoon six times a day
  • Mix Jello powder and water, then microwave it for thirty seconds and mix with a teaspoon of honey
  • Mix two tablespoons of honey, two teaspoons of vinegar, two tablespoons of lemon juice, and a dash of cinnamon in hot water

Eat something:
  • Cucumbers
  • Honey
  • Marshmallows

Gargle something:
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Prepare a cup of tea, add a whole lemon’s juice and a teaspoon of salt, stir and gargle, repeat two or three times a day

If you’ve lost your voice from a sore throat, gargle Tabasco sauce mixed with water.

Sunburn

Eat tomatoes to increase resistance to sunburn.

Avoid any further exposure to direct sunlight.

Drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration.

Treat the burns to help them heal faster:
  • Gently rub the burns with vinegar
  • Apply Right Guard men’s spray-on deodorant
  • Apply aloe vera plant sap or freeze into aloe vera ice cubes
  • Rub Earl Grey tea bags into it

For severe burns:
  • Avoid cold water or ice
  • If blisters develop, seek medical attention
  • Set chilled cucumbers directly on the burn
  • Apply a paste of baking soda and water
  • Apply a washcloth of cold milk on the burn
  • Mix two tablespoons of Epsom salt into a cup of water, then soak into a clean cloth or pour into a spray bottle

Tense muscles/muscle pain

Pinch and massage the fleshy part of the hand under the thumb.

Rub olive oil into the skin.

Take a bath with lavender soap:
  1. Melt ten tablespoons of finely grated Castile soap in a double boiler, then stir frequently until smooth
  2. Crush two tablespoons of dried lavender flowers into a powder, mix with soap and four drops of lavender oil, then store in a bottle

Neck/shoulder pain:
  • Stretch arms behind head and behind back
  • Massage the tops of the shoulder blades

Back tension:
  • Duct tape two tennis balls together and lay on them
  • Massage it out with a tennis ball

Lower back pain:
  • Change your diet to manage weight
  • Do low-impact exercises like walking, swimming, and biking
  • Invest in comfortable shoes
  • Massage the lower back on both sides
  • Sleep on your side instead of your back
  • Spend less time sitting down
  • Stand straight with the shoulders pulled back
  • Stretch out your torso

Foot pain from standing:
  • Invest in comfortable shoes
  • Put a pillow under your feet while sleeping


Field Medicine

Everyone should know basic field medicine:
  • Field medicine and first aid will keep a person stable until a medical professional can attend to them.

Unless you have medical training, don’t try to move the victim.

Keep the affected environment sterile:
  • If you get a disease or infection while helping them, you’ve doubled the crisis
  • Wear protective gloves as a barrier between you and the victim
  • Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water before and after touching them

Before anything, call 911/112

It might take some time for emergency services to arrive.

The timer starts when they know the nature of your emergency and your location.

Control any bleeding

Bleeding is the most dangerous emergency because people don’t need to lose much blood before it’s fatal.

A. Lie the victim down and restrain them if they refuse to listen.

B. Apply direct pressure with a clean cloth or sterile dressing to any wounds.

  • Don’t remove any object lodged in a wound since it may cause worse bleeding.

C. If you don’t see signs of a broken bone, carefully elevate the wound above the victim’s heart to reduce swelling.

D. Once you’ve controlled the bleeding, keep them warm with a blanket.

E. Keep checking on them to make sure the victim hasn’t gone into shock (enough blood loss that the body doesn’t get enough oxygen).

  • Keep them hydrated and warm.
  • Without treatment, going into shock is usually fatal.
  • Shock symptoms include cold and sweaty skin, a weak and rapid heart rate, irritability, thirst, and irregular breathing.

Next, clean and bandage all wounds

A. After washing your hands, clean the injured area with soap and water and blot it dry.

  • If you wipe a wound dry, you’ll usually cause tremendous pain and might reopen it.

B. Apply antibiotic ointment to minor wounds.

  • Speed up the healing process by keeping the wound moist and covered.
  • Applying sugar or honey will kill bacteria through dehydration, dry out the wound, and promote fresh tissue growth.
  • Apply aloe vera plant sap to small cuts.

C. Cover the wound with a slightly larger bandage or a sterile gauze dressing.

  • You can use anything clean, including spider webs free of dust.
  • For injured feet, alternate wrapping around the ankle and arch.

Reduce swelling

Swelling near the core (especially near the heart) needs immediate medical attention.

  • However, most swelling nearer to extremities (arms, legs, shoulders, thigh) are usually less severe.

Apply RICE for most swelling issues:

  • Rest the affected area.
  • Ice on the area for up to 20 minutes at a time.
  • Compression, often with a bandage (or compression socks for leg swelling).
  • Elevate the area, ideally above the heart.

Special circumstances

Losing consciousness:
  • Stay focused on your next tasks or have the victim occupy themselves with a task to keep the mind busy
  • If you stand up too fast and start to black out, tighten your abs as hard as you can

Drowning:

People drowning don’t give any obvious indicators:

  • They’re unable to call or wave for help
  • Their mouths rise and fall across the water line
  • Their bodies will stay rigid and upright

There are many other small indicators:

  • Head low in the water with the mouth at water level
  • Head tilted back with mouth open
  • Eyes glassy and empty, unable to focus
  • Eyes closed
  • Hair over forehead or eyes
  • Not using legs
  • Hyperventilating or gasping
  • Trying to swim in a particular direction but not making headway
  • Trying to roll over on the back
  • Appears to be climbing an invisible ladder

A drowning person can only stay above water for about 20-60 seconds, so it’s worth taking the time to train yourself on what to see.


Choking:

If you’re choking with nobody around

  1. Place your fist above your navel
  2. Grasp your fist with your other hand
  3. Lean over a chair or countertop
  4. Drive your fist upwardly into your stomach and repeat until the object has dislodged

If the choking victim is at least two years old

  • Ask the victim if they are okay
    • Don’t interfere if they can speak, breathe or cough
  • If the victim can’t talk, breathe or cough
    • Point to someone and ask them to call 911
    • Perform the Heimlich maneuver
      1. Stand behind them, make a fist, and place it between the bottom of the victim’s ribs and navel
      2. Grab the fist with the other hand, then thrust upward sharply
      3. Repeat until the object has dislodged
  • If the victim is an infant and choking to the point of not breathing
    • Place the infant face down on your forearm and support the head and neck with your hand
    • Rest your hand on your knee with the infant’s head lower than its body
    • Give four blows with the heel of your hand between the infant’s shoulder blades
    • Turn the infant over, place two fingers on the center of the infant’s chest (right below the nipples) and give up to five chest thrusts
    • Repeat until the obstruction is clear

Choking can cause complications, so seek medical attention after every choking incident


Heart attacks:
  • If the victim is male, they’ll feel pain on their left arm, will have shortness of breath, and have an extremely rapid heart rate.
  • Call 911 immediately, then try not to move the victim.
  • Have the victim chew an uncoated aspirin.

Unconscious victims:

A. Ask the victim if they’re okay to determine their awareness

  • Don’t leave an unconscious victim alone except to call for medical help

B. Check their airways, breathing, and circulation (ABC), in that order

  • Perform CPR if you’ve received training for it and the victim’s ABC isn’t present

C. If you see ABC and don’t suspect any spinal injury, place the victim on their side with their chin on the ground to drain body fluids more easily

D. Cover the victim with a blanket to keep them warm and prevent shock

  • Remove the blanket if the victim says they feel warm

Eye injuries:

If the eye has an impaled object

  1. Call 911 immediately
  2. Cover both eyes with sterile dressings or eyecups to immobilize it
    • Covering both eyes will minimize how much the injured eye moves
    • Don’t rub the eye or apply pressure, ice or raw meat to the wounded eye
  3. Always consult a medical professional after an eye injury

For black eyes, you can set ice or raw meat on the cheek and area around the eye, but not directly on the eyeball

If the eye has a chemical in it, flush the eyes with cold or room-temperature water for at least fifteen minutes

  • Remove contact lenses after flushing, not before
  • For one infected eye, flush them by positioning the contaminated eye below the good one to prevent it from getting contaminated as well

If the eye has small particles in it

  1. Fill a bowl of water large enough for the victim’s face
  2. Have the victim open their eyes while their eye is submerged

Burns:

Burns have three degrees of damage, and people can feel burn pain starting at 111 degrees.

  • 1st-degree burns start at 118 degrees, or at 140 degrees for >3 seconds
    • Skin looks red and might be swollen or painful
    • Generally doesn’t need medical attention
    • Pain receptors start feeling numb at around 140 degrees.
  • 2nd-degree burns start at 131 degrees
    • Skin looks red, blistered and swollen
    • Might need medical attention if severe enough
  • 3rd-degree burns start at 160 degrees for >1 seconds
    • At 162 degrees, skin is completely destroyed on contact.
    • Skin is visibly charred and might be white
    • Usually very painful
    • Always requires medical attention

Treating minor burns

  1. Immediately submerge the burn area in cold water until the pain stops
    • Cover large burned areas with cold, wet cloths
    • Don’t break any blisters you may find
      • Hold a cut potato on the blister to help it heal
    • Put an ice cube in a rag to painlessly apply it to the skin
  2. If the victim’s pain continues but doesn’t need medical attention, apply medicated first aid cream or gel and cover with a sterile dressing
    • Burns have many alternative remedies
      • Over-steeped black tea with over three bags cooled to room temperature
      • Apply vinegar to alleviate pain
      • Apply aloe vera plant sap to heal it and reduce pain
      • Rub an egg yolk on it
      • Apply honey to it
      • Apply toothpaste to it
      • Apply mineral ice to prevent blistering (will become a brown spot and then fade away)
  3. If the victim needs medical attention or you don’t know, cover it with a dry, sterile dressing and don’t apply any cream, then seek medical help

Treating major burns

  1. Call 911
    • 3rd-degree burns need immediate medical attention
    • Don’t try to remove clothing stuck to the burned area
  2. Cover the wound with a sterile dressing or clean sheet
    • Don’t apply any creams or gels

Chemical burns:

A. Flush the affected area with cold running water for at least fifteen minutes

  • If the chemical burn is in the eyes, flush it continuously with water and seek medical attention immediately

B. Remove all contaminated clothing and jewelry

C. Monitor the victim for shock and seek medical attention


Poisoning:

A. Call your local Poison Control Center or 911 immediately

  • Antidotes on labels might be wrong, so don’t follow them unless a doctor has instructed you

B. If the poison is on the skin, flush it with water for fifteen minutes, then wash and rinse with soap and water

C. If the poison is in the eye, flush it with lukewarm water for fifteen minutes

  • Adults can stand under the shower with their eyes open

D. Never give anything by mouth (e.g., ipecac, milk, water) until a medical professional gives you permission

  • Keep a one-ounce bottle of ipecac on hand at all times in case of an emergency, but only use when directed by a doctor

E. Always consult a medical professional after every eye injury


Bee/wasp sting:

A. If possible, remove the stinger by scraping it off with a blunt edge like a credit card

B. Clean the wound and apply a cold compress to reduce the swelling

  • Neutralize the venom with a paste of baking soda and water or toothpaste
  • Relieve bee sting pain with vinegar
  • Use Epsom salts
    • Stir two tablespoons of Epsom salts into a cup of water, then soak a cotton ball or cotton cloth in it
    • For many stings, soak in a bath of two cups of Epsom salts in a bathtub of warm water for twelve minutes

C. Remove tight clothing and jewelry from areas near the bite in case the area swells

D. Watch for signs of shock or allergic reaction

  • Allergic reactions can include swelling, itching, dizziness, nausea or difficulty breathing
  • Call 911 for any allergic reaction and continue monitoring the victim for signs of shock until help arrives

E. Check the victim’s ABC’s, then begin CPR if you’ve received training for it and their ABC’s are impaired


Jellyfish stings:

Don’t pee on the sting since it can cause infections

Apply vodka to the sting and call 911


Animal bites:

A. Control any bleeding, but keep the wound open to avoid risking infection

B. Thoroughly rinse the bite by holding it under running water

C. Clean the wound with soap and water and hold it under running water again for five minutes

D. Cover the wound with a dry sterile bandage or gauze

  • Don’t put ointments or medicines on the wound

E. Seek medical attention immediately

  • Report any animal and human bites to local police and health authorities

Snake Bites

  1. Call emergency services immediately
  2. Try to take a photo of the snake to help emergency services decide the correct treatment
  3. Minimize the victim’s movement, loosen their clothing, and put pressure on the bite
  4. Don’t take painkillers and keep the wound below the victim’s heart

Ear infections:

A. Have the victim lie on their side

B. Fill the infected ear with 3% hydrogen peroxide

C. Wait about 5-10 minutes until the bubbling stops, then clean out all the earwax with a cotton swab


Sprained ankles:

A. Elevate the foot

B. Wrap in cold, wet cloth

C. Run one cloth from the bottom of the water jug to the bandage to keep it wet