First aid for minor wounds

Injuries can happen in an instant. They can leave behind wounds large and small, deep and superficial, straightforward and complex. But they always mean blood, risk of infection and pain for those who suffer them. And that is precisely what first aid has to focus on: 

Stop bleeding, avert the risk of infection, alleviate pain

If you consider an injury serious, you should call a medical expert. But, as a first aider, you will still need to act. Blood loss and pain can cause shock, which is why the injured person should sit or lie down. Next, assess the wound.

  • Clean the wound carefully with cold water
  • Remove superficial foreign objects using sterile tweezers – anything deeply embedded should be left to a physician
  • Disinfect the skin areas around the wound

Your next priority is to stop any bleeding since it is the source of the greatest immediate danger. An adhesive bandage (plaster) is enough for smaller wounds, while bigger wounds require sterile compresses or a dressing pack. A compression dressing should be placed on wounds that are bleeding heavily.

But don’t forget your own safety: if you are treating a heavily bleeding wound, wear disposable gloves to protect against infection.

  • Home first aid kit

    Most injuries happen in the home. People fall down steps, cut themselves when cooking… So it’s best to have everything you need close at hand in your first aid cabinet.

  • Travel first aid kit

    Illness is the last thing you want when you’re on vacation. But it’s easy to pick up minor wounds such as a cut caused by a seashell on the beach or a graze you get when climbing.

Seek medical advice

A case for the physician: puncture wounds – especially involving foreign objects – animal scratches and bites, large-scale burns and heavily bleeding wounds should be treated by a physician.