Basic First-Aid for Minor Injuries – Courses offered in San Jose

There are certain skills, such as CPR, that we may devote ourselves to learning whilst all the while hoping we never have to call upon the knowledge and use it.  First-aid could also fall into this category, though the circumstances that call upon us to use it may be more frequent. Knowledge of the basic treatments for common types of cuts, bruises and other injuries can be crucial when professional help is unavailable. Whether we’re out in the wild, at home waiting for an ambulance or otherwise alone with a person in need, our quick responses can mean the difference between an arrested and an aggravated injury.

The golden rule for all forms of first-aid is, “First of all, don’t do any more harm”. You should never perform a procedure if you’re unsure of your ability to pull it off. The same principle applies to administering medicines that you’re not familiar with. If you’re debating whether or not an injured person should be moved, choose to err on the cautious side. An exception to this rule of thumb would be when remaining at the place of the accident carries continued risk (i.e., in cases of fire, avalanche, flood, building collapse, etc.)

A big part of the aid that we give to a victim is emotional in nature. Human contact and support are crucial in the aftermath of physical trauma. Always strive to remain calm and centered. This not only enables you to function with greater efficiency but also conveys your emotional stability to the person you’re caring for.

Immediate first-aid for all forms of bruises calls for a cold compress or cold water. If you use ice, wrap it in a cloth so that it doesn’t come into direct contact with the person’s skin. Apply for ten minutes at a time, with intermittent breaks, for a total application time of one hour.

Puncture wounds run a high risk of infection. Rinse them well with water and leave them open to heal. Closing the wound may actually promote infection. A little initial bleeding will be helpful, as this will carry bacteria out of the punctured area.

Scrapes that are caused by abrasion are oftentimes painful, but they should nonetheless be scrubbed to remove any dirt and stone particles within the wound that could cause infection. Use soap and water, and apply an antiseptic ointment to the affected area immediately afterwards.

If a person has been cut, remove all of their clothing from the area so that you can gauge the severity of the wound. The greatest risk in such cases will most likely be blood loss. Stem the bleeding by applying direct pressure to the cut for ten to fifteen minutes. If the injured area can be elevated then this will also slow bleeding. Strive to calm the person and discourage movement, as this can aggravate the wound.

More severe cuts occur when the skin has been shaved at an angle (skin flaps) or flayed off completely (avulsions). A skin flap should be reconnected to the underlying skin, with some form of bandage and tape, after the wound has been cleaned. The flap itself should be kept intact, as it can help the tissue beneath to heal. Avulsions need to be taped closed, if at all possible, to stem the severe bleeding that can result.

The American Heart Association recommends that everyone takes a CPR and First-aid class at least once every 2 years to be properly trained for an emergency. San Jose CPR Certification offers this course about two times a week in Santa Clara County.


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