This week we look at two things that can happen in the home – a deep cut or choking incident. For our previous First Aid posts, click here and here.

These are simple things that can happen when cooking or eating dinner, but they can have fatal consequences. If nothing else, it’s important to know how to deal with these incidents. It is handy to have a First Aid kit in the house, you can pick a fully-packed one up in a variety of shops or online, or could simply make your own.

What to do if someone is badly cut

  • Apply pressure immediately. If someone is bleeding from a deep wound you must apply pressure. Use a towel or the person’s hand if they is nothing else available.
  • Don’t worry about infection. Grab what you can and stop the bleeding, this is the most important thing.
  • Sit down. Get them to sit down and raise the injury above their head to slow the blood flow.
  • First Aid kit. Get your kit and apply a sterile dressing firmly enough to stem the blood flow, but not so firmly that it stops the circulation. If the blood bleeds through, add another layer. Once you have stemmed the blood flow, get the person to the nearest A&E as quickly as possible. It’s a good idea to take your First Aid kit, in case you need more dressing.

What to do if someone is choking

Encourage them to cough to move the object. If this doesn’t work, lean the forward and – with a flat hand – give five sharp blows to the back, between the shoulder blades.

If they still can’t breath, try abdominal thrusts:

  • Stand behind them with your arms around them, hands above the abdomen.
  • Make a clenched fist in the soft bit under the ribcage, midway between the navel and the breastbone.
  • Grip the fist with your other hand and pull in and up sharply, no more than five times.

If the obstruction is still there, alternate between back blows and abdominal thrusts.

After three cycles, if the object is still there, ensure help is on the way and continue to use the blows and thrusts until help arrives. If they stop breathing, use CPR.