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  • First Aid: Allergic Reaction

    First Aid: Allergic Reaction

    A life-threatening allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) can cause shock, a sudden drop in blood pressure and trouble breathing. In people who have an allergy, anaphylaxis can occur minutes after exposure to a specific allergy-causing substance (allergen). In some cases, there may be a delayed reaction or anaphylaxis may occur without an apparent trigger. If you’re with…

  • First Aid: Chest Pain

    First Aid: Chest Pain

    Causes of chest pain can vary from minor problems, such as indigestion or stress, to serious medical emergencies, such as a heart attack or pulmonary embolism. The specific cause of chest pain can be difficult to interpret. Finding the cause of your chest pain can be challenging, especially if you’ve never had prior symptoms. Even…

  • First Aid: Black Eye

    First Aid: Black Eye

    A black eye is caused by bleeding under the skin around the eye. Most injuries that cause a black eye aren’t serious. But a black eye may indicate a more serious injury, such as an internal injury to the eye or a fracture of the thin bones around the eye. You may have a skull…

  • First Aid: Burns

    First Aid: Burns

    Minor burns For minor burns: Cool the burn to help soothe the pain.Hold the burned area under cool (not cold) running water for 10 to 15 minutes or until the pain eases. Or apply a clean towel dampened with cool tap water. Remove rings or other tight items from the burned area.Try to do this…

  • First Aid: Cuts and Scrapes

    First Aid: Cuts and Scrapes

    Minor cuts and scrapes usually don’t require a trip to the emergency room. But if your wound is deep — all the way through the skin — jagged, or exposing fat or muscle, see a doctor as soon as possible. You may need stitches. Proper wound closure within a few hours minimizes scarring and reduces…

  • First Aid: Animal Bite

    First Aid: Animal Bite

    These guidelines can help you care for a minor animal bite, such as one that only breaks the skin: Wash the wound thoroughly with soap and water. Apply an antibiotic cream and cover the bite with a clean bandage. Seek prompt medical care if: The wound is a deep puncture or you’re not sure how…

  • First Aid: Bruise

    First Aid: Bruise

    A bruise forms when a blow breaks blood vessels near your skin’s surface, allowing a small amount of blood to leak into the tissues under your skin. The trapped blood may cause a bruise that at first looks like a black-and-blue mark and then changes color as it heals. If your skin isn’t broken, you…

  • First Aid: Choking

    First Aid: Choking

    Choking occurs when a foreign object lodges in the throat or windpipe, blocking the flow of air. In adults, a piece of food often is the culprit. Young children often swallow small objects. Because choking cuts off oxygen to the brain, give first aid as quickly as possible. The universal sign for choking is hands…

  • First Aid: Corneal Abrasion

    First Aid: Corneal Abrasion

    A corneal abrasion is a superficial scratch on the clear, protective “window” at the front of your eye (cornea). Your cornea can be scratched by contact with dust, dirt, sand, wood shavings, metal particles, contact lenses or even the edge of a piece of paper. Corneal abrasions caused by plant matter (such as a pine…

  • First Aid: Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR)

    First Aid: Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR)

    Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is a lifesaving technique useful in many emergencies, including heart attack or near drowning, in which someone’s breathing or heartbeat has stopped. The American Heart Association recommends that everyone — untrained bystanders and medical personnel alike — begin CPR with chest compressions. It’s far better to do something than to do nothing…