First Aid Myths That We Need To Stop Doing

We learned it from our grandparents. We saw it done on someone, too. But did you know that there are age long first aid treatments that are completely false?







Let us learn about these common first aid misconceptions so that we can stop doing them. It is also important to note that First Aid is only meant to alleviate the pain of the patient while waiting for the paramedics. We still need to seek professional medical help so that they can give proper assessment and treatment can to the injured person.

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Bleeding wound

Myth: Put it under running water

Do not place a large bleeding area under running water. It will wash away the clotting agents that would help stop the bleeding.

What to do:

You need to put pressure on the wound. Cover it with a pad, not cotton, to slow down the blood flow.


Myth: Apply butter or toothpaste to the burned area

Using these home solutions are not right for burns. These home remedies could even cause infection to the injured site.

What to do:

Put the burnt area under cool running water for at least 20 minutes. The cool water will help relieve the affected area. It is also a good idea to keep burn ointment in your medicine cabinet.


Myth: Tilt your head back to stop the bleeding

You want the blood to flow out because it could flow to your throat and cause you to vomit.

What to do:

Tilt your head forward and use a tissue to absorb the blood from your nose. Do not forget to breathe through your mouth.


Myth: Slap the back of the person suffering from choking.

Instead of coughing the object out, hitting the back could even force the object deeper in the throat.

What to do:

Apply the Heimlich maneuver. Please click the following link to learn the maneuver. ( If the victim is no longer breathing or is unconscious, you need to apply CPR.


Myth: Make the poisoned person vomit

The poison ingested may cause different reactions to the person. As such, inducing vomiting is not always the right solution for poisoning.  Vomiting could even make things worse for the patient because some chemical may have a burning effect. If the patient vomits, the chemical will go up to the throat again causing more damage.

What to do:

Know the particular poison the person took and call an emergency poison hotline to know the proper first aid to apply.


Myth: Lodge a spoon in the mouth of someone suffering from a seizure.

It’s not true that a person suffering from a seizure could swallow their tongue. Do not give a drink or put anything in the mouth of the patient because it can block the person’s airways.

What to do:

Keep the patient away from dangerous objects that could fall and injure them. Once the seizure is over, turn the person to their side to keep their airway open.

Physical Injuries

Myth: Move the injured person to a comfortable position

You may risk causing more damage when you attempt to move an injured person

What to do:

You should only move them if the injured person is in immediate danger. You need to apply something to support the injured part if you think the victim has a broken bone. If you are not sure, just do not move the patient and call for help. The paramedics can safely transport the injured person to the nearest hospital.

While saving someone is an instinct. Remember not rush to the scene and apply first aid if you do not have proper training. Even if you mean well, giving the wrong first aid treatment to a person could cause more harm than good. The best thing you can do if you are not trained to do first aid is to call for help.