Most of us know to apply pressure to a cut to cease bleeding or not to move someone who may have a back injury, but would you know how to react if your tooth got knocked out, a spider bit you, or your neighbor fell off the roof and got knocked out? Better safe than sorry, as the old saying goes. Read on for proper procedures.
Knocked Out Tooth: A tooth that is knocked out is not necessarily lost forever, but you should make it a point to get to the dentist as soon as possible. In the meantime, if you have the tooth, try to place it back in the socket. Use gauze or a tea bag to bite down gently to hold the tooth in place. If this is not possible, keep the tooth safe and clean in a container with milk or saliva, or keep it tucked in your lower lip or under your tongue, but do not swallow it.
Spider Bite: Most bites can be treated at home barring allergic reactions during which the entire body reacts. Non-emergency symptoms are typically localized to the area of the bite. You may feel redness, swelling, itching, burning, numbness, or tingling. Wash the site with soap and water. Put ice on the area, not directly, for ten minutes. Remove for ten minutes, repeat. Watch the area for infection. If more severe symptoms occur, as can happen in the case of a black widow bite, remove rings, as the area may swell, and seek immediate medical attention.
Unconsciousness: If someone is unconscious, they will be unable to respond, and upon waking, they may be confused or disoriented. Call 911 immediately. Make sure the person is breathing, if not, begin rescue breathing and/or CPR. If the person is breathing, check for a spinal injury. If you do not detect a spinal injury, move the person's legs and hips into a right angel and move her onto her side. If there is a spinal injury, do not move the person. Spinal injury or not, keep the person warm and calm until emergency help arrives.
When in doubt seek medical attention, and in all circumstances, remain calm.
Source: By Vincent Iannelli, M.D. Photo: Jeffrey Collingwood