In our homes accidents do happen no matter how safe we try and make our surroundings. The people most at risk for injuries around the house are the very young and the elderly. If the injury is not too serious then you can apply first aid to treat it, but more serious injuries should be referred to your health care provider or facility immediately. These are some of the common injuries around the house:
Bruises, Sprains, and Cuts – Whether its tripping and falling, or having a slip-up with everyday objects in the kitchen, bruises, sprains, and cuts are bound to happen. What is important though is the degree of seriousness of the injury. If someone accidentally cuts themselves with a kitchen knife and the wound is shallow and the bleeding can be stopped relatively fast, then the injury is not that serious. Once the site of the injury has been thoroughly disinfected and the wound bound or covered, all should be well. However, if the cut is very deep, near sensitive or critical body parts or arteries, or has a strong spurting blood flow which cannot be stopped, then it would be advisable to put pressure on the wound and take the injured person to the nearest healthcare facility for stitches or other advanced medical attention. Bruises and sprains are also usually not very serious, but again, if the swelling cannot be managed within 24 hours, or the injured person has consistent pain which doesn’t decrease, it would be better to take them to a healthcare facility or provider for further examination and possibly x-rays. Fall injuries should be carefully assessed, especially in young children and the elderly, and in particular, if the head was involved in the injury. The injured person should be checked for concussion symptoms such as headache, nausea, vomiting, lack of balance and coordination, light sensitivity or dizziness and taken to a doctor or hospital as soon as possible.
Fractures and Dislocations – As with sprains and bruising above, the seriousness of a fracture might not be immediately obvious, especially with hairline and simple fractures. But if the injury site remains swollen, develops severe bruising, has continuous unabated pain, and the mobility of that area is reduced or removed, then it’s better to have the injury checked out by a professional. With severe fractures like compound fractures, where the broken bone may stick out near the surface of the skin (closed fracture) or even poke through it (open fracture), the person must be taken to a hospital for immediate medical attention and possibly even surgery to re-align the broken bones which may also include reinforcing them with implants in very severe cases. Dislocation of bones occur when a bone joint, where two or more bones meet, experiences an abnormal separation. Trauma on a joint, such as a fall or other strong force applied to the area, can cause the bones to move from their normal position. The ligaments attached to the bone can also suffer a lot of damage at the same time, especially if the joint is moved. A dislocated joint usually can only be successfully treated and moved back into its normal position by a trained medical professional. Trying to reduce a joint without any training could substantially worsen the injury.
Choking – Children love putting things in their mouths, it is part of the growing up and learning process. But too often this exploratory behaviour can lead to an object getting stuck in the child’s airway and preventing them from breathing. However, choking is not just limited to children; adults too can often slip their concentration when eating or drinking by doing other things like talking, which can then cause things to go horribly wrong and result in choking. Encouraging the person to cough, slapping them hard on the back, or applying abdominal thrusts (the Heimlich maneuver), or chest thrusts are all possible ways to deal with a choking emergency. However, if these procedures don’t work and the person starts to show signs of asphyxiation, it is extremely important to get them to an emergency ward immediately.