injuries quick facts

Note to on-line users not in my classes: this is a study sheet. It is not complete instruction in first aid. In a formal class you will learn steps for recognizing emergencies, how and when to call 911, protecting yourself, (including how to obtain consent and prevent disease transmission), how to prioritize care and much more.


CHECK the scene for safety. Quickly evaluate- location, problems, dangers, number of victims, behavior of victims/bystanders, need for additional assistance

Check the injured person, following standard precautions. (Put on your personal protective equipment, at least gloves, and in some cases a face mask/bandanna, glasses/goggles, gown.)

CALL 9-1-1 or the local emergency number if necessary.

To CARE for a person who is bleeding—


Obtain Consent Before Providing Care, keep getting consent as you do new things

    Identify yourself

    State level of training

    Explain what you observe, why you think help is needed

    Explain what you plan to do

If you did not do so before this, put on your personal protective equipment (at least gloves, and in some cases a face mask/bandanna, glasses/goggles, gown)

Cover the wound with a dressing. To minimize the chances of infection this bandage/gauze should be sterile.


Apply direct pressure, hard and steady, until bleeding stops. You should apply pressure for at least 5 minutes before taking your hand off the dressing to see if the pressure worked.

(In the meanwhile, carefully remove rings, etc. that could cut off circulation if swelling occurs.)


Cover dressings with a roller bandage. Tie or tape it in place. As appropriate, check fingers or toes for feeling, warmth and color to insure the bandage is not too tight.

If bleeding does not stop—

.. Apply additional dressings. Do not remove the first dressing as it can disrupt the formation of a clot and re-start bleeding.

.. Take steps to minimize shock.

Note: Wash hands with soap and water after giving care, even if you are sure the gloves you wore fully protected you.

open wound types:

    Abrasion (scrape – most common type of open wound)

    Laceration (cut)

    Avulsion (portion of the skin torn away)


Will this wound require stitches?

A basic rule of thumb is that stitches will probably be needed if:

    the edges of the skin do not fall together

    the laceration involves the face

    any wound over 1/2 inch long

Some first aid supply stores sell suture kits, others recommend crazy glue. They are not needed, even out in the field, and closing a would can cause a dangerous, even life threatening infection. Leave closure of wounds gaping over 1/2 inch to a health care provider.

If you go to the Krazy Glue webpage at: and click on I’ve heard it was invented to seal battlefield wounds, you will find the statement “Instant Krazy Glue ® products should not be used for wound care.”

Signs and Symptoms of Shock


    Rapid/weak pulse

    Rapid breathing

    Pale, ashen, or bluish/cool/moist skin

    Excessive thirst

    Nausea and vomiting

    Drowsiness/loss of consciousness

Signs and symptoms of internal bleeding

…Signs and Symptoms of Shock above and:

tender, swollen, bruised area of the body

sometimes bruising is not visible on the surface, put the area feels hard

vomiting or coughing up blood

becoming faint, drowsy, confused


Treatment for closed soft tissue injuries


Rest to allow clots to form. Do not move or straighten the area


Cold: apply plastic bag of ice (with a thin barrier between the ice and skin) 20 minutes on, 20 minutes off

Elevate above heart level unless it causes more pain

Signs of wound infection

(Especially watch punctures for early signs of infection.)

pain does not get better a few days after the injury

increasing pain, swelling or tenderness

small pimple over the wound

swelling beyond what might be considered normal for that wound

pus (with or without odor) coming from the wound (varies from white to pink or light green)

redness spreading from around the edges of the wound, progressing to red streaks extending from the wound up a limb


advanced: chills and fever, swollen glands in the groin, armpit or neck


For an object embedded in the eye—

.. DO NOT attempt to remove an object embedded in the eye.

.. Place a sterile dressing around the object in the eye; stabilize dressing around the objects in the eye; stabilize the object, such as with a paper cup, for support.

.. Bandage loosely and do not put pressure on the injured eye/eyeball.

.. Seek immediate medical attention.

For small foreign bodies in the eye such as sand or other small debris—

.. Tell the person to blink several times to try to remove the object.

.. Gently flush the eye with water.

.. Seek medical attention if the object remains.

For chemicals in the eye—

.. Flush the eye continuously with water for at least 20 minutes or until EMS personnel arrive. Always flush
away from the uninjured eye.

Severed Body Parts


.. Wrap and bandage the wound to prevent infection.

.. If bleeding is significant, give care to minimize shock.

.. Wrap the severed body part in sterile gauze or a clean cloth.

.. Place the severed body part in a plastic bag.

.. Put the plastic bag on ice (but do not freeze it)

.. Be sure it is taken to the hospital with the victim, since doctors might be able to reattach it


.. Have the person sit leaning slightly forward.

.. Pinch the nostrils together for about 10 minutes.

.. Alternatively, apply an ice pack to the bridge of the nose, but do not damage skin tissue by applying it directly to the skin.

If bleeding does not stop—

.. Apply pressure on the upper lip just beneath the nose.

.. Send someone to call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number if the person loses consciousness; position the person on the side to allow blood to drain from the nose.

Note: Seek medical attention if the bleeding persists or recurs or if the person says it results from high blood pressure

After the bleeding stops—

.. Have the person avoid rubbing, blowing or picking the nose, which could restart the bleeding.

Injuries to the Abdomen

If organs are exposed in an open wound

.. Do not apply pressure to organs or push them back inside.

.. Keep the person lying down with his or her knees bent, if that position does not cause pain.

.. Put a folded blanket or pillow under the knees to support them in this position.

.. Carefully remove any clothing from around the wound.

.. Loosely apply moist, sterile dressings or a clean cloth over the wound. (Warm tap water can be used to wet the dressing.)

.. If available, loosely cover this dressing with plastic wrap

.. Place a cloth over the dressing to keep organs warm.

.. Give care to minimize shock.

If organs are not exposed—

.. Keep the person lying down with knees bent, if that position does not cause pain.

.. Put a folded blanket or pillow under the knees to support the person in this position.

.. Give care to minimize shock.

Care for Muscle and Bone Injuries

    Rest to allow clots to form


    Cold: apply a plastic bag of ice (with a thin barrier between the ice and skin)

    Elevate above heart level unless it causes more pain


.. Splint an injury only if the person must be moved;

.. Splint an injury only if it can be done without causing the person more pain or discomfort;

.. Splint an injured limb in the position you find it; and

.. A splint should immobilize the areas above and below the site of the injury.

CHECK the scene for safety.

Check the injured person following standard precautions.

CALL 9-1-1 or the local emergency number if necessary.

The first steps to CARE for a person who has an injured limb—


Obtain consent.

Support the injured area above and below the site of the injury.

STEP 2 Check for feeling, warmth and color. (If you are not able to check warmth and color because a sock or shoe is in place, check for feeling.)

Common Signs and Symptoms of Musculoskeletal Injuries


    Bruising and swelling

    Significant deformity


    Bone protruding from wound

    Inability to use affected part normally

    Grating bones

    Heard a napping or popping sound

    Cause of injury, such as fall from height, suggests that the injury may be severe


Types of Burns

    Superficial (first-degree)

    Partial-thickness (second-degree)

    Full-thickness (third-degree)

Critical Burns

    Burns causing breathing difficulty

    Burns covering more than one body part or a large surface area

    Burns on the head, neck, hands, feet, or genitals

    Suspected burns to the airway (burns to the mouth and nose may be a sign of this)

    Any partial- or full-thickness burn to children or the elderly

    Burns from chemicals, explosions, or electricity

Care for thermal (heat) Burns

    Stop the burning by remioving the person from the source of heat

    Cool burned area with cool water

    Cover burned area with a sterile dressing

    Take steps to minimize shock

    Keep the victim from getting chilled or overheated


see also:

First Aid Facts and Fallacies

Cultural issues in first aid

wilderness first aid outline

first aid for public safety personnel study guide

How to pass a Red Cross written test

Bloodborne Pathogens quick facts

CPR quick facts

AED quick facts

Common mistakes in Professional Rescuer CPR skills

Oxygen administration quick facts

fast, basic neurological exam


Simple secondary survey study sheet has:

Times to suspect a spinal injury: (and use a jaw thrust instead of a head tilt, chin lift).

Reasons why a person might become unconscious or semi-conscious (AEIOU TIPS)

causes of altered mental status, fainting, seizures,

Signs and symptoms of a concussion

care for a stroke

normal respiration, pulse, temperature

and a detailed simple secondary survey (SAMPLE, opqrst)


You can download the American Red Cross First Aid/CPR/AED participant’s manual to your laptop for free (or make a printed copy) at:

first aid text cover Red Cross 2016