HomeHealth A-ZCardiologyBasic First Aid Tips: Drowning, Burns, Electric Shock, Snake Bite, Bee Sting...

Basic First Aid Tips: Drowning, Burns, Electric Shock, Snake Bite, Bee Sting and Dog Bite

What to do in case of burns, electric shock, snake bite, bee sting and other emergencies?

Minor accidents can occur at any time. It helps to be prepared with timely and correct responses to minimise any damage and aid quick healing. We have for you a handy checklist of things to do in case of minor burns, drowning, electric shock, snake bite, bee sting and dog bite.

In case of Drowning

  • Ensure your own safety.
  • Call for help and alert Emergency Team.
  • Remove person from the water.
  • Check for the pulse-Radial/Carotid (preferable) & check for a response.
  • If no pulse and breathing, start CPR (Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation), by placing the heel of the palm over the chest-Nipple line & give compressions 100-120 per minute.
  • Start artificial breathing by making the victim’s airway straight, i.e., head tilt and chin lift. Then take a normal breath, cover the victim’s mouth with your mouth to create an artificial air tight seal.
  • Start compressions and breathing in a ratio of 30:2.
  • If patient is having pulse but no breathing, give only artificial breathing/mouth to mouth breathing.
  • Make sure if no spinal injuries give support and put victim in recovery position, i.e., in side-ward position to allow fluid to drain from the airway.
  • Change clothes, keep victim warmth, remove if any visible foreign bodies present.
  • Once emergency rescue team available, get the victim to hospital.

In case of Minor Burns:

  • Remove the clothes over the affected area.
  • Place the burnt part under normal running water for 10-15 min, wash it till the pain persist.
  • Do not use ice-cold water or ice directly to clean the burnt part.
  • Gently remove any rings/watches/belts/jewellery/shoes etc, which might constrict the area and to avoid the swelling.
  • Dress with sterile gauze.
  • Do not apply any adhesive dressing or lotions.
  • Do not break the blisters.
  • Give the medical attention and treatment at the earliest.

In cases of Electric shock:

  • It is a medical emergency even if the person seems to be normal.
  • Identify the source of electric shock, unplug or off the appliance.
  • Separate the victim from the source of electric current by using non-conductive materials like wooden stick, plastic handle, chair, rubble material where one cannot interrupt the power supply.
  • In case of high-voltage electricity, local power company or industry has to shut-down the main power supply.
  • See for both entry and exit wounds.
  • If victim is not responding and no pulse, start CPR.
  • Electric shock effects the heart- many individuals may have rhythm disturbance i.e., arrhythmias, connect to de-fibrillator and if required give de-fibrillation shock.
  • Shift the victim to hospital as early as possible.

In case of Snake bite:

  • Maximum snakes in India are non-venomous, still treat all snake bites as poisonous.
  • Soon after a snake bite, keep patient in lying down position and search for fang marks.
  • Keep patient calm and ensure not get panic, as the elevated BP will fasten the circulation and venom spread in the body.
  • Call for help.
  • Ask the victim not to move the effected part, always place effected part below the heart level.
  • Do not suck the venom/cut the wound.
  • Apply pressure bandage over the affected limb for immobilisation and to reduce circulation of the venom.
  • Do not apply the tourniquet that can impede blood circulation.
  • Get the medical attention immediately.

In case of Bee sting:

  • Move away the victim from the place of incident occurred.
  • Remove the bee stings using a blunt-edged object, as the sting causes allergic reactions.
  • Check for any local irritation, redness, swelling & itching.
  • Apply anti-histamine lotion/cream if available (or) can apply ice-pack to reduce irritation.
  • Watch for signs of anaphylaxis.
  • Get medical attention immediately.

In case of Dog bite:

  • After a dog bite, immediately clean the wound under running water (preferable use soap for inactivation of virus).
  • After cleaning the wound, see if there is any abrasion or laceration & active bleeding from the wound.
  • See whether the dog is pet dog or street dog. If pet dog, enquire about the vaccination status of the dog.
  • Grades of Dog bite:a. Grade-I: touch or lick intact skinb. Grade-II: minor scratches and abrasion on intact skin but no active bleeding.c. Grade-III: puncture wound, laceration, exposure of saliva to mucous membrane or active bleeding +.Treatment:a. Grade-I: wash the bite site and Tetanus Toxoid injectionb. Grade-II: wash the bite site and Tetanus Toxoid injection and Anti-Rabies vaccination-5 doses (Zero, Three, Seven, Fourteen, Twenty eight days)

    c. Grade-III: wash the bite site and Tetanus Toxoid injection and Anti-Rabies vaccination-5 doses (Zero, Three, Seven, Fourteen, Twenty eight days) + Rabies Immunoglobulin (intradermal injection).

  • DO NOT CLOSE THE WOUND/SUTURE THE LACERATION.
  • Daily dressing should be done.
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Verified By Dr Rajib Paul
MBBS; MD (General Medicine), Consultant Physician & Intensivist, Apollo Hospitals, Jubilee Hills, Hyderabad
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