7 Injury Treatment Myths and What to Do Instead

7 Injury Treatment Myths and What to Do Instead

Having the right training or simple information can make a huge difference during a crisis that requires first aid. Unfortunately, with today’s faux Internet knowledge everyone has become a bona fide expert on how to handle various injuries. Just ‘Google it’ and your answer is laid out like instructions on building a model airplane.

What most don’t take into consideration is that unless vetted by a reputable source, searching the web or following someone’s flippant advice could result in some wrong aid instead of first aid.

Take note of these 7 injury treatment myths and what to do instead so you don’t end up hurting yourself or someone else, while attempting well intentioned, but misinformed emergency care.


The natural response to blood pouring out of your nose is to tilt your head back. Wrong move! If this is done blood will pool in the back of your throat where it eventually finds its way to the stomach potentially causing nausea and vomiting.

Instead, tilt your head forward while pressing your nostrils and breathing through your mouth. If, after 30 minutes the nosebleed does not subside seek medical help.

Burn Notice

It was once thought that spreading butter on a burn would offer a protective, soothing coat. It was found, however, that butter may cause infection and make it difficult to treat the burn later. Toothpaste is another wrong choice as this too can increase an infection risk. Also, do not use ice. That’s right, most people will run for a cup of ice to immerse their burn in, however, this can reduce healing blood flow, damage skin tissue and possibly cause shock.

For minor burns run under cool tap water for about ten minutes, add antiseptic cream and see your doctor.

No More Ipecac for Poison

Extracted from the root of a Brazilian plant called the Carapichea ipecacuanha, ipecac has been used for centuries to induce vomiting during a potential poisoning crisis. It has been found, however, that according to a study from the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, ipecac did not reduce poisoning episodes. This is believed to be the result of ipecac not being able to extract all of the ingested toxins. In addition, ipecac can cause stomach and esophagus irritation.

If poisoning occurs immediately call the poison control hotline at 800-222-1222 where they will give you step by step instructions. Also, activated charcoal that can be purchased in health food stores is a better choice to have in the home as this is capable of soaking up toxins in the stomach before they enter the blood stream.

Anti-Tourniquet Blood Line

When bleeding occurs from a wound it can be a very scary scenario, especially on or near the skull as this is a high vascular area that often produces more bleeding than usual. A tourniquet is often the go-to response for immediately stopping blood flow. This is when a piece of material is tightly wrapped above the wound to constrict the arterial leak. It has been found, however, that a tourniquet can cause tissue damage and possibly the loss of a limb when used haphazardly instead of only in a high emergency situation.

The American Red Cross has always advised as to applying direct pressure to a wound with a clean cloth. If the cloth becomes saturated do not remove it but instead keep applying pressure while another clean cloth is placed right on top until you can seek medical help.

A Few More Myths

Here are a few more quick reference first aid myths that may do more harm than good:

  • Egg for Internal Bleeding – Some suggest rubbing a hard boiled egg over internal bleeding such as a bruise. This may cause more bleeding. Instead, use an ice pack over cloth at the site to reduce swelling.
  • Pass Out Garlic – Shoving a garlic clove or sliced onions under a fainted person’s nose does nothing. In fact, it only prolongs that person receiving essential, sometimes lifesaving treatment where time is of the essence. If someone passes out, place them face up with their head on something soft, raise their legs above their heart and call for medical help and save your garlic and onions for a nice meal.
  • Sticky Stinger – If a bee sting arises do not squeeze the stinger. This is the worst advice because you will pump more bee venom into the bloodstream. Instead, quickly pull the stinger out with a pair of tweezers making sure to get it all. Then apply a swipe of alcohol and an antihistamine cream. if the person is allergic, try to have them ingest an antihistamine pill and immediately seek medical help to avoid respiratory shut down.

Take heed of these 7 injury treatment myths and what to do instead. It could be a lifesaving lesson.