Minor cuts, scratches and grazes
- Wash and dry your own hands
- Cover any cuts on your own hands and put on disposable
- Clean the cut, if dirty, under running water. Pat dry with a
sterile dressing or clean lint-free material. If possible, raise
affected area above the heart
- Cover the cut temporarily while you clean the surrounding skin
with soap and water and pat the surrounding skin dry. Cover the cut
completely with a sterile dressing or plaster.
- Put on disposable gloves
- Apply direct pressure to the wound with a pad (eg. a clean
cloth) or fingers until a sterile dressing is available.
- Raise and support the injured limb. Take particular care if you
suspect a bone has been broken.
Lay the casualty down
- Lay the casualty down to treat for shock.
Apply a sterile dressing
- Bandage the pad or dressing firmly to control bleeding, but not
so tightly that it stops the circulation to fingers or toes. If
bleeding seeps through first bandage, cover with a second bandage.
If bleeding continues to seep through bandage, remove it and
Treat for shock
Call for help
- Dial 999 for an ambulance
- Remember: protect yourself from infection by
wearing disposable gloves and covering any wounds on your
- If blood comes through the dressing do not
remove it – bandage another over the original
- If blood seeps through both dressings,
remove them both and replace with a fresh dressing, applying
pressure over the site of bleeding.
Objects in wounds
Where possible, swab or wash small objects out of the wound with
clean water. If there is a large object embedded:
- Leave it in place
- Apply firm pressure on either side of the object
- Raise and support the wounded limb or part
- Lay the casualty down to treat for shock
- Gently cover the wound and object with a sterile dressing
- Build up padding around the object until the padding is higher
than the object, then bandage over the object without pressing on
- Depending on the severity of the bleeding, dial 999 for an
ambulance or take the casualty to hospital.
Watch more first aid advice
These hints are no substitute for thorough knowledge of first
aid! St John Ambulance holds first aid
courses throughout the country.