First aid for DIY injuries
Leading first aid charity St John
Ambulance has issued first aid advice to people
who are thinking about doing some DIY around the home over the
forthcoming bank holiday weekend.
Each year over 200,000 DIY enthusiasts turn up at
hospital accident and emergency rooms*. In many cases,
knowing some first aid could save you that trip to A&E and
potentially save a life.
Training Development Manager at St John Ambulance, commented: ‘A
long weekend is a great time to get some extra work done around the
house but statistics show that
often stands for ‘doing injury to
yourself’. It’s important for everyone to learn
basic first aid skills whether it’s dealing with something
minor or being the difference between life and
Find out how to treat some of the most common DIY injuries:
Open wounds are by far the most common DIY
injury, causing around 80,000 hospital visits a year.
Accidents can happen at any time and it’s important to know how to
treat serious injuries. Should the unexpected happen, this
advice on bleeding could be
the difference between a life lost and a life saved.
Around 25,000 people a year end up with a bone
injury after doing some DIY around the home. You can help
to prevent further injury by following our first aid
advice for possible fractures.
Sprains and strains
Up to 17,000 people will require treatment for sprains
or strains as a result of home improvements every year.
There are some things you can do to help the injured person:
- Help the injured person to
sit or lie down comfortably, with some padding underneath their
injury to support it
- Cool the area with a cold
compress/ice pack to help reduce the swelling and pain
- Apply comfortable
support to the injury, by placing a layer of padding over the cold
compress and securing it in place with a bandage
- Support the injured
part in a raised position if possible
- If the pain is
severe or they are unable to move the injured part, arrange to get
them to hospital.
Electrical burns can be serious and should be treated with care:
Don’t approach a victim of high-voltage electricity until the
electrical source has been broken. Find out how you can treat
burns and scalds.
Splinters are common DIY injuries which carry a risk of
infection as they are generally small but unclean shards
of wood, metal or glass. They can be easy to remove using the
- Gently clean the
area around the splinter with warm water and soap
- Use tweezers to
grasp the splinter as close to the skin as possible
- Draw the splinter
out in a straight line in the same direction it entered the skin,
making sure it does not break off
- Carefully squeeze
the wound to encourage a small drop of blood. This will help flush
out remaining dirt
- Clean and dry the
wound and cover with a plaster or other dressing
- Never try and probe
the splinter with an object like a needle or you might introduce
- If the splinter is
too deeply embedded to remove or it lies over a joint then seek
- If you are unsure
if you are covered for tetanus, check with your GP.