Health

RX for emergencies

Treat minor medical emergencies quickly and effectively

Maybe it’s happened to you. You’re chopping up veggies for dinner when the phone rings. Distracted, you slice open your finger instead of a carrot. Would you know what to do to stop the bleeding? When you’re faced with a minor medical emergency such as this one, knowing how to treat it quickly can help you heal faster and ward off an infection. The good news is you don’t need a fancy first aid kit to cope with accidents at home. According to Robyn Ashby, senior instructor at St. John Ambulance in Mississauga, Ont., if you have these five household items on hand, you’re set to tend to minor cuts, sprains and broken limbs. Keep in mind that these are only temporary solutions and you should see your doctor for complete treatment.

Cuts that bleed heavily

Household saver A sanitary napkin or baby diaper
How it works Thick absorbent products soak up the blood and help prevent further infection.
How to use it Apply direct pressure to the wound with the napkin or diaper until the bleeding stops.

Knocked-out tooth

Household saver A glass of milk
How it works The calcium in milk prevents the tooth from drying out and dying. If a tooth dies, your dentist won’t be able to reattach it. If you’re out of milk, water is your next best bet.
How to use it Immediately immerse the tooth in milk or water and go directly to your dentist or emergency department for further treatment.

Sprain

Household saver Frozen vegetables
How it works Like an ice compress, the bag of vegetables reduces swelling.
How to use it Wrap it in a tea towel and mould it around the injured area. Alternate between holding it on and removing it for 15 minutes at a time.

Broken arm

Household saver A garbage bag
How it works As a sling to secure your arm in place
How to use it Fold it in half diagonally and tie the narrow ends together around your neck

Broken leg or ankle

Household saver A thick magazine
How it works As a splint
How to use it Wrap it around your ankle or calf and secure it with tape.

Broken leg or ankle

Household saver A thick magazine
How it works As a splint
How to use it Wrap it around your ankle or calf and secure it with tape.