Common Misconceptions About First Aid

Fact Checked

Misconceptions About First AidMyths have been a part of every tradition and culture. But the problem with myths is that most people still believe in them even if they are not true. In emergency cases, for instance, administration of first aid and other treatment management are also surrounded by myths that have no concrete scientific basis. Listed below are some of the most common misconceptions about first aid.

Burns can be soothed with butter

There is no scientific evidence that mentions butter is a great remedy for burns. Butter is oil and oil is a great insulator of heat. It does not soothe the burn, but rather worsens it. Also, applying butter would just make it more complicated for doctors to treat the burn and may harbor more bacteria on the site of the injury.

Nosebleeds can be prevented by leaning the head back

When you lean your head back as you are having nosebleeds, there is a high chance that you will swallow and/or vomit the blood off your stomach. The correct way is to sit straight and lean forward to drain the excess the blood, as well as to pinch the nose and apply ice packs to stop the bleeding.

Applying tourniquet or tying the extremity can help stop the bleeding

Truth is, it could prevent the blood flow from moving in and out of the extremity. This could cause further tissue damage in the long run. The right first aid for a bleeding extremity is to wrap the wound, apply pressure on the bleeding site, and elevate them higher than the heart level. Experts recommend tourniquet use only in severe cases of bleeding, especially when waiting for the ambulance to arrive.

Moving an injured victim away from the car accident scene

Moving victims off a car accident is done only in life-threatening situations, especially when the car is on fire, the victim is at risk for acquiring more serious injuries from nearby sharp objects, or the victim is not breathing and needs to be given emergency CPR. If car accidents do not involve life-threatening conditions, however, never attempt to move the victim from the car, because if he/she is suffering from spinal cord injury or neck/head trauma, there is a high chance that you will likely cause more harm than good.

When a patient faints, put him in a sitting position with his head in between his knees

This is pure myth, because when a person faints, the normal response would be to assist the patient lie down in a comfortable position. Side lying position is the best position for a fainted victim to comfortably and normally breathe. Letting him sit with his head in between his knees could cause breathing problems and is a very uncomfortable position for a fainted victim.


“14 Greatest First Aid Myths.” Retrieved online on June 22, 2014 from

“10 First Aid Myths.” Health24. Retrieved online on June 22, 2014 from

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