Over the past 5 years of teaching first aid and CPR classes I have heard of huge myths and easily debunked them all. I have decided to put together a list of the top 10 myths of first aid and CPR.
1. Getting into the same sleeping bag of a victim of hypothermia and both getting naked is a good remedy. This is simply untrue. A rescuer has so many better options of helping a victim of hypothermia. Getting naked with a person with hypothermia will also increase the rescuers likelihood of getting hypothermia. This is just another hypothermia myth.
2. Rescuers should suck out the poison of any major bite. This is an old wives tale. This is just a waste of time as the poison will course through the victims body as the rescuer wastes time sucking on the wood and possibly ingesting the poison.
3. Always induce vomiting when a poison has been swallowed. Not true. It may work in some cases and cause more damage in others. Check with poison control, contact EMS and read the poison label on instructions on what to do.
4. Drinking alcohol is a cure for hypothermia. Drinking alcohol is not a cure for any first aid emergency. Alcohol will make hypothermia worse!
5. When a shoulder has been dislocated a rescuer should put it back in. This one probably comes from too many Hollywood movies. A rescuer could cause permanent damage and further injuries by attempting to relocate the shoulder. Leave the major first aid treatment to the doctors at a hospital.
6. Mouth to mouth CPR is outdated. Mouth to mouth CPR is still the most effective form of ventilation for basic rescuers. Chances of disease transmission is low and ventilation’s are extremely effective.
7. Compression only CPR is best. Compression’s are a vital component of CPR. Compression’s without ventilation’s are effective, however, not as effective as with ventilation’s. Whenever possible, include ventilation’s.
8. Occupational first aid and other basic first aid courses are the same. The content of the two may be similar but the certification value is like comparing apples with oranges. Check with your employer to determine which certificate you need.
9. Baywatch got CPR right. CPR standards change approximately every 5 years. Baywatch was a show in the 90’s. CPR has changed standards a few times since. Take a hands on CPR course to learn the right standards.
10. Online courses are great at learning CPR and first aid. Hands on training is the best method of learning first aid and CPR. On-line courses are almost completely ineffective.