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First Aid for Bites and Plant Poisoning

Animal and Human Bites Can Be Risky or Even Deadly but there is always a first aid for that

An estimated than one in every five people are victims of some kind of animal bite and also a small proportion are bitten by another person. Dogs account for almost 90% of all reported animal-bite injuries worldwide. The reason for high incidence of reported dog bites around the world is mainly because a lot of people keep dogs as their pets which increase their risks of acquiring dog bites.

animal bite first aid treatment

First Aid Renewal tips on how to handle animal bite

Human bites, although not as widely prevalent as animal bite bites can prove to be very hazardous if left untreated. The human mouth is considered the most unsanitary part of the human body since it contains a wide range of bacteria. Any bite from a person can significantly increase his/her risk of acquiring infection if not properly treated.

Rabies

Rabies is an extremely fatal condition caused by a virus found in warm-blooded animals that spreads from one animal to another via its saliva usually through a bite, scratch of the teeth against the skin.

An animal should be considered high risk of harboring the rabies virus if:

  1. The animal suddenly attacked without provocation.
  2. The animal is known to be high-risk species of rabies (skunk, raccoon, bats and feral dogs).
  3. The animal exhibited unusual behavior (friendly dog becomes extremely aggressive, a wild fox or raccoon seems to be docile).

It is very important to immediately report to the local animal control center animals suspected of rabies; they should be notified and the reported animal should be promptly captured for observation. If the victim was bitten by a healthy domestic dog, the animal should be confined and observed for the next ten days for any signs of illness. Find for some First Aid and CPR Renewal locations nearest to your location and get enrolled soon.

Plant Poisoning

More than 60 identified plants are known to cause severe allergic reactions, but poison ivy, poison sumac and poison oak are by far the most common cause of plant poisoning reported in regions where these plants are endemically thriving.

Recognizing Plant Poisoning

An allergic reaction usually occurs within the timeframe of 24-72 hours after initial contact with the poisonous plant. The signs of plant poisoning include the following:

  1. Rash
  2. Itching
  3. Blisters
  4. Redness
  5. Swelling

Watch this YouTube video on How to Treat an Animal Bite | First Aid

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Care for Plant Poisoning

To care for plant poisoning:

  1. If available, put on medical exam gloves to avoid being contaminated with the residue of the poisonous plant substance. Wash the affected area with soap and water immediately or as soon as possible when running water is available to remove most of the resin and oil on the skin.
  2. For mild allergic reactions, have the victim do the following:
  • Soak affected area in lukewarm batch incorporated with 1-2 cups of colloidal oatmeal.
  • Apply calamine lotion or calamine ointment if the skin becomes dry and cracked.
  1. For more severe reaction, care for the skin as you would normally would for a mild allergic reaction and seek medical help if symptoms can no longer be managed, worsens and victim experiences difficulty in breathing. Oral corticosteroids may be needed for a relief of inflammation reaction.

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First Aid Renewal Reference for this article:

Alton, T. et al (2012). First Aid, CPR and AED Standard 6th Ed. Jones & Bartlett Learning

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