First Aid Care for Nose and Mouth Injuries
The nose is made up of cartilage and is often the most vulnerable body part that gets injured especially in sports, physical assaults and motor vehicular accidents. The nasal passage itself is an integral part of the pulmonary system mainly because it is one of two passageways from which air can be transported into the lungs where oxygenation takes place.
Care for Nosebleeds
Since the nose is packed with olfactory nerves and tiny blood vessels, a blow to the nose, sudden forceful sneezing or careless blowing of the nose can cause mild to severe nosebleeds.
There are two common types of nosebleeds:
• Anterior nosebleeds (front of the nose) are the most common type which are approximately 90% of cases being reported as anterior in nature and are essentially easy to care for.
• Posterior nosebleeds (back of the nose) involves massive bleeding that drains back from the nose into the mouth and down the throat. This type of nosebleed is extremely dangerous which require emergency care.
Below are basic first aid remedies for nosebleeds:
1. Place the victim in a seated position with the victim’s head slightly tilted forward.
2. Squeeze the soft parts of the nose between the thumb and two fingers with a firm pressure for at least 5-10 minutes (bleeding will normally stop after 10 minutes).
3. Seek medical care if bleeding continues more than 10 minutes or victim profusely bleeds despite care which might be indicative of a fractured nose.
irst Aid Kits and Tips : Stopping a Nose Bleed: First Aid for Minor Injuries
Since the nose is made up primarily of soft tissue cartilage, a forceful blunt blow to the nose can cause fracture and severe bleeding.
Recognizing a broken nose
The signs of a broken nose normally include the following:
1. Profuse bleeding and difficulty breathing through the nostrils.
2. Pain and swelling around the site of injury.
3. Obvious misalignment and deformity of the nose.
Upon initial assessment that a broken nose is evident, the following are first aid remedies for a broken nose:
1. If bleeding is present, immediately provide care for nosebleed.
2. Apply ice or cold pack to the nose. Never attempt to realign or straighten a deformed nose.
3. Seek medical care for further evaluation and management.
Mouth injuries involve any injury that is sustained to the lips, tongue, gums and teeth. Such injuries involve considerable discomfort as well as anxiety since it hampers our ability to speak and communicate.
Bitten lip or tongue
To care for a bitten lip or tongue do the following:
1. Apply direct pressure if bleeding is evident.
2. Apply an ice or cold pack.
3. If bleeding does not stop or the wound causing the injury is deeply cut, seek medical care.
A knocked-out tooth is an immediate dental emergency. For a successful re-implantation of the tooth, it is very important to locate and handle the dislodged tooth carefully to prevent it from drying out as well as extending any functioning ligaments and fibers on the roots from further damage.
Care for a knocked-out tooth
1. Place a folded or rolled gauze pad in the socket to help control bleeding from the uprooted tooth.
2. Handle the tooth with extreme care by holding the tooth by the crown and not the root to prevent further damage to the exposed nerves.
3. Keep the tooth moist by placing the tooth inside a container and have him/her spit saliva to keep it moist while on route to a dentist for further management and possible surgery.
Alton, T. et al (2012). First Aid, CPR and AED Standard 6th Ed. Jones & Bartlett Learning