ST JOHN AMBULANCE: How to deal with an injury to the mouth
St John Ambulance, the nation's leading first aid charity has teamed up with the Herald and Gazette to bring you some simple, but life saving, first aid tips '“ this week: dealing with mouth injuries.
Cuts to the tongue, lips or lining of the mouth range from trivial injuries to more serious wounds and bleeding from the mouth can be profuse and alarming.
In addition, there is a danger that blood may be inhaled into the lungs, causing problems with breathing.
Follow these simple steps to help:
• Ask the casualty to sit down, with their head forwards and tilted slightly towards the injured side, to allow blood to drain from their mouth. Place a sterile gauze pad over the wound. Ask the casualty to press the pad onto the wound for ten minutes.
• If bleeding persists, replace the pad. Tell the casualty to let the blood dribble out; if they swallows it, it may induce vomiting. Do not wash the mouth out as this may disturb a clot. Advise them to avoid drinking anything hot for 12 hours.
If a secondary (adult) tooth is knocked out, it should be replanted in its socket as soon as possible.
If this is not possible, ask the casualty to keep the tooth inside their cheek if he feels able to do this.
Alternatively, place it in a small container of milk to prevent it from drying out.
Do not clean a knocked-out tooth as this may damage the tissue and reduce the chance of re-implantation.
• Gently push the tooth into the socket and press a gauze pad between the top and bottom teeth to help keep the tooth in place.
• Ask the casualty to hold the tooth firmly in place and take or send them to a dentist.
• For those looking for quick, easily accessible first aid information, the St John Ambulance app is available free on smartphones and the website (www.sja.org.uk) offers demo videos, an interactive game, and lots of free advice. For more information about first aid courses please call 0303 003 0101.
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