12 First Aid Myths That Could Cause More Harm Than Good (VIDEO)

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The author of Prepper’s Pantry and Beyond the Prepper Stockpile

We’ve talked about the medical supplies you should stash away. We’ve talked about the skills you need to develop so you can use those supplies.  But there’s a ton of medical advice on the internet that is just terrible, as this video with two professional paramedics discussing first aid myths shows.

It’s important to note that giving the wrong first aid treatment can sometimes be more harmful than no treatment at all. It’s important that you call 911 if you can. Their operators are trained to help callers remain calm and to walk them through the correct steps.

First things first, remain calm.

Remaining calm is of the utmost importance, as Selco noted in this article with a video of an example of terrible first aid. It’s perfectly natural to be adrenalized in a first aid situation, but with the proper training, you can put that adrenaline to good use.

Without undermining those folks’ wish to help, it must be said that they overreacted in treating a wound that looked absolutely like a wound that does not require the use of a tourniquet.

In the survival movement (and not only there), a tourniquet is seen as a magical device that saves lives, and that almost should be used whenever blood occurs.

In reality, the explanation when you should use a tourniquet is very simple – whenever you can not stop the bleeding in any other way. The bleeding in the video looks like it could have been stopped by good old direct pressure without any problems. However cool the use of the tourniquet may look, there is (or there should be) common sense in using it.

Again, you use it when you can not stop massive bleeding in any other way because by using the tourniquet for example, on a leg like in the video, you are obstructing blood flow to the leg. From the point of application of the tourniquet, in other words, the leg is not getting blood and eventually, it will “die”.

That is the reason why you should use it only when other means are not stopping massive bleeding.  You use a tourniquet only in life-threatening situations.

Now, you as a prepper add to the fact that in the world without a running system (and hospitals) you should be extra careful when to use it, because “help is on the way” might not be an option. By applying an unneeded tourniquet on the leg, for example, you might turn a small wound into a situation when complicated surgical procedures might be needed.

Remaining calm will allow you to think clearly and help the victim. The more training you have, the more likely you are to remain calm.

12 First Aid Myths

Luckily, most people who have taken recent First Aid courses know that these myths are false. However, the last time I had to take a family member into the hospital for a concussion (just a couple of years ago), the doctor told us to wake her up every hour or so.

Check out these first aid myths.

Are you missing any important supplies or skills?

I’m up-to-date on my first aid training and have most of the items they mentioned, except for the defibrillator. They’re pretty expensive additions to your medical kit. (The one they showed us how to use in the video is about 2 grand.)  Here’s another option but it’s still over a thousand dollars. If I had a family member with heart problems, had the budget, and lived in a place where the ambulance wouldn’t reach us in time I would invest in one.

Here are some articles related to what they talked about plus a few other important pieces of first aid knowledge

Did you believe any of these first aid myths?

Were any of these first aid myths a surprise to you? Did you believe them previously? Are there any myths or common misconceptions you want to add? Share your thoughts about first aid myths in the comments.

About Daisy

Daisy Luther is a coffee-swigging, adventure-seeking, globe-trotting blogger. She is the founder and publisher of three websites.  1) The Organic Prepper, which is about current events, preparedness, self-reliance, and the pursuit of liberty; 2)  The Frugalite, a website with thrifty tips and solutions to help people get a handle on their personal finances without feeling deprived; and 3) PreppersDailyNews.com, an aggregate site where you can find links to all the most important news for those who wish to be prepared. Her work is widely republished across alternative media and she has appeared in many interviews.

Daisy is the best-selling author of 5 traditionally published books, 12 self-published books, and runs a small digital publishing company with PDF guides, printables, and courses at Learn.TheOrganicPrepper.com You can find her on FacebookPinterest, Gab, MeWe, Parler, Instagram, and Twitter.

Daisy Luther

Daisy Luther

Daisy Luther is a coffee-swigging, globe-trotting blogger. She is the founder and publisher of three websites.  1) The Organic Prepper, which is about current events, preparedness, self-reliance, and the pursuit of liberty on her website, 2)  The Frugalite, a website with thrifty tips and solutions to help people get a handle on their personal finances without feeling deprived, and 3) PreppersDailyNews.com, an aggregate site where you can find links to all the most important news for those who wish to be prepared. She is widely republished across alternative media and  Daisy is the best-selling author of 5 traditionally published books and runs a small digital publishing company with PDF guides, printables, and courses. You can find her on FacebookPinterest, Gab, MeWe, Parler, Instagram, and Twitter.

Leave a Reply

  • Great info for the most part.
    However it is based upon having access to 911 and advanced medical care.
    During extreme SHTF, you probably won’t have that option.

    So for Preppers, they need info that will apply when there is no medical care available.
    Something more like what is in this book.
    The Survival Medicine Handbook: The Essential Guide for When Help is NOT on the Way,
    4th Edition
    by Joseph Alton MD (Author), Amy Alton APRN (Author)

    • Take it a step further: Get certified as an EMT, then take the NOLS WIlderness EMT course.
      Real world training in a setting with no access to modern facilities.
      Even the doctor in my class (CE requirement) said it was the closest thing to SHTF.

  • Good video. Spent 5 years as a volunteer for St John Ambulance and it taught me a lot of practical information and techniques. If you want training and can’t afford to take a course, I’d highly recommend you volunteer.

  • Cool water is a good idea for burns, but if you have any sort of burn treatment, it’s going to be better. Lavender oil and melon juice are home burn treatments that actually work.

    The reason people used rubbing alcohol on wounds is in order to disinfect. It’s true that soap is a good enough disinfectant in most cases. If you have good reason to think the wound is likely to get infected (for example, an animal or human bite) and you want something a little more effective than soap, a good home disinfectant is sugar.

    • Yes, Doly, I knew about the lavender oil but not melon juice! Is there a specific melon?

      As for the lavender oil, it has got to be a really good oil or it could do more harm than good. Coconut oil is another good remedy,, as well asa collodial silver gel.

  • Great video, thanks. Though I actually disagree with one point, especially in a situation where further help is not coming. That is with the choking one. Back slaps do work. I saved my sister’s life (she was already an adult at the time). She was silently choking on bacon and no air at all was passing and she was turning blue. I was prepared to do abdominal thrusts if necessary but I was glad it wasn’t. I was surprised that they didn’t mention in the video but anyone who has had abdominal thrusts has to go to hospital afterwards because there is a risk of internal bleeding afterwards. Obviously breathing is more important, but if youu can manage with blows (hard hits, not slaps) to the back, then that is surely better.

    • I taught Red Cross first aid for many years. You are right it has to be a back blow not a slap. Use the lower part of your palm to help focus the force of the blow.

      I volunteer with my local fire department, right now as a dispatcher. Seriously considering taking first responder training.

      Thank you Daisy for all the great info! I learn a lot from the conversations!

  • Thank you for getting all this information to us and presentable. Seldom see it this way.

    For minor wounds and cuts, I highly recommend iodine to prevent flesh-like eating diseases or infections. Do it as soon as you can.

    • Why can’t you save them? If it’s youtube then insert the letters ‘pp’ after ‘youtube’ and then lick on reload. Good luck! There’s also some websites which offer free downloading options from many other websites. ; )

  • A subject near and dear to my heart, not only because of my medical background, but because I suffer from some of the chronic issues which will eventually end my life.
    One thing that’s seldom discussed enough, is what post incident care will be available to us after the collapse? How will we access it? Or are we reduced to the state, where First Aid is the only Aid available? Many of these are unknowns, but it is something we need to consider. Restarting a heart when the damage can’t be repaired/treated may doom the victim to a more lingering death. Performing CPR on an unwitnessed arrest is questionable after 3 minutes.
    Originally, I kept a lot more medical supplies, until I took a CERT class that changed my views. There’s a lot of possible scenarios where the victim will be better off expiring in the absence of extensive surgical intervention. That’s a tough call to make, but it’s something we need to think about. The limits of skills, knowledge and resources may be stretched to the breaking point in a crisis, so learning to Triage is a skill we’ll all have to develop.
    For this reason, I wouldn’t invest in an AED. Are you going to be able to treat the underlying cause, when none of the wide array of tests used to determine the damage are available?

    I recommend every prepper take the EMT Basic Course, usually available through your local Community College. It will better prepare you for the types of Medical Emergencies one might face.

    We don’t know what we will have in the aftermath of the collapse. But I guarantee there will be times when all we’re doing is prolonging misery, and that’s something we’ll each have to deal with in our own way.

  • That was a cute video! They did a great job with it. And all great advice while there is still a ‘system’ to fall back on, as others have mentioned. I second the recommendations to learn basic and even advanced courses while you can. Have to agree with @Bemused tho, on how you would try to maintain a persons life in a shtf situation after something like a cardiac arrest. Not a pretty thought.

  • The CPR they showed was correct but incomplete. They didn’t check the airway first, big mistake. Also chest compressions often break ribs. They didn’t caution against going too far on the compressions. My training as a medical first responder was about 25 years ago. Some things have changed. There was a bite stick in our kit. It wasn’t used to keep them from swallowing the tongue, like the video said. It was supposed to help keep them from biting the tongue. As for sucking out the venom of a snake bite, it usually doesn’t help at all, but training from years ago mentioned that if the venom went into the blood stream sucking it out doesn’t work. It was supposed to help if the venom went into tissue. The officially sanctioned method will keep changing but training will help you decide what to do and should be adapted to the circumstance. Check the pulse before you use a defibrillator. If the heart is beating like it should the shock could stop the heart. Good video for debunking myths but not good for learning how to do medical first response.

  • Err some of that stuff is not old wife tales, that was accepted First Aid practice I know having a Merit badge for First Aid in one’s favorite paramilitary youth organization. The snake bite kite is to suction off some of the venom because it used to be in the woods that was your only chance to get out alive, no damn helicopter is not going to come and save you, I would avoid using the mouth to suction venom since it is VENOM, nothing to do with the germs in your snake venom is a far more powerful and deadly consideration than that. by the way though I do not recommend rubbing alcohol for major wound cleaning one better take in the idea of a wound infection being more important that something going ouch. Also they no longer want you to induce vomiting for poisons, well that depends on the type of poison, harsh acids you certainly do not want to do vomiting instead water and/or milk to neutralize the acid. In SHTF THERE IS NO HOSPITAL OR DOCTOR or very hard to get to as Selco I am sure will tell you. The slapping was standard too until the invention of the Heimlich Maneuver, I remember when it first made the news that this was the new way to deal with choking. All this seems to be about preventing lawsuits and making the hospitals money and not educating the public enough to handle emergencies to the full extent humanely possible

  • One subject that keeps coming up post SHTF is keeping in good health with partial / collapsed medical infrastructure. One subject I have not seen covered anywhere is the role traditional (safe) vaccinations might have in keeping one healthy in that situation. The sort of vaccines one normally gets when traveling in Africa etc.

    For a SHFT situation vaccines for Hepatitis A , Cholera, Typhoid etc could give a very real advantage in staying healthy. All diseases that were epidemic in Europe and the US not many generations ago and would revive in a SHTF scenario.

    Useful list here.


    Plus making sure one is up to date with the Tdap booster etc. For older people the Shingles vaccine also look like it might be good to have.

    It might be useful to have an article on how vaccinations might help in a SHFT situation. I’m talking truly effective and safe traditional vaccines. Not the untested and unresearched current SARs CoV 2 de facto placebo vaccines.

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