Falls, electric shock, cut fingers: correct first aid for do-it-yourself injuries

Falls, electric shock, cut fingers: correct first aid for do-it-yourself injuries

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Crushes, cuts and the like: How do-it-yourselfers deal with injuries
Millions of Germans work as handyman every now and then. The activities can be dangerous. Every year, hundreds of thousands crash in their own households. Sometimes the ladder slides away, sometimes you hit the thumb with a hammer. Typical home improvement injuries are cuts, falls and bruises. Experts know what to do then.

Around 300,000 home improvement accidents every year
A visit to the hardware store reveals: Many Germans are apparently do-it-yourself fans. Regardless of whether wallpapering, re-flowing the bathroom or painting the walls: men in particular are passionate do-it-yourselfers. Unfortunately, accidents happen frequently, according to experts, around 300,000 a year. With the right protection, injuries can often be avoided but not completely ruled out. Experts know what to do if accidents happen while working at home.

Many overestimate their skills
Unfortunately, some DIY enthusiasts overestimate their skills. The consequences are accidents and injuries. However, risk factors are also poor scheduling, which leads to hectic pace and the wrong tool, explained Susanne Woelk of the Das Das Safe House in Hamburg in a message from the news agency dpa. "Injuries with sharp and pointed objects, such as knives and screwdrivers that are used improperly, are at the top," the campaign experts write in a brochure.

Accidents caused by falls
“They are followed by falls, for example from the ladder or from household items such as chairs or boxes that are misused. Buckets standing on the floor or cables laid across the work surface repeatedly lead to accidents due to stumbling, slipping and twisting, ”it continues. Operating errors, misuse of devices and lack of concentration are also causes of accidents that should not be underestimated. In the agency report, experts provide information about what do-it-yourselfers should do if something goes wrong.

A slipped hammer causes hellish pain
If the hammer slips and a finger is hit instead of the nail head, the damaged finger should first be cooled. If it is not visibly broken, one should wait one to two hours, according to Florian Gebhard, President of the German Society for Trauma Surgery in Berlin. If the pain does not subside or even increase over time, it is best to contact a doctor. "This can indicate a broken phalanx," said the expert. Bruising under the nail can also be extremely painful. They often need to be drained by needle.

When attaching the lamp, forget the fuse
If, for example, the fuse is forgotten when attaching the ceiling lamp, it quickly happens that you get an electric shock. According to Heribert Brück, spokesman for the Federal Association of Resident Cardiologists, the pain is comparable to that which radiates after a blow to the musician's bone in the elbow. If the current occurs on the hand, it usually flows over the body to the foot and out there - this also flows through the heart.

"This can lead to dangerous rhythm disorders," says Brück, "but it doesn't have to be". It depends on which phase of the heartbeat the current flows. If you experience dizziness, a feeling of uneasiness or if you get black in your eyes, you should have a doctor's examination.

In the event of an electric shock, the emergency doctor must sometimes be called
Life-threatening cardiac arrhythmias can also occur late. However, if you experience symptoms such as rapid heartbeat, stumbling, shortness of breath or cramps in your chest immediately after an electric shock, the emergency services must be called immediately, according to experts. The same applies to other extreme complaints or fainting.

Indications of an injured nerve
If you slip off with a cutter knife while cutting cardboard, blood quickly seeps out of a deep cut. According to the accident surgeon Gebhard, such an incision on the hands and feet can be critical because there are many nerves and tendons in these regions of the body that can be damaged. Therefore, you should watch the areas around the wound after stopping the bleeding.

If the finger tingles or feels like it has fallen asleep, this is a warning sign. "Then a nerve could be injured." The doctor emphasized that those affected should prefer to drive to the hospital too often, especially when cutting their extremities. Superficial wounds in areas with more fatty tissue and fewer nerves and tendons, such as those on the thigh, are less critical.

Detached phalanx should not come into direct contact with ice
In extreme cases, it can also happen that part of the finger is suddenly missing when working on the circular saw. Then it is important to act quickly, to stop the bleeding on the stump with a pressure bandage and to pack the phalanx dry in a plastic bag. According to Gebhard, this bag comes in another plastic bag filled with cold water and a little ice. The phalanx should never come into direct contact with ice. "The cells can freeze. The finger is then dead, ”said the expert.

Painful bruises
If you drop heavy objects on parts of your body when you do it at home and the area swells, the so-called PECH rule applies, as with injuries in sports, said Brück. The abbreviation stands for break, ice, compression (C for the English word compression) and, if necessary, putting it up.

If the swelling is superficial and clearly visible, it is usually harmless. With underlying swellings that go into the muscle, bruising could lead to a compartment syndrome, explained Brück. Then the muscle is less supplied with blood, in the worst case there is even a risk of paralysis.

Swelling in the chest and abdomen can also cause more damage due to the surrounding organs. According to the cardiologist, patients who still have pain after two days should see a doctor.

Spine injury after a fall
Falls are also very high in household injuries. As Gebhard explained, the injury patterns when a ladder falls are different. Some get a laceration on the head, others break their wrists. It can be the worst if you hit your back unchecked. If severe pain then occurs, the ambulance should be called immediately, according to Gebhard. "Spinal injuries cannot be felt."

After the fall, those affected should not get up in a hurry, but gather briefly and listen to their bodies. The doctor advised to call someone who conscientiously looks at you from the outside. If necessary, he can also provide first aid. (ad)

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