Division Title
Health and Wellness

First Aid Information

Note: the following first aid techniques are meant for occupational injuries at the NIH and for use on adults only.

Cuts & LacerationsPicture of First Aid Kit

  • For small cuts and lacerations, sponge scrub for 15 minutes with povidone iodine if immediately available.
  •  If not, scrub for 15 minutes with soap and water.
    • Scrubbing must begin within 5 minutes of injury.
  • Rinse thoroughly with water.
  • Apply a dressing.
  • Notify your supervisor if he/she is immediately available, and report to OMS.
  • For large cuts and lacerations, (or if bleeding from the cut/laceration cannot be slowed or stopped) call 911.

Needle Sticks

  • Sponge scrub for 15 minutes with povidone iodine if immediately available.Picture of Syringe
  • If not, scrub for 15 minutes with soap and water.
    • Scrubbing must begin within 5 minutes of injury.
  • Rinse thoroughly with water.
  • Notify your supervisor if he/she is immediately available, and report to OMS. 

Burns

  • For small burns (<5%), run the burn under cool running water for at least 10 minutes, or until the burn stops hurting.
  • If the burn requires further medical attention, loosely cover the burn with a dry, nonstick sterile or clean dressing.
  • Report to OMS.
  • For large burns, or if the burn blisters or covers the hands, feet, genitalia, or face, call 911.

Fluid Splashes to the Eyes, Nose, or Mouth

  • Flush site with water or saline for 15 minutes.
  • Report to OMS.

Sprains & Strains

  • RICE: Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation
    • Rest: do not move or use the injury.
    • Ice: apply an ice pack.
    • Compression: compress the injury (with an elastic bandage, for example) to help reduce swelling.
    • Elevate: elevate the injury if doing so does not cause pain.
  • Report to OMS.

Allergic Reactions

  • If the person has his/her own prescribed epinephrine pen, ask if you may assist them in using it.
    • Note the time of injection.
  • If the person is suffering from anaphylaxis (breathing problems, shock, change in mental status), call 911.
  • Report to OMS for minor allergic reactions.
  • If possible, save a sample of what caused the reaction.

Choking

  • Give abdominal thrusts until the person can breath, cough, or talk, or until the person stops responding
    • If the person stops responding, check if he or she needs CPR. If yes, provide CPR if you have been trained.
    •  Have a bystander call 911 while you are providing CPR, or call 911 yourself if you do not know how to provide CPR.
    • If no bystanders are immediately available, call 911 prior to providing CPR.
  • Visit our CPR/AED Training page to learn more about how to become certified in CPR.

Chest Pain/Acute Shortness of Breath

  • Have the person sit quietly.
  • Call 911.
  • Retrieve an AED.
  • Give aspirin, if available.

Sudden Weakness, Slurred Speech, or Inability to Move One Side of the Body

  • Call 911.
  • Note the time that symptoms began.