First Aid: Bruises

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The most common cause of bruises is trauma or injury to the skin.

Management of bruises is simple. Below are the steps to manage this easily.

Step #1 – Reduce the swelling

Elevate the affected area if possible. If the bruise is on the arm, lift the arm up, and if it is on the leg, then keep the leg elevated above the level of the hip.

Apply ice or a cold pack onto the bruise. Wrap the ice in a cloth and apply it for short periods of time onto the swollen area. Do not apply ice directly on the bruise for too long as this can damage the skin.

Step #2 – Take painkillers

If you are suffering from pain, try a simple painkiller such as paracetamol (Crocin). Avoid Aspirin or Ibuprofen (Brufen) as this can thin the blood and make bruising worse.

There are certain situations when you need to seek medical help. The table below lists this.

WHEN TO SEEK MEDICAL HELP
  • You find that you bruise easily even without injuring yourself.
  • The bruise is large and painful.
  • You notice bleeding from different sites along with bruising on the body. These sites can include the nose and gums.

These changes could indicate a problem with the way your blood clots. You may need further tests to diagnose this.

After-care

Bruises can take a few days to settle down and disappear completely. Once the bruise has stopped getting bigger, apply a warm wash cloth on the bruise 5 to 6 times a day for a few minutes. This will help heal the bruise quickly.

It can take up to 2 weeks for the bruise to completely disappear.

Recommended purchase

This book by St Johns Ambulance, UK is a comprehensive review for the general public on how to manage simple problems at home. It is definitely worth having on your bookshelf for quick reference. We strongly recommend this.

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