There are all kinds of folk tales about what to do and not do in extreme situations, and the BBC has published a great article on the topic. We recommend that you read it in full, but here’s a description:
Myth #1: Treat a Burn with Butter
Instead, you need to remove the clothes around it and run the burn under cold tap water for at least 20 minutes. This helps to cool the skin and anesthetize the affected area. When the burn has cooled, you can cover it with a clean cloth or even plastic wrap to protect against infection.
Butter can be useful, though, if you’ve burned yourself with hot tar or resin. Fatty oils can help remove the tar and relieve pain. As a result, a doctor can more easily access the wound.
Myth #2: Chest Compressions Will Hurt Rather Than Help If It Is Done on a Person Who Doesn’t Need It
Even if you aren’t sure if the person is breathing or not, you still need to initiate artificial respiration. This can save their life.
Myth #3: In Addition to Chest Compressions, It’s Necessary to do Mouth-to-Mouth
It’s better to do artificial respiration without directly blowing air into the patient’s mouth. As a result, there are fewer pauses in the series of chest compressions, and this helps blood flow more quickly to the brain. But this doesn’t apply to children or those who were drowning, where mouth-to-mouth is still recommended.
Myth #4: You Shouldn’t Use a Defibrillator Unless You Are Sure the Heart Has Stopped
This is a dangerous myth! Defibrillators are stored in easily accessible places precisely so everyone can use them. You don’t have to work out for yourself whether the person who’s collapsed would benefit from electric shocks – the machine does this itself. If electroshock isn’t needed, the machine will not provide it.
Myth #5: Tilt Your Head Back to Stop a Nosebleed
To stop a nosebleed, it’s better to pinch the nose shut and lean forward for 10 minutes. If it doesn’t stop after a half-hour, then you need to see a doctor.
WARNING: The squeeze is only generally recommended and does not replace doctor recommendation. Once again, we advise you to read the whole article:
but it’s no substitute as well. And if you have a question about an extreme situation involving the eyes, go here: