First aid for riders

  • Expert advice from HORSE magazine on what to do in the event of an accident

    Wounds on a human, just like a horse, must be treated promptly to stop any bleeding and prevent infection from setting in.

    When dealing with cuts and other wounds, the aims of the first aider are to:

    • control bleeding
    • prevent infection
    • prevent shock occurring

    Taking action

    1. Before treating the wound, put on a pair of disposable gloves – these will protect you and the casualty from cross-infection. If the affected area is an arm or leg, ask the casualty to elevate the limb. Remove watches or jewellery from the injured limb.

    2. Apply direct pressure to the wound using a sterile dressing or a clean pad. Secure this in place with a bandage.

    3. If the cut is serious, take the casualty to hospital for medical attention.

    Treating dirty wounds

    If there is dirt in the wound, wash the area and then cover with a sterile dressing (shiny side on the affected area). Secure the dressing with surgical tape.

    The same rules apply as with other wounds – wear disposable gloves, remove any jewellery from the injured area and elevate the limb.

    Don’t remove large foreign objects from a wound as you may cause it to bleed profusely – instead, take the casualty to hospital.

    The August issue of HORSE magazine (on sale Thursday 11 July) includes a useful free guide to First Aid for Riders. The guide is packed with useful advice on dealing with an unconscious rider to coping with fractures and breaks.

    Click here to subscribe to HORSE magazine, which is packed with horsecare features every month

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