ST JOHN Ambulance, the volunteer-led health charity, has teamed up with the Gazette to bring you some simple summer first aid tips.

This week, unit manager Joshua Hensman, takes us through what to do when someone has been bitten by an animal.

Bites from sharp, pointed teeth cause deep puncture wounds.

This can lead to tissue damage which will allow germs to enter the skin.

Therefore you need to treat any bite that breaks the skin, to prevent a risk of infection.   

What to do

  • Wash the wound thoroughly with soap and warm water to reduce the risk of infection being transferred from the animal   
  • Raise and support the wound and pat it dry, preferably with clean gauze from your first aid kit. Then cover it with a sterile wound dressing
  • If the wound is large or deep, treat the bleeding and call 999 or 112 for emergency help
  • If the casualty is not sure if they’ve had a tetanus jab or the wound is dirty, advise them to seek medical help straight away
  • If you think there’s a risk of rabies, call 999 or 112 for emergency help  
  • If the bite is from another human, there’s also a small risk of getting hepatitis or the HIV/AIDS virus. Advise the casualty to seek medical help straight away.

For more free first aid advice go to St John Ambulance’s website

or download the free first aid app from your app store.

For information about volunteering with St John Ambulance in Basingstoke, please contact Joshua Hensman on email