First Aid Merit Badge Answers: A ScoutSmarts Guide


If you’re preparing to earn the Eagle-required First Aid merit badge, you’re in the right place! In this guide, I’ll be providing you with all of the answers that you’ll need to complete your merit badge worksheet. By learning proper first aid, you’ll have the skills necessary to respond to injuries and keep scout buddies safe!

You’ve reached part 2 of my ultimate guide to the First Aid merit badge! If you’re new to ScoutSmarts, you should first check out part 1 for the answers to requirements 1-7 of the First Aid merit badge.

If you’ve just come over from part one, congratulations! You’re halfway done. Once you finish this badge, you’ll be equipped with the knowledge needed to effectively treat almost any type of injury! Give yourself a big pat on the back. 🙂

It’s time to get back into it! Take a minute to closely review and think through requirements 8-14 of the First Aid merit badge. Then, you’ll be ready to learn the answers to each requirement and earn this ultra-useful Eagle-required badge!

What Are The First Aid Merit Badge Answers?

  1. Do the following:
    a. Show the steps that need to be taken for someone who has a large open wound or cut that is not bleeding severely.
    b. Show the steps that need to be taken for someone who has a large open wound or cut that is severely bleeding.
    c. Tell the dangers in the use of a tourniquet and the conditions under which its use is justified.
  2. Explain when a bee sting could be life-threatening and what action should be taken for prevention and for first aid.
  3. Describe the signs and symptoms and demonstrate the proper procedures for handling and immobilizing suspected closed and open fractures or dislocations of the
    a. Forearm
    b. Wrist
    c. Upper leg
    d. Lower leg
    e. Ankle
  4. Describe the signs, symptoms, and possible complications and demonstrate care for someone with a suspected injury to the head, neck, or back.
  5. Describe the symptoms, proper first-aid procedures, and possible prevention measures for the following conditions:
    a. Anaphylaxis/allergic reactions
    b. Bruises
    c. Sprains or strains
    d. Hypothermia
    e. Frostbite
    f. Burns—first, second, and third degree
    g. Convulsions/seizures
    h. Dehydration
    i. Muscle cramps
    j. Heat exhaustion
    k. Heat stroke
    l. Abdominal pain
    m. Broken, chipped, or loosened tooth
  6. Do the following:
    a. Describe the conditions under which an injured person should be moved.
    b. If a sick or an injured person must be moved, tell how you would determine the best method. Demonstrate this method.
    c. With helpers under your supervision, improvise a stretcher and move a presumably unconscious person.
  7. Teach another Scout a first-aid skill selected by your counselor.
Do the following:
8a) Show the steps that need to be taken for someone who has a large open wound or cut that is not bleeding.

To lower the risk of transmitting infections, if possible, wash your hands before coming into contact with any open wounds and wear a pair of sterile gloves. After administering emergency first-aid for any sort of wound that may require stitches, always seek the assistance of trained medical personnel.

If you’re treating a large wound or cut that is not bleeding, be sure to still clean the injury. Using hydrogen peroxide, disinfect the wound, then apply a bandage with antibacterial cream over the affected area. Monitor the wound and replace the bandage every few days.

Keep in mind that even after a wound stops bleeding, or even if it doesn’t bleed in the first place, it can still become infected. In the following weeks, look for signs of pus or redness around the injury, which may indicate possible irritation. If the area becomes inflamed, sore, or discolored, seek proper medical care.

8b) Show the steps that need to be taken for someone who has a large open wound or cut that is severely bleeding.

If someone is severely bleeding, your first priority is to limit their loss of blood. After having someone call for help, evaluate the victim using the triage method. If they’re conscious, breathing, and in an environment out of further risk, begin work to stop the bleeding. This can be done in 5 steps:

  1. Clean the wound: If possible, remove any dirt or debris from the wound to prevent infection. Do not pull out anything embedded in the wound as this could cause much more bleeding.
  2. Apply steady pressure to the wound: using a sterile cloth or bandage, press into the wound with a steady pressure to stop the bleeding. 
  3. Immobilize the wound: if blood soaks through the compress, do not remove it. Place another bandage over the first, and continue applying pressure. Eventually, the blood should clot and the bleeding should slow.
  4. Elevate the wound: by raising the wound above the level of the heart, gravity helps to halt the blood flow. Lay the victim down and have them raise the wound as high as possible. 
  5. Assist the victim until help arrives: once their wound has been treated, your task is to keep the victim as comfortable as possible until emergency medical personnel arrive. Ensure that they are not too hot or too cold, and talk to them to keep them calm.
8c) Tell the dangers in the use of a tourniquet and the conditions under which its use is justified.

A tourniquet should only be used on heavy, uncontrolled bleeding as a last resort. Tourniquets are tight wrappings, 2-4 inches above a wound, which restrict blood flow and effectively stop uncontrollable and potentially deadly bleeding.

However, it’s important to keep in mind that tourniquets can cause permanent damage, and often lead to the victim’s limb needing to be amputated. So, only use the tourniquet method when prepared to sacrifice a limb in order to save a life.

The following video (2:00) will walk you through how to create a makeshift tourniquet:

(Keep in mind that using a tourniquet is dangerous, and will likely result in the loss of a limb.)

A tourniquet should only be used on a victim who is bleeding at an uncontrollable rate from one of their appendages. For instance, if someone were to lose their finger or have their arm crushed, and were in danger of bleeding out, using a tourniquet may be the appropriate response.

9. Explain when a bee sting could be life-threatening and what action should be taken for prevention and for first aid.

In individuals with severe allergies to bee venom, just one sting could result in a fatal reaction called anaphylaxis. Anaphylactic reactions cause immediate and severe swelling in the neck and face, as well as difficulty breathing. This reaction can lead to suffocation, and prove fatal if left untreated.

Most people with severe allergies carry an EpiPen. When used by removing the safety cap and pressing the needle into the victim’s thigh, an EpiPen can counteract an anaphylactic reaction. However, the effect of an EpiPen is temporary, and the person must still quickly receive proper medical attention.

It’s also recommended that you remove the bee stinger immediately, as this will likely prevent some of the remaining venom from being released into the victim’s body. To do this, simply scrape a fingernail across the stinger to pull it out, or if that doesn’t work, use tweezers.

Describe the signs and symptoms and demonstrate the proper procedures for handling and immobilizing suspected closed and open fractures or dislocations of the:
10a) Forearm, 10b) Wrist, 10c) Upper leg, 10d) Lower leg, 10e) Ankle

A fracture is defined as any sort of broken bone. To treat a wound you believe to be fractured, first, stop any bleeding and then immobilize the injury. Do not attempt to straighten the break, as this should be done by a professional.

To immobilize a fracture, gently apply a splint to the affected area by taking two rigid pieces of material and sandwiching the fracture on either side. After applying a splint to the fracture, secure it by tying both rigid pieces of material together at the tops and bottoms, right above and below the fracture.

Using a splint on a fracture is a good idea if the victim cannot receive proper medical attention right away. A correctly-made splint will prevent a fracture from becoming any worse. As soon as possible, apply a cold compress to reduce swelling and seek help from a doctor.

A dislocation occurs when the ends of your bones are forced out of their normal position. Dislocations are treated in a way almost identical to how you would treat fractures. Immobilize the injury and seek medical help. Do not attempt to pop the joint back into place as this could cause further damage.

How To Handle Different Types of Fractures and Dislocations

While fractures of the forearm, wrist, upper leg, lower leg, and ankle are all handled differently, the same principles apply:

  1. Immobilize the wound so that the injured bone is not exposed to any more harm.
    • This could be done by sandwiching a broken forearm or leg with two rigid boards
    • It could also be done by using a soft splint to wrap around a broken joint so that its kept steady.
  2. Do not remove clothing around a fracture, continue using the limb, or attempt to reset the bones. The broken ends of bone could shift and damage blood vessels further.
  3. Apply a cold compress and seek proper medical attention immediately.

First aid techniques that involve broken bones are best learned visually and in a hands-on way. I’d recommend checking out Troop 50’s informative first aid article that provides some helpful graphics and explanations for treating different types of fractures. They do a great job of making this simple! 🙂

11) Describe the signs, symptoms, and possible complications and demonstrate care for someone with a suspected injury to the head, neck, or back.

A head, neck, or back injury can result in damage to the brain and spinal cord. These types of injuries can be life-threatening to the victim and are impossible to treat in the field. Watch the video (3:51) below for training on how to assess a head, neck, or back injury:

To keep the injury from becoming worse, make sure the victim remains absolutely still with their neck and back immobilized. Speak to them reassuringly, and ask them questions to gauge their mental state. Call 911 if the victim appears disoriented, and do not move them unless they are in immediate danger.

To identify a head, neck, or back injury, look for signs of swelling and broken bones in the head or spine. If the victim is conscious, examine them for signs of confusion, inability to remember basic facts, lightheadedness, slurred speech, or uneven people dilation.

If the victim exhibits any of the above symptoms or has fallen from a height above their own head, assume that a head, neck, or back injury has occurred.

Describe the symptoms, proper first-aid procedures, and possible prevention measures for the following conditions:
12a) Anaphylaxis/allergic reactions

Anaphylaxis is a severe allergic reaction that requires immediate treatment. By using epinephrine (an adrenaline shot), the symptoms of anaphylaxis can be reversed.

Signs of anaphylactic reaction appear as typical allergy symptoms such as a runny nose or rash. This can also be accompanied by coughing, difficulty breathing, weak pulse, or a sense of doom. Anaphylactic reactions require medical followup, even after epinephrine is administered.

12b) Bruises

Bruises, or contusions, appear as dark welts on the surface of one’s skin and are caused by damage to underlying blood vessels. A bruise may feel tender in the first few days, however, because the skin is not broken there is no risk of infection.

Bruises are typically caused by a blunt impact to any part of the body. Applying a cold compress to the bruise immediately after damage may reduce swelling and discoloration. A bruise will typically go away on its own after 2 weeks.

12c) Sprains or strains

A strain is an overextension of a muscle or tendon, whereas a sprain is caused by motion which tears the tissues around a joint. Therefore, sprains are worse than sprains and may lead to more bruising, swelling, and discoloration. In both cases, a cold compress should be applied to reduce swelling.

To treat strains or sprains, immobilize the injury, apply a cold compress, and stay off of it for a few days. Once the swelling goes down, after 2-4 days, you can apply heat to speed up recovery. However, if after a week the injury is still swollen and giving you problems, consider seeing a doctor.

12d) Hypothermia

Hypothermia is caused by one’s core body temperature falling below 95°F. While symptoms of mild hypothermia include shivering and confusion, in more dangerous cases the victim will not have enough energy to continue shivering and may fall unconscious.

If you notice someone is experiencing hypothermia, immediately warm them using extra clothing, fire, or through body heat. Do not suddenly re-warm the victim by placing them in a hot shower though, as this could lead to rewarming shock. Instead, re-warm them gradually.

12e) Frostbite

Frostbite occurs when extremities, such as fingers and toes, begin to freeze. Skin in the affected areas will turn blue, then white. If you notice frostbite setting in, evacuate to a warm area. Try not to wrap the affected area in anything, as this could cause some of the tissue to be killed off.

A better way to warm a frostbitten area is by running it under cool water. Then, slowly, increase the water temperature as the injury defrosts. To avoid frostbite, make sure to keep your fingers, toes, and ears warm and well covered.

12f) Burns—first, second, and third degree

Although heat is the most common type of burn, damage to bodily tissues caused by chemicals, electricity, sunlight, or radiation are also considered types of burns. There are 3 primary categories of burns:

  • First Degree: A sunburn would be a type of first-degree burn. The affected area will appear red and sensitive to touch.
  • Second Degree: Second degree burns are deeper and more painful than first degree. Alongside redness and inflammation, the skin of a second degree burn would also be blistered.
  • Third Degree: Third-degree burns involve all layers of skin. There will be major damage to nerves and blood vessels, causing the skin to appear white and leathery.

For minor burns, taking up relatively little space on the body, treatment should be done by cooling the affected area. Apply a wet compress until the pain subsides. Afterward, bandage the burn with sterile gauze, wrapping loosely so as not to put pressure on the injured skin.

For second-degree burns, taking up more than 4 inches of space, or third-degree burns, one should seek emergency medical care. Protect the burned person from further harm, and make sure that they are breathing. Cover the area of the burn with a cool, moist bandage, but never immerse a severe burn in water. Elevate the burned area and watch for signs of shock as you await an emergency medical response.

12g) Convulsions/seizures

Convulsions are involuntary muscle spasms that occur as a common symptom of seizures. These can appear as brief blackouts, drooling, loss of bowel control, or sudden shaking of the entire body. The cause of both convulsions and seizures are abnormal electrical activity in the brain. However, the specific triggers are often unclear.

It is important not to hold the victim down or restrain them in any way. Call for emergency medical services and remove anything harmful that the victim, while flailing around, could collide with. Allow for the convulsions to cease naturally, ensuring that the victim does not choke or harm themselves while on the ground. 

12h) Dehydration

Dehydration occurs when the body does not consume enough water. Some symptoms of dehydration include a flushed face, lack of sweat, or feeling of weakness. This is a potentially fatal condition that can result in lowered blood pressure, dizziness, and fainting.

To treat dehydration, encourage the victim to rest and replenish their body with water and electrolytes. Hydrate the victim slowly to avoid water intoxication and electrolyte imbalance.

12i) Muscle cramps

Cramps are caused by sudden, involuntary contractions in a muscle. While these spasms tend to subside in a matter of minutes, they can cause significant pain and impairment. Exercise extreme caution if you are swimming and are stricken by a cramp, as the pain may cause you to panic and possibly drown.

Muscle cramps are usually caused by a lack of water and electrolytes. Eating bananas can help prevent cramps, as they contain important nutrients like potassium and magnesium. By taking deep breaths and gently massaging the cramped area, you can reduce some of the pain. Applying heat can also help to reduce the pain from cramps.

12j) Heat exhaustion

There are two main types of heat exhaustion

  • Water depletion: Characterized by thirst, headache, a feeling of weakness, and loss of consciousness.
  • Sodium depletion: characterized by vomiting, muscle cramps, and dizziness.

Heat exhaustion can progress into heat stroke, and should not be taken lightly. If you suspect that someone is suffering from heat exhaustion, immediately get them into a cool area to rest. Have them drink plenty of fluids and take a cool shower. They may be sensitive to high temperatures for a few days afterward.

12k) Heatstroke

Heatstroke is caused when one’s body temperature exceeds 104°F. If untreated, heatstroke can lead to seizures, confusion, loss of consciousness and even a coma. Common symptoms of a heat stroke are throbbing headaches, dizziness, a lack of sweating despite warm weather, or a feeling of weakness. 

If you suspect someone of having heatstroke, immediately call 911. Sit them down in a cool, shady area, and try to lower their body temperature. To prevent heat exhaustion and heatstroke, stay hydrated, wear sun protection and refrain from strenuous activity at the warmest time of day.

12l) Abdominal pain

Mild pain in the abdomen can result from many different causes and is typically not a reason to worry. Most cases are indigestion, constipation, overeating, or a stomach virus. These can be handled by taking an antacid and waiting for around a day.

Using a warm water bottle or applying another form of heat can help to lessen abdominal pain. It’s also a good idea to try to brainstorm the unique cause of your pain. However, if your abdominal pain is severe, continual, or returning, you should contact your doctor.

12m) Broken, chipped, or loosened tooth

If you chip, break or loosen a tooth, be sure to exercise caution not to choke on broken tooth fragments. Clean the area and apply a cold compress which will reduce swelling. Go to the dentist as soon as possible, bringing with you any tooth fragments which may have been dislodged.

In the meantime, if your broken tooth is painful you should take an over-the-counter pain reliever. Also, avoid biting down with the broken tooth. Take extra care not to cut your mouth or tongue on the sharp edges, and avoid any activities where your head may get jarred.

Do the following:
13a) Describe the conditions under which an injured person should be moved.

When responding to a first aid emergency, one of your main concerns should be to not make anyone’s condition worse. As motion can cause further pain and injuries, you should only move an injured person when absolutely necessary. The American Red Cross recommends taking this risk if:

  • They or you are faced with an immediate danger, such as a fire or collapsing structure.
  • You need to get to another person requiring more urgent medical care.
  • When necessary to give proper care. For example, CPR must be done on a flat surface. So, in that case, moving the victim would be appropriate.

If the injured person you’re moving is conscious, tell them what you plan to do and ask for their cooperation. Take special care to protect their head and neck, and try to avoid making contact with any of their open wounds. However, getting the victim out of danger takes precedence over all else.

13b) If a sick or injured person must be moved, tell how you would determine the best method. Demonstrate this method.
13c) With helpers under your supervision, improvise a stretcher and move a presumably unconscious person.

For a great guide on different methods of moving an injured person and improvising a stretcher, check out this informative walkthrough. However, if you’re more of a visual learner and want to learn a good amount of different carry techniques quickly, check out the awesome video (2:29) below:

Keep in mind that the best method of transporting an injured person is by using any method which does not further injure them. In groups, improvising a stretcher is typically the best and most long-distance way of transporting an injured person. 

Now that you know the different methods, it’s time to try them out for yourself! With the help of your troop, I’d recommend practicing each of the carrying skills in a fun relay race. 🙂 This is what my troop did to master each of these carries, and it was a really fun and helpful way to learn!

14) Teach another Scout a first-aid skill selected by your counselor.

Now that you’ve completed this guide to the first aid merit badge, you’re ready to teach any of the skills you just learned to your fellow scouts! The best way to learn first aid is through practice. Rehearse with your troop how you would handle a medical emergency so that you’re prepared for the real thing.

Congratulations on reading all the way through. You just reached the last requirement!

Conclusion

Now that you’ve learned a ton of useful first aid techniques and information, practice these skills often! You’ll never know when they’ll be needed. By preparing yourself with knowledge of how to handle any first aid emergency, you’ll be more able to enjoy the exciting activities you do in Scouting!

If you liked this article, I’d also recommend checking out my guide to the Emergency Preparedness merit badge. First aid training allows you to be a person that your troop and community can depend on when disaster strikes, and emergency preparedness is no different!

I hope you’ve found my guide helpful, and hope that it helped you to answer each requirement on your merit badge worksheet. Share this with your fellow scouts, and use it as a reference if you ever need a refresher on your first aid skills. Thanks for reading! Come back soon and, until next time, I’m wishing you all the best on your Scouting journey! 🙂

Cole

I'm constantly writing new content because I believe in Scouts like you! Thanks so much for reading, and for making our world a better place. Until next time, I'm wishing you all the best on your journey to Eagle and beyond!

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