Canadian First Aid: When Not to Remove Clothes

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Properly removing or lessening the layers of clothes is one of the most important steps in Canadian first aid since it promotes better circulation and less skin problems. However, there are certain scenarios in which removing the clothes of the individual is not only necessary, but is also deadly since doing so can cause certain medical conditions which can definitely make matters worse for the patient. Here are some of the conditions or instances in which removing the clothes of the patient is not recommended.


Using Blankets to treat for Hypothermia
Using Blankets to treat for Hypothermia

Hypothermia is a condition that is mainly caused by extremely cold temperatures. When the human body is exposed to dangerously cold climates, the body temperature drops drastically since cold temperatures promote heat loss. Normally, hypothermia is diagnosed when the patient’s body temperature reaches 35 degrees Celsius. Since the main culprit behind this condition is the cold, removing the clothing layers of the patient would just further expose them to the cold temperature. It will also promote heat loss since heat will be able to escape through the skin. This is why it is more advisable to not remove the clothes. However, rescuers should apparels that are wet since water is an excellent temperature conductor which means that the patient would be more exposed to the cold if the wet clothes are not removed.


Usually, it is advisable for rescuers to remove the clothes of burn victims so that they can fully assess the skin in order to determine if other parts are affected. However, if the clothes of the victim are burned onto the skin, it is prohibited to yank them off as it can lead to further skin damage. Removing the clothes that are burned onto the skin should only be removed in a hospital facility to ensure that the skin problems that can be caused by this condition is immediately managed or treated. If it is necessary to remove the clothes around the burnt area, rescuers should cut around the part where the clothes are stuck to the skin.

If removing the clothes of the patients is an absolute necessity, rescuers should have a blanket or other set of clothes ready. Through Canadian first aid classes, rescuers will learn about other situation in which removing the clothes of a patient are not recommended or is unnecessary. They will also learn about the other techniques that they can use if removing the clothes of patients is highly beneficial or needed.

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