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What does "RICE" mean in first aid?

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Quick Answer

"RICE" is an acronym that, in the context of first aid, refers to rest, ice, compression and elevation, according to WebMD. These four steps assist in healing injuries, such as ankle or knee sprains, and reducing the level of pain and swelling an injured person experiences.

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What does "RICE" mean in first aid?
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Full Answer

According to WebMD, resting helps protect the injured area, while using ice works to lessen pain and swelling. Compression is another effective way to reduce swelling. Elevating the injured area to a point above the heart also helps reduce swelling. Medical attention may be necessary if an injured person needs to use a compression wrap for longer than 2 or 3 days. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as Advil, also can help to alleviate pain and swelling.

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