First Aid for an Embedded Object

Don’t Remove an Impaled Object!

You’re sitting at your desk at work when you suddenly hear a loud crash and the sound of breaking glass. You run out to the hallway and find an injured coworker lying on the floor, a large piece of glass stuck in her leg. She tells you that a large glass vase shattered and pierced her calf.

How to care for a person with an Impaled Object? 

An penetrating injury occurs when an object enters the body, causing a wound. Sometimes the object will remain stuck in the body. For example, a large piece of glass, wood or metal might be seen sticking out of the wound.

Here’s the #1 rule:  Do not remove the impaled object..

Pulling out the object can damage nerves and blood vessels and make the wound much worse.

Instead, you should:

Call 911 and get your first aid kit.

Apply plenty of gauze or pieces of clean cloth around the embedded object to begin to control blood loss.

Place additional bulky dressings around the embedded object to stabilize it in place and prevent it from moving around.

Monitor the patient for signs of shock and treat accordingly.

If the object falls out on its own, apply direct, firm pressure to the wound.


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Tourniquet

Severe Bleeding: How to Use a Tourniquet

While most bleeding can be treated with direct firm pressure using gauze or cloth, sometimes severe bleeding can only be stopped by using a tourniquet. A tourniquet is a device placed around an arm or leg to constrict blood vessels and stop blood flow to a wound.

Strap

During recent terror attacks in Boston, Orlando and Las Vegas, the early application of tourniquets saved the lives of dozens of trauma victims who were experiencing severe bleeding from their arms and legs.

When should I use a Tourniquet?

– Severe, life-threatening bleeding to the arms or legs that cannot be controlled with direct pressure.

– A wound in a physical location that makes it impossible to apply direct pressure (e.g., a person with a leg trapped under a rock).

– Gunshot injuries or bomb blast wounds in an unsafe scene.

How do I use a Tourniquet?

– Send someone to call 9-1-1 and have someone apply pressure to the wound using a clean gauze or cloth.

– A commercially made CAT tourniquet is preferred. These are quick and easy to use. Familiarize yourself with the tourniquet in your home or workplace First Aid kit.

Most tourniquets are applied the same way:

Applying Tourniquet

Place the tourniquet around the wounded limb about 2 inches above the wound. Avoid placing it over a joint.

Applying Tourniquet

Secure the tourniquet tightly in place.

Applying Tourniquet

Twist the rod (windlass) to tighten the tourniquet until bright red bleeding stops flowing from the wound, and secure the rod in place using  the clip or holder.

Applying Tourniquet

Note the time you applied the tourniquet and give this information to EMS personnel when they arrive.

Do not remove the tourniquet.

If you don’t have a commercially manufactured tourniquet, you can make one using a strip of soft material 2-4 inches wide and a sturdy stick. Tie the stick into the material and twist to tighten the tourniquet.


Learn how to apply a tourniquet and care for many other emergencies in a First Aid CPR AED certification course

First Aid for bleeding

Ouch! You’re bleeding! What should you do?

Scenario:

You’re in the kitchen chopping vegetables for dinner. As you begin picking up speed, you suddenly feel a searing pain on your hand and notice a red spray of blood pouring onto the counter. You look at your hand and realize you’ve cut yourself deeply. It looks really bad.

What should you do?

Bleeding from an open wound is a common injury that most people experience at least once during their lifetime. Bleeding can range from minor to severe. It can be divided into three types:

Capillary bleeds = Usually a minor wound that doesn’t breech a large blood vessel. This type of wound slowly “oozes” blood. This wound pattern can include scrapes (abrasions) and small cuts.

Veinous bleeds = A wound breeches a vein and heavy bleeding can occur. In some cases this can be life-threatening.

Arterial bleeds = A high-pressure artery is cut, sending blood spurting out of the wound under significant pressure each time the heart beats. This is a life-threatening injury.

How do I help someone who is bleeding?

For major bleeding, send someone to call 9-1-1

Take gauze from a first aid kit and apply hard, consistent pressure directly on top of the wound.

If you don’t have gauze, use any clean piece of cloth instead.

If blood soaks through the first piece of gauze, do not remove it. Taking off old gauze might tear out clots and cause bleeding to worsen. Instead, place additional pieces of gauze on top of the original.

Maintain firm pressure on top of the wound, until bleeding slows down. This may take several minutes.

Once bleeding stops or slows down, use a roller bandage to secure the gauze in place.

If the bleeding does not stop -> continue to maintain firm pressure on the wound, and consider the use of a tourniquet, if you are trained to use one.

After taking steps to stop bleeding, check your victim for signs of “shock” – a life-threatening condition that can be caused by significant blood loss.

What are the signs of shock?

Pale, ashen, cool, moist skin

Excessive thirst

Rapid breathing and/or pulse

Dizziness / weakness

Nausea / vomiting

Anxiety / disorientation

How do I help if someone has lost a lot of blood?

Call 911.

Help the patient lay down flat on the ground

Cover them with a blanket

Ensure external bleeding remains controlled.

To learn more about life threatening bleeding and shock, sign up for a First Aid CPR AED class today!