The importance of proper transportation for a seriously injured person cannot be overestimated. It is sometimes necessary to transport a patient some distance before you can get a doctor. Improper or careless methods frequently increase the severity of the injury and may even cause death. Don’t be hurried into moving an injured person, and be sure that a thorough examination has been made and all injuries are protected by proper dressing, splints, etc.
All fractures or suspected fractures must be handled carefully. If the victim is unconscious, it is usually best to suspect an injury to the back or neck and handle accordingly.
In cases of serious injury to the back of the head, when you are sure there is no injury to the neck or back, it is best to keep the victim on his side.
It is much better to wait for an ambulance or use a van, sport utility vehicle where the victim can be laid flat, than to try to “jackknife” the person into a passenger car. If the victim must be lifted or carried for a short distance, three to six people are required with one of the crew directing the operations. The victim’s body should be kept as straight as possible in a level, horizontal position.
If a severely injured person must be moved, he should always be transported lying down on a stretcher or on an improvised stretcher made from poles and a blanket, or poles and coats. In transporting a victim by stretcher method, he should be transported feet first on level ground; head first going uphill; feet first, downhill. In cases of fractures of the leg or hip, the victim should be transported feet first uphill and headfirst downhill to keep the body weight from shifting down against the injured member.
A wound is a break in the skin or in the mucous membrane lining of the body cavities. Most wounds heal quickly if cared for properly; however, there are two dangers in any wound and these are: severe bleeding or hemorrhage and infection.
The four principal types of wounds are:
Those wounds in which bleeding is slight can be covered with sterile gauze and bandaged. In bleeding wounds, if not severe, the pressure of the dressing will stop hemorrhage. Where hemorrhage is severe, check bleeding by using a pressure point and then dress the wounds. Apply antiseptic (except in case of abdominal wound), use a sterile dressing and bandage.
Remove foreign substances only when it can be done easily. Avoid contaminating the wound. It is safer, as a rule, to bind up the wound temporarily, dirt and all, than to handle it with unclean hands. Grease, soot and dirt from machinery may be wiped away from around the wound with sterile gauze. If fractures are present, cover wound with sterile dressing before applying splints.