Knives, Cuts, and Plasters

It’s stunning the amount of people who cut themselves with knives.
My wife takes the art to new heights as now she cuts her fingers on the packaging!

A knife is simply a cutting tool with an exposed cutting edge. Note the word exposed.
That means you can put your fingers and other body parts in harms way if you aren’t careful.

Even “experienced” knife users manage to cut themselves by not obeying a few simple rules.

1.   Never take a knife out of it’s sheath or open a folding knife unless you intend to use it.
2.   When opening a knife, keep your fingers away from the blade.  
3.   Never leave a knife lying round, close or sheath it between use.
4.   Always cut away from your body (the reason for the A&E visit) and especially your fingers.
5.   Always cut on a firm surface.
6.   Do not hold an object so another person can cut it unless you are both facing away from the blade.
7.   Knives are not hammers, screwdrivers, or pry bars.
8.   Keep your knife sharp BUT never test the edge with your thumb.
9.   Keep It well maintained, oiled, and dry (That includes the handle, sheath or belt pocket).
10. When sharpening a blade, always push the blade away from you.

First Aid Notes. (GET TRAINED!!!!!!)

Minor cuts.
Working on someone else?
Wash and dry your own hands.
Cover any cuts on your own hands and put on disposable gloves.

Clean the cut, if dirty, under running water.
Pat dry with a sterile dressing or clean lint-free material.
If practical, raise the cut above heart level.
Cover the cut with a sterile dressing or plaster.

Severe bleeding
Working on someone else?
Wash and dry your own hands.
Cover any cuts on your own hands and put on disposable gloves.

Apply direct pressure with a pad or fingers until you can apply a sterile dressing.
Bandage the wound firmly to control bleeding, but not so tightly that it stops the circulation to fingers or toes.
If bleeding seeps through first bandage, cover with a second bandage.
Still soaking through? (Contentious to some) Remove the soaked dressings and start again.
Raise and support the injured limb.
Lay the casualty down to treat for shock.
 
Stab wounds.
Working on someone else?
Wash and dry your own hands.
Cover any cuts on your own hands and put on disposable gloves.

Leave the blade / object in the wound if it’s still there.
Pulling it out may increase blood loss.
You’ll just need to dress the wound around the knife the best that you can.
You should always take the person to hospital.
A small hole on the outside could be hiding MAJOR internal injury.

Stitching
Is a bad thing unless the wound is gaping.
In preference use sterile-strips to close the wound BUT ONLY IF YOU CAN GET IT CLEAN.

Tourniquets.
Some people will say NEVER, some will say with care releasing it every 5 minutes to prevent loss of limb. To me it’s simple.
Miles from anywhere, no help, can’t stop the bleeding, what choices have you?
Put one on and possibly lose a limb or leave it off and watch the person bleed out?
I’m not detailing how to apply one. Go away and learn for yourself.
The last time I did detail how to apply and use one the hate mail was “upsetting”.

Antiseptics.  (Caution some people have allergies to certain antiseptics)
Salt water is good at cleaning wounds BUT make sure the water and salt are not contaminated.
Iodine or it’s derivatives damages tissue slowing recovery.
Cetrimide  is generally safe.
Some people use sugar as a clotting agent , to kill bacteria, and promote healing.
Pour it on, remove if it goes slimy and replace with new.

Treat for Shock!
Copious amount of blood loss can cause shock.
Even the sight of blood is enough for some to keel over.
A short guide for you.

Treat the injury whilst being firm but calm, efficient, and reassuring.
Keep them warm, insulate the injured person from cold ground.
If necessary, replace wet clothing with dry clothing and protect him from the elements.
Use blankets, sleeping bags, etc BUT keep an eye on the wound.

If blood loss is severe or the person feels faint, elevate the injured person’s legs by 8 to 10 inches
UNLESS there is a head, spinal, or pelvis injury.

Out in the field, quick rescue unlikely?
The warm non alcoholic drink may help BUT ONLY IF :-

Transport to a medical center is more than six hours away,
The person can hold the cup and drink by himself,
Surgery is not likely within six hours,
There is no abdominal injury;
The level of consciousness remains stable.

It’s not a comprehensive guide on treating shock BUT if you ignore SHOCK it can kill.

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