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First Aid: A Helpful Reference for Anyone

These pages hold instructions on how to do some common first aid procedures as well as others that may include long-term care.

NOTE - This page is meant to be a reference during role-play. It is not meant to diagnose, prevent, treat, or cure any real medical condition. Any risk or liability is your own.

Bandages and Dressings | Burns and Scalds | Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation | Controlling Bleeding | Delivering a Baby | Miscellaneous Procedures | Shock | Sprains, Strains, and Fractures | Treating Wounds


Treating Wounds

Open Wounds | First Aid for Open Wounds | Dressings for Wounds | Closed Wounds

Open Wounds

Abrasions | Amputations | Avulsions | Incisions | Lacerations | Punctures

An open wound refers to any break in the skin. The skin affords protection from most bacteria or germs; however, germs may enter through even a small break in the skin, and infection may develop.
Breaks in the skin range from pin punctures or scratches to extensive cuts, tears, or gashes. An open wound may be the only surface evidence of a more serious injury such as a fracture, particularly in the case of head injuries involving fracture of the skull. In first aid, open wounds are divided into six classifications: Abrasions, amputations, avulsions, incisions, lacerations, and punctures.

Abrasions are caused by rubbing or scraping. These wounds are seldom deep, but a portion of the skin has been damaged, leaving a raw surface with minor bleeding. The bleeding in most abrasions is from the capillaries. Abrasions are easily infected due to the top layer of skin being removed leaving the underlying skin exposed.

An amputation involves the extremities. When an amputation occurs, the fingers, toes, hands, feet, or limbs are completely cut through or torn off which causes jagged skin and exposed bone. Bleeding may be excessive or the force that amputates a limb may close off torn vessels and limit the bleeding. A clean cut amputation seals off vessels and minimizes bleeding. A torn amputation usually bleeds heavily.

An avulsion is an injury that tears an entire piece of skin and tissue loose or leaves it hanging as a flap. This type of wound usually results when tissue is forcibly separated or torn from the victim's body. There is great danger of infection and bleeding. Body parts that have been wholly or partially torn off may sometimes be successfully reattached by a surgeon.

Wounds produced by a sharp cutting edge, such as a knife or razor, are referred to as incised wounds. The edges of such wounds are smooth without tearing or bruising. If such a wound is deep, large blood vessels and nerves may be severed. Incised wounds bleed freely and are often difficult to control.

Lacerated wounds are those with rough or jagged edges. The flesh has been torn or mashed by blunt instruments, machinery, or rough edges such as a jagged piece of metal.
Because the blood vessels are torn or mashed, these wounds may not bleed as freely as incised wounds. The ragged and torn tissues, with foreign matter that is often forced or ground into the wound make it difficult to determine the extent of the damage. The danger of infection is great in lacerations.

Puncture wounds are produced by pointed objects such as needles, splinters, nails, or pieces of wire that pass through the skin and damage tissue in their path. The small number of blood vessels cut sometimes prevents free bleeding. The danger of infection in puncture wounds is great due to this poor drainage.
There are two types of puncture wounds:

First Aid for Open Wounds

The chief duties of a first aider in caring for open wounds are to stop bleeding and to prevent germs from entering the wound. If germs do not enter, there will be much less chance of infection and the wound will heal quickly. Proceed as follows:

Dressings for Wounds

Scalp, Temple, Ear, or Face | Forehead or Back of Head | Neck or Throat | Shoulder | Arm, Forearm, and Wrist | Chest or Back between Shoulder Blades | Back, Chest, Abdomen, or Side | Protruding Intestines | Lower Abdomen, Back, or Buttocks | Thigh or Leg | Knee | Ankle | Foot

The following selected dressings are recommended for covering wounds.

Scalp, Temple, Ear, or Face
To dress an open wound for the scalp, temple, ear, or face, proceed as follows: If the wound is on the cheek or the front of the face, cross the bandage compress and cravat bandage behind the ear, on the side opposite the injury; bring the ends around the forehead and back of the head, and tie.

Forehead or Back of Head
To dress an open wound of the forehead or back of the head, proceed as follows:
Neck or Throat
To bandage a wound on the neck or throat, proceed as follows:
In order to tie a bandage for a wound of the shoulder, proceed as follows:
Arm, Forearm, and Wrist
To bandage wounds of the arm, forearm, and wrist, proceed as follows:
Palm or Back of Hand
To dress a wound of the palm or back of the hand, proceed as follows:
Chest or Back between Shoulder Blades
To dress a wound on the chest or back between the shoulder blades, proceed as follows:
Back, Chest, Abdomen, or Side
To tie a bandage for the back, chest, abdomen, or side, proceed as follows: NOTE: If air is being sucked into the lungs through a wound in the chest, cover the wound immediately with a nonporous material, then dress the wound. Use your hand to cover the wound if a nonporous material cannot be found. Transport the victim to a medical facility as quickly as possible.

Protruding Intestines
To dress a wound from which the victim's intestines are protruding, proceed as follows:
Lower Abdomen, Back, or Buttocks
To dress a wound of the lower part of the abdomen, the lower part of the back, or the buttocks, proceed as follows:
Thigh or Leg
To tie a bandage for a wound of the thigh or leg, proceed as follows:
To dress a wound of the knee, proceed as follows:
To dress a wound of the ankle, proceed as follows:
To dress a wound of the foot, proceed as follows:

Closed Wounds

Contusions | Ruptures or Hernias

Closed wounds are injuries where the skin is not broken, but damage occurs to underlying tissues. These injuries may result in internal bleeding from damage to internal organs, muscles, and other tissues. Closed wounds are classified as follows: Contusions
Contusions, or bruises, are caused by an object striking the body of the body coming into contact with a hard object, for example in a fall or bump. The skin is not broken, but the soft tissue beneath the skin is damaged. Small blood vessels are ruptured, causing blood to seep into surrounding tissues. This produces swelling. The injured area appears red at first, then darkens to blue or purple. When large blood vessels have been ruptured or large amounts of underlying tissue have been damaged, a lump may develop as a result of the blood collecting within the damaged tissue. This lump is called a hematoma or blood tumor.
The symptoms of a bruise are as follows: The first aid for bruises is as follows: Severe contusions should have the care of a healer.

Ruptures or Hernias
The most common form of a rupture or hernia is a protrusion of a portion of an internal organ through the wall of the abdomen. Most ruptures occur in or just above the groin, but they may occur at other places over the abdomen. Ruptures result from a combination of weakness of the tissues and muscular strain.
The symptoms of a rupture are as follows: The first aid for an individual who has suffered a rupture is as follows:

For more detail relating to the healing of humans, here is a neat site that might help you. The golden fire lizard will show you the way!

Sources for these pages were:

Radcliffe, J. The New International Webster's Pocket Medical & First Aid Dictionary of the English Language. USA: Trident Press International, 1997.

Yahoo! Yahoo! Health Encyclopedia. June 2004.

All references to worlds and characters based on Anne McCaffrey's fiction are copyright
Anne McCaffrey 1967, 2001, all rights reserved, and used by permission of the author.

Special thanks to Nerissa and Avonelle, who helped in the compilation of this resource.