Treatment of Specific Injuries

Amputation

This is a serious injury. It is when a limb is severed or torn away from the body. Depending on how the amputation occurs, the arteries and veins can spasm, recoil, and seal, thereby reducing the amount of blood lost.

NOTE:  It is important to remember to retrieve the amputated body part.

Caring for the amputated body part

The amputated body part has the greatest chance of being re-attached by a specialist doctor if it is handled correctly.  Once bleeding has been controlled:

  • Place the amputated body part in a watertight plastic bag.
  • The plastic bag can then be placed in a container of iced or cold water.
  • DO NOT allow ice or water to come into direct contact with the amputated body part.
  • DO NOT wash the amputated body part. Washing can damage the tissue and nerve endings and reduces the chance of being successfully re-attached to the casualty.
  • DO NOT place body parts into a fridge or freezer.
  • The casualty and the amputated body part are to travel to the hospital together.

Embedded Objects

If there is an obvious embedded object causing bleeding, use pressure around the object.

  • Do not remove the embedded object because it may be plugging the wound and restricting bleeding.
  • Apply padding around or on each side of the protruding object, with pressure over the padding.

Pressure application methods may be insufficient to control bleeding. It may still be necessary to use other measures including an arterial tourniquet or haemostatic dressings.

Nose Bleeds (Epistaxis)

For a nosebleed:

  • Pressure must be applied equally to both sides of the nose, over the soft part below the bony bridge (usually between the thumb and index finger).
  • The person should lean with the head forward to avoid blood flowing down the throat.
  • Encourage the person to spit out blood rather than swallow it as swallowed blood irritates the stomach and causes vomiting which can worsen the bleeding.
  • The person should remain seated at total rest for at least 10 minutes. On a hot day or after exercise, it might be necessary to maintain pressure for at least 20 minutes.
  • If bleeding continues for more than 20 minutes seek medical assistance.

Mouth and Tooth Injuries

A blow to the jaw, collision or fall can result in a number of mouth and/or tooth injuries, such injuries can be associated with blood loss. As a first aider knowing how to look after a dislodged tooth can be the difference between saving the tooth or losing it.

As a first aider you should:

  • D.R.S.A.B.C.D, ensure there is no danger to yourself the casualty or any bystanders.
  • Assess the situation.

If the casualty is conscious

  • Ensure their airway is clear.
  • Place them in a sitting position.
  • If there is bleeding apply firm pressure to the area.
    • If the bleeding is from a tooth socket, fold a sterile dressing and ask the casualty to bite down firmly for approximately 10 minutes.
    • If the bleeding is coming from a lip, ask the casualty to hold the injured area firmly with a sterile dressing.
  • If the casualty is unconscious
  • D.R.S.A.B.C.D. and call for an ambulance.
  • Commence resuscitation if needed.

If a tooth has been knocked out

  • Handle the tooth by the crown and not the root.
  • If possible, try to replace the tooth back into the socket to keep the root alive.
  • If the casualty cannot assist with the replacement of the tooth, try to keep the tooth moist and clean. It is beneficial to keep the tooth in a container of either milk or the person’s saliva.
  • A casualty should be seen by a dentist within 30-60 minutes if the tooth is to be saved.

DO NOT place the tooth in water. 

DO NOT wrap the tooth in a tissue or cloth as this will dry out the tooth.