Welcome back Street Survivors !
Here’s hoping you had a great Memorial weekend surrounded by family and friends and remembered the reason for the holiday, paying honor to our fallen military members from all wars and conflicts since the beginning of our country. Always take an opportunity to thank our active duty and prior service members for their service whenever you can, but don’t forget those that have paid the ultimate price. Freedom is never Free, it comes with a very heavy price.
Today’s column will focus on a critical skill that we all should have and should in my opinion be taught in our high schools, Basic Trauma Care, or what to do in a medical emergency. Despite the focus that I always push for Situational Awareness wherever you go, some things will happen without warning, and you may find yourself in an emergency with one person or multiple people hurt. What do you do before the trained medical responders show up ? First, always make sure that you or someone is calling 911 to report the problem and get the Calvary on the way. Next, try to move the person to a safe area if the danger that injured them is still present, and assess the damage. Are they breathing, are they bleeding ? These are the two primary threats to deal with, broken bones are down the list until these first two are addressed.
If the bleeding is fast and seems to spray with the rhythm of a heartbeat, it’s likely arterial, and you should put a tourniquet on it very quickly. Use a belt, cloth, tie, etc. and place it above the wound closer to the heart. Tighten it until the bleeding stops. If the blood is oozing, it’s likely venous and the best thing to do is apply pressure to the wound. It’s possible to do a tourniquet for this type of bleeding too, but it doesn’t have to be as tight. If you can stop the bleeding with pressure, that’s probably a good choice, until the medics arrive. Sometimes the bleeding is internal which is much more difficult to determine. If the patient is conscious, try to get as much information from them as possible in case they pass out and can’t talk. Find out what happened if you didn’t witness it, but also ask other witnesses to get a clear picture of the injury.
Head wounds can bleed a lot, and applying pressure is the best way to handle that. You can also apply pressure to the neck, just be careful not to restrict their ability to breath.
If the injury is from blunt trauma to the body, there may be neck or spine damage, and it’s best not to move at all if possible. Keep the neck and spine as straight as possible, tilt the head back just enough to open the airway. If they vomit, log roll their entire body to the side to keep them from inhaling anything into their lungs.
There’s a lot more to know and there’s plenty of information online including videos. There are also great local classes you can take thru the American Red Cross, YMCA, Adult Education Center, etc. Take this seriously, as the people you hang out with the most, family and close friends, could be the very people that you need to save !
Please send in your questions and comments to: Streetactics@gmail.com.
Rick ‘Pirate Hunter’ GROVER strongly believes we’re all in this together, and the more we learn and train, the better we’ll be prepared for any eventuality. This makes all of us part of an amazing neighborhood team of American Patriots. God Bless America ! ♦