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WOUNDS

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A person may be wounded in a fall from a height, he may strike against something pointed and received a bleeding wound or he may be injured in a road accident. If proper steps are taken immediately his life may be saved; in some cases, the period of his immobility due to wounds may be shortened considerably. Normally, people are afraid of the sight of blood and do not know how to handle an injury.

If the injured person is unconscious due to shock or what the doctors call trauma, he should be laid full length of the road, or wherever he is found, and all restrictive clothing loosen. The knot of the tie, if he is wearing one, the button of the collar and the muffler should be loosened. If his face is flushed, a pillow or-on the roadside a brick-may be placed under his head, because a flushed face is an indication of too much of blood being in the upper part of the body. If, however, he has a pale, wan face, his legs should be raised so that the blood flows to the heart and also the brain. If he is vomiting, or hemorrhaging from the mouth, his face should be turned to one side so that he does not choke. If his breathing is stertorous and the face drawn, it indicates pressure on the brain. If the blood is oozing out of the ears or nose, it may indicate hemorrhage in the brain. In such cases no pressure should be applied to the ears or the nose to check the bleeding, because the blood may flood the uninjured part of the brain and cause coma and finally death.

When a person is injured and is lying under a vehicle, a horse, or a collapsed structure, care should be taken to remove him. The beams of the structure, the weight of the fallen horse or the vehicle should be raised so that he can be pulled out. If the injury is slight and the person is conscious, the injured part should be examined. Contusions can be dealt with easily by bathing them with a mixture of equal parts of spirit and water. If spirit is not available, cold water would do. If the skin is broken, it should be bathed with spirit. Alternatively, grind a little turmeric in water and smear a wad of cotton with it. If facilities are available, boil the turmeric smeared cotton in ghee. When it turns brown, take it out and let it cool and then apply it to the wound.



In case of profusely bleeding wounds, the first thing to do is to stop the bleeding. If the wound is in a apart of the body which can be pressed, i.e., arms or legs, a tourniquet should be applied. It can be improvised by tying a tie or a muffler or even a handkerchief round the limb and twisting it by passing a stick or a pencil through it. But the tourniquet should not be allowed to remain for more than half an hour. The bleeding or a simple or ordinary wound can be stopped merely by pressing the edges. A bandage may be fashioned out of two handkerchiefs, one folded into a pad and the other wound round the arm or leg to keep the pad tightly pressed on the wound.

The site of the wound must be laid bare: the clothes covering the injured part should be cut at the scams and taken off. Awaiting the arrival of medical aid, or till the patient can be transported to the hospital, he should not be given any food. If he fells thirsty, only a little sip of cool water or a piece of ice should be given to him to suck.

Shock or trauma caused by the injury may, sometimes, be more serious than the injury itself. It is better, therefore, that the injured person is not allowed to see (if it can be managed) the amount of blood he has lost or the broken bones sticking out of his flesh. He should be assured that there is not much wrong with him and that a simple bandage or tourniquet would save him discomfort. Reassurance of ultimate recovery is of vital importance in cases of injuries received in road accidents. It should also be ensured that there are no idlers or curiosity seekers crowding around the injured person because the pity and the horror mirrored in their faces would add to the discomfort and a sense of alarm which the injured person is feeling already.

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