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Saving Lives: Medical MacGyvers

Use what you have at any given moment to alleviate a medical emergency in the backcountry.
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Medical MacGyvers

stop bleeding

>> Apply direct, firm pressure with a bulky dressing and the heel of your gloved hand for 10 to 20 minutes.

>> Tie a wide, flat wrap around the wound to keep pressure. Knot it directly over the dressing.

>> If possible, elevate the wound above heart level.

>> Apply pressure to the nearest supply artery: the upper arm (brachial), leg (femoral), or knee (popliteal).

>> Promote clotting: Keep the victim still and leave wound-contacting padding in place.

>> Last resort: Tighten a wide-bandage tourniquet above the wound. Loosen hourly to check for clotting and limit application to six hours.

Close an open wound

>> Clean and dry the injury.

>> Use adhesive strips to pull skin together: Adhere two strips simultaneously to either side of the wound and pull them across the cut, closing the skin. Strips should be one half-inch apart.

>> Reinforce strips and cover the wound with antibiotic ointment and a clean, dry dressing.

>> Don’t close these wound types: gaping, infected, or open for 18 hours or more.

Soothe burns

>> Remove hot/burning material.

>> Flush with cool water for at least 10 minutes. Do not use ice.

>> Leave blisters intact; disinfect and treat wounded skin to prevent infection and fluid loss.

>> Hydrate the patient; dehydration is a complicating side effect.

>> Give anti-inflammatories.

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