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Outdoor First Aid

First-Aid Manual: Treat a Gaping Wound

Here's how to stop the bleeding, close the wound, and prevent infection.

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Because a gaping wound like this has a high risk of infection, proper first aid is essential. Note: For obvious reasons, this is a simulated injury.

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Place absorbent gauze on the wound and apply direct pressure on top to stop the bleeding. Elevate the wound slightly above the heart.

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When bleeding stops, clean the wound with a high-pressure stream of water from an irrigation syringe, hydration bladder, or plastic bag with a needle hole poked in it.

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Gently press the edges of the wound together and hold them in place with wound closure strips. In a pinch, you can close a wound with thin strips of duct tape.

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Apply a layer of antibiotic ointment to a sterile dressing.

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Put the dressing over the wound, making sure to cover it completely, and tape it in place. Evacuate the patient to a doctor.

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