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#112104 - 11/10/07 12:29 AM Lost a fight with a window....
NeighborBill Offline

Registered: 03/02/03
Posts: 385
Loc: Oklahoma City
Two weeks ago, on a Saturday afternoon, I attempted to close a wooden-framed window in my house (can't have anything but, and yes, I hate historical districts). Window frame bound up, and I gave it a _little_ tap to encourage it to close the rest of the way...

...window shattered. Self bleeding profusely from inside right upper arm. Grabbed pressure point, listened to DW asking "Are you OK?", said, "Don't think so, grab the first aid kit."

Finally took a look, I had a nasty 6cm gash and could see muscle at the bottom of it. Not pleasant. Instructed DW on how to open battle dressings & apply them. Soaked two through (anyone know off hand how much blood a military field dressing (old style) will hold?)--one dressing was not in house FAK but in car FAK, had to have DW go fetch it. Ended up being twelve stiches; 8mm from artery and about 1mm from tendons and muscle. Not to mention a 6mm gash on left hand which added to the confusion (Where's the blood coming from _now_?!).

Point being: an "ordinary" household accident was darn near _lethal_ (if I had not been concious, and artery had been nicked) due to lack of familiarity w/ house FAK by DW, and I have since depleted said kit severely based on follow-up care.

Notes to self:

1) Windows break, don't "tap up" on them. Glass is inherently stressed.

2) DW needs training on first response, and use of the various and sundry FAK items (her idea of first aid for a cut stems from years of bumming around CA and Mexico: pour strongest alcohol available on it, and wrap it in a bandanna).

3) You can only instruct bystanders and/or perform suturing on yourself when you are in shock. After the shock wears off, all bets are off. Your mileage may vary.

4) Don't go to work the next day and rip your stiches out.

5) Glazing compound is a PITA to work with (second only to glazier's points), and windows are not designed to be replaced while still installed. Need precut plywood blanks for all window sizes in house, with predrilled holes for screws.

6) Need to restock kit with a trauma dressing that is designed for one-hand use. Not impressed with current offerings (Israeli and Olaes bandages). Any ideas here?

7) Non-stick pads aren't if the wound bleeds through. Coating them w/ antibiotic ointment helps.

8) You can never have too many rolls of Kerlix.

9) At least the scars match the tatoos...

After twenty years in the Army, and working in a hospital (on equipment--got tired of being a medic) I thought I had an adequate FAK and training. This incident has taught me that a) I am not an "Army of One" and b) having a room full of medical supplies (literally) doesn't mean squat if you don't have/run out of the "One Thing" that matters _for that emergency_.

On a side note, please be advised that a field dressing has a shelf life. If it's been stored in the heat (car), I'd give it a year. If a controlled environment, maybe five. Gauze dry-rots, as I found out smile

Makes it fun when you have to tweezer cotton fibers out of a healing wound smile

Yes, everything's healing fine now, thanks for asking.

Member of the toughest, meanest, deadliest, most unrelenting -- and ablest -- form of life in this section of space, a critter that can be killed but can't be tamed. --Robert A. Heinlein

#112107 - 11/10/07 01:32 AM Re: Lost a fight with a window.... [Re: NeighborBill]
KG2V Offline


Registered: 08/19/03
Posts: 1371
Loc: Queens, New York City
73 de KG2V
You are what you do when it counts - The Masso
Homepage: http://www.thegallos.com
Blog: http://kg2v.blogspot.com

#112108 - 11/10/07 01:40 AM Re: Lost a fight with a window.... [Re: KG2V]
raydarkhorse Offline

Registered: 01/27/07
Posts: 510
Loc: on the road 10-11 months out o...
I don't know how much blood the field dressings will hold but your trhead did get me to look at mine and they were both in need of replacement. Glad your OK and thanks for the reminder to check my FAK.
Depend on yourself, help those who are not able, and teach those that are.

#112109 - 11/10/07 01:42 AM Re: Lost a fight with a window.... [Re: NeighborBill]
Blast Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 07/15/02
Posts: 3607
Loc: TX
Wow, that sucks. You have my complete sympathy.

Foraging Texas
Medicine Man Plant Co.
DrMerriwether on YouTube
Radio Call Sign: KI5BOG
*As an Amazon Influencer, I may earn a sales commission on Amazon links in my posts.

#112111 - 11/10/07 01:51 AM Re: Lost a fight with a window.... [Re: NeighborBill]
Stu Offline
I am not a P.P.o.W.
Old Hand

Registered: 05/16/05
Posts: 1058
Loc: Finger Lakes of NY State
Take care of yourself!
Our most important survival tool is our brain, and for many, that tool is way underused! SBRaider
Head Cat Herder

#112112 - 11/10/07 01:54 AM Re: Lost a fight with a window.... [Re: NeighborBill]
Blitz Offline
Gear Junkie

Registered: 08/23/07
Posts: 535
Loc: MA
Wow. Glad you're OK. Just goes to show anything can happen at any time. Scary.

#112113 - 11/10/07 02:59 AM Re: Lost a fight with a window.... [Re: Blitz]
Art_in_FL Offline

Registered: 09/01/07
Posts: 2432
First, glad your OK.

That out of the way if it happened in my house the priorities would be different.

Slice myself open on a window and it will be my immediate duty to jump through said window. A laceration might possibly kill me but if I bleed on her carpet the lady of the house will surely kill me. Don't care if it is the fourth floor. You have to suck it up and keep your priorities straight. Jumping also puts you on the ground floor and closer to where the ambulance will be. Saves the EMTs work. That is the second priority: Don't [censored] off the EMTs. If they like you they might even stop to put you out at the emergency room. Drive-by deliveries, Gurney kicked out as they make the corner on the way to the doughnut shop, are both more entertaining and painful.

Remember that at home the lady of the house holds your life in her hands. And on the way to the ER the EMTs have you by the short and curlies. Keeping on the good side of the lady of the house and EMTs is an important survival strategy. One not often mentioned. A word to the wise.

More seriously those bandages usually work more quickly if you apply firm pressure for the first few minutes. They tend to soak through more quickly when just laid on or released too soon. Of course you may have been applying plenty of pressure but you had sliced a minor vessel. Everyone's mileage varies. Two seemingly identical wounds. One barely bleeds a drop while the second looks like a prop in a cheap slasher film, blood for days.

A trauma bandage is good but they have to be applied fairly tight. Most people try to hold one tail on their teeth and pull the other end with the free hand. It can work but a stronger move is to kneel and catch one end under a boot or knee. The free hand grabs the other end. Straightening up allows you to use your whole body to get an effective pull to draw it up firmly.

An ACE bandage over a 5by9 surgical bandage is a good substitute. Precut tape speeds one handed application. A piece or two to hold the pad. Another at the end of the ACE and wind. Finish with another piece or two. Firm pressure.

What even happened to men having a handkerchief. I carry a clean, folded cotton bandanna. That way you always have a dressing, field expedient filter mask, etcetera. Always amazes me the number who don't. That said it might not have helped. Sometimes I forget I have one.

In a pinch a bandanna makes a reasonably good bandage and most athletic socks have enough elastic to act as a expedient, if someone short, ACE bandage. Not perfect but something to keep in mind.

You lived. So you obviously did something right. Now if we could just get an international team of anger management and conflict resolution negotiators to get between you and the fenestration...

#112114 - 11/10/07 03:30 AM Re: Lost a fight with a window.... [Re: Art_in_FL]

Registered: 02/03/07
Posts: 1852

i read on another site that Cayene pepper dumped onto a
open wound will staunch the bleeding--no it does not burn.
and thats dumped on not just sprinkled from the can like
your frying pork chops..the fellow who made the post sent
a photo of a now healed finger which had a run in with a
VERY LARGE knife while he was chopping branches..what was
a long jagged wound was healing up without infection..
he said that he keeps a jar in the house and one in the
shop with the seal off so he can dump it fast...
anyone else hear about this method..if nothing else a jar
of pepper sure beats the price of a pack of Quick Clot..

#112117 - 11/10/07 05:04 AM Re: Lost a fight with a window.... [Re: NeighborBill]
Stretch Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 11/27/06
Posts: 707
Loc: Alamogordo, NM
Good news that you survived Billy.

I think I remember seeing or reading about a teenage girl working near a picture window in her bedroom and standing on a chair. She fell into the window and nearly died of loss of blood from the wounds. If I remember right, her mother heard the crash, wrapped her up in towels, and got her to the hospital just in time.

#112118 - 11/10/07 06:25 AM Re: Lost a fight with a window.... [Re: NeighborBill]
leemann Offline
Soylent Green

Registered: 02/08/04
Posts: 623
Loc: At the soylent green plant.
Yikes! Wounded pride and wounded self not fun.

Get well soon.


Note to self get bandages for fak's
It's the year 2022...People are still the same
They'll do anything to get what they need.
And they need Soylent Green.

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