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#284549 - 05/12/17 05:07 PM Re: Improvising First Aid [Re: hikermor]
Bingley Offline

Registered: 02/27/08
Posts: 1246
I thought one of the most valuable parts of Wilderness First Responder class was the improvisational training. There are no real rules to improvisation, of course, and in theory anyone can just jump right into it. But it's really useful to work with people and to practice a few times in different scenarios, with different equipment, etc. It gets your mind going in the right direction, and you pick up ideas and techniques. The mindset is more important than the techniques.

Also, improvisational practice is just a lot of fun -- both for the pretend victims and for the pretend rescuers.

#284552 - 05/12/17 05:19 PM Re: Improvising First Aid [Re: Bingley]
hikermor Offline
Geezer in Chief

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 5729
Loc: southern Cal
The most rewarding and successful first aide course i ever taught was given to an Explorer Post with a definite outdoors slant. As extra credit (since this went well beyond Red Cross training) they brought their packs to class and we spent some time running through different scenarios, using the resources they were likely to have handy. The instructor learned just as much as the students. This was before the time of Wilderness First Responder courses.

A month or so later I was teamed up with one of those students and Real Life gave us both a final exam - we encountered a victim with all sorts of problems (his fractures had fractures, etc). He survived our care, and in fact later became a member of our unit, so I claim a passing grade.

Edited by hikermor (05/12/17 05:49 PM)
Geezer in Chief

#284565 - 05/14/17 09:07 PM Re: Improvising First Aid [Re: hikermor]
AKSAR Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 08/31/11
Posts: 977
Loc: Alaska
I'm surprised no one has mentioned old school foam sleeping pads (ensolite or similar). These are one of the best items for improvised first aid.

The "jelly roll splint" is a classic for a leg injury: Take two pads, put them cross ways under the injured leg. Adjust the overlap of the pads to get the proper length for the leg. For patient comfort it is usually best to put a small wad of clothing under the knee so it is flexed slightly. Start from both sides and roll the ends of the pads towards the leg. The idea is to end up with the leg cradled between two rolls of pad. Then secure with cravats, webbing, or whatever. This has been used successfully many times for everything from a blown knee to a full on leg fracture. It is comfortable for the patient, and provides padding and insulation, and it is easy to monitor the leg for swelling.

A single pad can be used for a shorter splint. Or the pad can be cut up to make a reasonably good C-collar. Or can be cut to provide padding inside some other splint. Or used as padding in a rigid stokes type litter. Or....other uses are limited only by your creativity.

Note that more modern inflatable sleeping pads don't work very well in this application. Although I carry an inflatable pad for sleeping, I also almost always have a foam pad along as well.

One of the best uses I've seen was when I was once backpacking in the Talkeetna Mountains, and met a NOLS group with an injured woman. NOLS does very long backpacks in that area, stopping at isolated lakes for resupply by floatplane. The woman had blown out her knee. Rather than calling for imediate extraction, the group had splinted her leg with a jelly roll, adjusted slightly loose so she had some flex in the knee, and could still hike, albeit slowly. They distributed her gear to the rest of the group, and were slowly making their way to the next resupply point, where the woman could be evacuated. A great example of self sufficiency and self rescue, in my opinion.
"Toto, I've a feeling we're not in Kansas any more."
-Dorothy, in The Wizard of Oz

#284567 - 05/15/17 01:06 AM Re: Improvising First Aid [Re: AKSAR]
hikermor Offline
Geezer in Chief

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 5729
Loc: southern Cal
"Or the pad can be cut up to make a reasonably good C-collar."

i've had to do ust that a couple of times - works great. you are absolutely correct about the value of foam pads.

How about inflatable pads designed to be separated and reassembled into pneumatic splints? Just a thought....
Geezer in Chief

#284568 - 05/15/17 04:59 PM Re: Improvising First Aid [Re: Russ]
Roarmeister Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 09/12/01
Posts: 837
Loc: Saskatchewan, Canada
Originally Posted By: Russ
Originally Posted By: NAro
... Butterfly strips are the way we go.
Emphasis added.

Butterfly strips are fairly easy to apply and remove, and they don't seal the wound so that infection can set in. Clean/flush the wound, apply butterfly strips, apply bandage as appropriate and then make a decision as to evacuating. IMO if a wound is serious enough that you're applying butterfly strips and are concerned about infection, odds are better than even that the hike is over. You need to find an ER/hospital/medical clinic as appropriate.

Here is a novel way of closing a wound that has more tension than butterfly strips. Duct tape sutures.

#284569 - 05/15/17 07:55 PM Re: Improvising First Aid [Re: hikermor]
LCranston Offline

Registered: 08/31/09
Posts: 145
Loc: Nebraska
I realize that Superglue is not as good as duct Tape- after all, nothing is as good as duct tape.

On the other hand, the original question was improvised first aid when not able to get immediately to ER.

Superglue can temporarily stop bleeding in small to major wounds; at least long enough to get to professionals.

Fast, no needles, stop bleeding.

I would never substitute superglue for an ER visit, but have used it for paper-cuts and other small scrapes. It even forms its own scab.

The Mayo Clinic uses a form of superglue in place of stitches on some wounds.
Reference http://mayoclinichealthsystem.org/hometo...r-first-aid-kit

#284570 - 05/15/17 11:36 PM Re: Improvising First Aid [Re: hikermor]
chaosmagnet Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/03/09
Posts: 2664
Super glue sold at retail can cause an allergic reaction in some folks, something I'm told is much less common in surgical super glue.

I'm much more likely to use steri-strips (regular or the field-expedient duct tape variety) than super glue to close a wound.

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