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Medical disclaimer: I am not a doctor, and these examples should not be followed in a situation where a doctor is available. They are for an emergency, where there is no doctor or hospital for a wounded individual to be admitted to for help as a patient.  If there is medical practictioners available, stop the bleeding and transport the wounded individual immediately to the nearest hospital or doctor.

Stop The Bleeding and Treat for Shock

If an individual is bleeding after an injury the first job is to stop the bleeding. Use sterile gauze or clean towel on the wound and apply pressure. If the blood soaks through, add another layer of gauze and continue to the pressure. Don’t remove the blood soaked guaze before adding more. If you remove the guaze clotting agent that has already started in the wound, will make it continue to bleed, complicating the situation.
Once the bleeding has stopped notice if the person has any of the following symptoms: 1) sweaty but cool skin, 2)paleness of skin, 3) restlessness or nervousness, 4) thirst, 5) confusion or loss of awareness, 6) faster than normal breathing rate, 7) blotchy or bluish skin (especially around the mouth and lips), 8) nausea or vomiting; these may be signs of significant loss of blood and the individual may go into shock.
Other reasons for going into shock are heart failure, dehydration, severe painful blows to the body, severe burns, wound infections, and allergic reaction to drugs, food, insect stings, or snake bites.
Depending on the severity of the wound it is probably safe to say that the individual will go into shock, you shouldn’t wait for the signs to worsen. Instead move the individual to the shade, lay him on his back and elevate his feet higher than the level of his heart. Keep him warm with a blanket and reassure him he will be OK.
Don’t elevate his legs if the individual has an abdominal injury, head injury or an unsplinted broken leg. For further reference see Here

Suturing – Techniques and Supplies

In any future war, civil strife or disaster of any kind, there will be causalities; dead and wounded. If you are a Prepper, Survivalist, in a Militia, a believer in 2012 being the end, or any other end time scenario, this is something you will need to learn. Actually, two people in your group will need to learn. I say ‘two’, incase one of the two that has learned is the causality. Time to consider the wounded and suturing techniques.
Years ago, when I knew a medical student, I asked him “what are the most important medical tools to have around” I was told forceps. So I stocked up on forceps, of different kinds at local flea markets.
I have found E-Bay to be an excellent source of surgical  and medical tools, I recently bought a needle holder and tissue forceps. I tried to buy online from another company that would not sell to the public. I am glad they didn’t, because they were extremely expensive. You could probably use a set of tweezers instead of the tissue forceps, the difference being the fresh foceps have a raised area near the working end to lift tissue and are not flat like normal tweezers.

As for the sutures themselves I have found two sources, one Ad Surgical and IMS-Plus Military Surplus which also carries some medical tools as well.  I went with IMS, because they give you a variety when you order more than one.   On my last order they gave me two nylon sutures and one chromic gut.  The chromic gut  dissolves and is for internal wounds. Here is an excellent website on Suturing Basics, it describes different types of sutures, and other equipment needed. The Saline Solution is easy enough to make, use canning salt, which is more pure than table salt.  Using a plastic bottle, where you can apply pressure to force the saline solution; it is a good idea to rinse out a wound of foreign objects, using tweeters to remove the objects before suturing.  If you don’t the chance of infection is greatly increased.

I have heard of using chicken pieces from the grocery store to practice suturing.  Here is a video of an individual using an orange to practice suturing.  When ordering suture, order enough to practice.

 

Here is another video made by the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine.  In an emergency; which you may face,  don’t worry too much about the signed release. Or have every one pre-sign a release within your group, in case of emergency.

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Here is another excellent video, notice how the doctor raps the suture and ties it.

Here is another excellent website, produced by the Army on How to Suture. This is another link that you should study thoroughly before attempting to use suture.

Make sure to practice, practice and practice before attempting this. The next post will be on bullet and other missile wounds.  The Army describes missile wounds as both bullet, shrapnel, and other debris such as shell wadding, clothing, rocks and  building materials that can be converted into missiles that wound.

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