Accidents And Emergencies
What To Do
If an artery is cut, red blood spurts. Compress it above the wound. If a
vein is cut, dark blood flows. Compress it below and above.
If choked, go upon all fours and cough.
For slight burns, dip the part in cold water; if the skin is destroyed,
cover with varnish or linseed oil.
For apoplexy, raise the head and body; for fainting, lay the person
Send for a physician when a serious accident of any kind occurs, but
treat as directed until he arrives.
Scalds and Burns--The following facts cannot be too firmly impressed on
the mind of the reader, that in either of these accidents the first,
best, and often the only remedies required, are sheets of wadding, fine
wool, or carded cotton, and, in the default of these, violet powder,
flour, magnesia, or chalk. The object for which these several articles
are employed is the same in each instance; namely, to exclude the air
from the injured part; for if the air can be effectually shut out from
the raw surface, and care is taken not to expose the tender part till
the new cuticle is formed, the cure may be safely left to nature. The
moment a person is called to a case of scald or burn, he should cover
the part with a sheet, or a portion of a sheet, of wadding, taking care
not to break any blister that may have formed, or stay to remove any
burnt clothes that may adhere to the surface, but as quickly as possible
envelop every part of the injury from all access of the air, laying one
or two more pieces of wadding on the first, so as effectually to guard
the burn or scald from the irritation of the atmosphere; and if the
article used is wool or cotton, the same precaution, of adding more
material where the surface is thinly covered, must be adopted; a light
bandage finally securing all in their places. Any of the popular
remedies recommended below may be employed when neither wool, cotton,
nor wadding are to be procured, it being always remembered that that
article which will best exclude the air from a burn or scald is the
best, quickest, and least painful mode of treatment. And in this respect
nothing has surpassed cotton loose or attached to paper as in wadding.
If the Skin is Much Injured in burns, spread some linen pretty thickly
with chalk ointment, and lay over the part, and give the patient some
brandy and water if much exhausted; then send for a medical man. If not
much injured, and very painful, use the same ointment, or apply carded
cotton dipped in lime water and linseed oil. If you please, you may lay
cloths dipped in ether over the parts, or cold lotions. Treat scalds in
same manner, or cover with scraped raw potato; but the chalk ointment is
the best. In the absence of all these, cover the injured part with
treacle, and dust over it plenty of flour.
BODY IN FLAMES--Lay the person down on the floor of the room, and throw
the table cloth, rug, or other large cloth over him, and roll him on the
DIRT IN THE EYE--Place your forefinger upon the cheek-bone, having the
patient before you; then slightly bend the finger, this will draw down
the lower lid of the eye, and you will probably be able to remove the
dirt; but if this will not enable you to get at it, repeat this
operation while you have a knitting-needle or bodkin placed over the
eyelid; this will turn it inside out, and enable you to remove the sand,
or eyelash, etc., with the corner of a fine silk handkerchief. As soon
as the substance is removed, bathe the eye with cold water, and exclude
the light for a day. If the inflammation is severe, let the patient use
a refrigerant lotion.
LIME IN THE EVE--Syringe it well with warm vinegar and water in the
proportion of one ounce of vinegar to eight ounces of water; exclude
IRON OR STEEL SPICULAE IN THE EYE--These occur while turning iron or
steel in a lathe, and are best remedied by doubling back the upper or
lower eyelid according to the situation of the substance, and with the
flat edge of a silver probe, taking up the metallic particle, using a
lotion made by dissolving six grains of sugar of lead and the same of
white vitriol, in six ounces of water, and bathing the eye three times a
day till the inflammation subsides. Another plan is--Drop a solution of
sulphate of copper (from one to three grains of salt to one ounce of
water) into the eye, or keep the eye open in a wineglassful of the
solution. Bathe with cold lotion, and exclude light to keep down
DISLOCATED THUMB--This is frequently produced by a fall. Make a clove
hitch, by passing two loops of cord over the thumb, placing a piece of
rag under the cord to prevent it cutting the thumb; then pull in the
same line as the thumb. Afterwards apply a cold lotion.
CUTS AND WOUNDS--Clean cut wounds whether deep or superficial, and
likely to heal by the first intention, should always be washed or
cleaned, and at once evenly and smoothly closed by bringing both edges
close together and securing them in that position by adhesive plaster.
Cut thin strips of sticking plaster, and bring the parts together; or,
if large and deep, cut two broad pieces, so as to look like the teeth of
a comb, and place one on each side of the wound, which must be cleaned
previously. These pieces must be arranged so that they shall interlace
one another; then, by laying hold of the pieces on the right side with
one hand, and those on the other side with the other hand and pulling
them from one another, the edges of the wounds are brought together
without any difficulty.
Ordinary Cuts are dressed by thin strips, applied by pressing down the
plaster on one side of the wound, and keeping it there, and pulling in
the opposite direction; then suddenly depressing the hand when the edges
of the wound are brought together.
CONTUSIONS are best healed by laying a piece of folded lint, well wetted
with extract of lead or boracic acid, on the part, and, if there is much
pain, placing a hot bran poultice over the dressing, repeating both if
necessary every, two hours. When the injuries are very severe lay a
cloth over the part, and suspend a basin over it filled with cold
lotion. Put a piece of cotton into the basin, so that it shall allow the
lotion to drop on the cloth, and thus keep it always wet.
HEMORRHAGE, when caused by an artery being divided or torn, may be known
by the blood issuing out of the wound in leaps or jerks, and being of a
bright scarlet color. If a vein is injured, the blood is darker and
flows continuously. To arrest the latter apply pressure by means of a
compress and bandage. To arrest arterial bleeding, get a piece of wood
(part of a broom handle will do), and tie a piece of tape to one end of
it. Then tie a piece of tape loosely over the arm, and pass the other
end of the wood under it; twist the stick around and around until the
tape compresses the arm sufficiently to arrest the bleeding, and then
confine the other end by tying the string around the arm. A compress
made by enfolding a penny piece in several folds of lint or linen
should, however, be first placed under the tape and over the artery, If
the bleeding is very obstinate, and it occurs in the arm, place a cork
underneath the string, on the inside of the fleshy part, where the
artery may be felt beating by any one; if in the leg, place a cork in
the direction of a line drawn from the inner part of the knee toward the
outer part of the groin. It is an excellent thing to accustom yourself
to find out the position of these arteries, or, indeed, any that are
superficial, and to explain to every person in your house where they
are, and how to stop bleeding. If a stick cannot be got, take a
handkerchief, make a cord bandage of it, and tie a knot in the middle;
the knot acts as a compress, and should be placed over the artery, while
the two ends are c around the thumb. Observe always to place
the ligature between the wound and the heart. Putting your finger into a
bleeding wound, and making pressure until a surgeon arrives, will
generally stop violent bleeding.
BLEEDING FROM THE NOSE, from whatever cause, may generally be stopped by
putting a plug of lint into the nostrils; if this does not do, apply a
cold lotion to the forehead; raise the head, and place over it both
arms, so that it will rest on the hands; dip the lint plug, slightly
moistened, into some powdered gum arabic, and plug the nostrils again;
or dip the plug into equal parts of powdered gum arabic and alum, and
plug the nose. Or the plug may be dipped in Friar's balsam, or tincture
of kino. Heat should be applied to the feet; and, in obstinate cases,
the sudden shock of a cold key, or cold water poured down the spine,
will often instantly stop the bleeding. If the bowels are confined, take
a purgative. Injections of alum solution from a small syringe into the
nose will often stop hemorrhage.
VIOLENT SHOCKS will sometimes stun a person, and he will remain
unconscious. Untie strings, collars, etc.; loosen anything that is tight
and interferes with the breathing; raise the head; see if there is
bleeding from any part; apply smelling-salts to the nose, and hot
bottles to the feet.
IN CONCUSSION, the surface of the body is cold and pale, and the pulse
weak and small, the breathing slow and gentle, and the pupil of the eye
generally contracted or small. You can get an answer by speaking loud,
so as to arouse the patient. Give a little brandy and water, keep the
place quiet, apply warmth, and do not raise the head too high. If you
tickle the feet, the patient feels it.
IN COMPRESSION OF THE BRAIN from any cause, such as apoplexy, or a piece
of fractured bone pressing on it, there is loss of sensation. If you
tickle the feet of the injured person he does not feel it. You cannot
arouse him so as to get an answer. The pulse is slow and labored; the
breathing deep, labored, and snorting; the pupil enlarged. Raise the
head, loosen strings or tight things, and send for a surgeon. If one
cannot be got at once, apply mustard poultices to the feet and thighs,
leeches to the temples, and hot water to the feet.
CHOKING--When a person has a fish bone in the throat, insert the
forefinger, press upon the root of the tongue, so as to induce vomiting;
if this does not do, let him swallow a large piece of potato or soft
bread; and if these fail, give a mustard emetic,
FAINTING, HYSTERICS, ETC.--Loosen the garments, bathe the temples with
water or eau-de-Cologne; open the window, admit plenty of fresh air,
dash cold water on the face, apply hot bricks to the feet, and avoid
bustle and excessive sympathy.
DROWNING.--Attend to the following essential rules: 1. Lose no time. 2.
Handle the body gently. 3. Carry the body face downward, with the head
gently raised, and never hold it up by the feet. 4. Send for medical
assistance immediately, and in the meantime act as follows: 5. Strip the
body; rub it dry, then wrap it in hot blankets, and place it in a warm
bed in a warm room. 6. Cleanse away the froth and mucus from the nose
and month. 7. Apply warm bricks, bottles, bags of sand, etc. to the
armpits, between the thighs, and to the soles of the feet. 8. Rub the
surface of the body with the hands inclosed in warm, dry worsted socks.
9. If possible, put the body into a warm bath. 10. To restore breathing,
put the pipe of a common bellows into one nostril, carefully closing the
other, and the mouth; at the same time drawing downward, and pushing
gently backward, the upper part of the windpipe to allow a more free
admission of air; blow the bellows gently, in order to inflate the
lungs, till the breast be raised a little; then set the month and
nostrils free, and press gently on the chest; repeat this until signs of
life appear. The body should be covered the moment it is placed on the
table, except the face, and all the rubbing carried on under the sheet
or blanket. When they can be obtained, a number of tiles or bricks
should be made tolerably hot in the fire, laid in a row on the table,
covered with a blanket, and the body placed in such a manner on them
that their heat may enter the spine. When the patient revives, apply
smelling-salts to the nose, give warm wine or brandy and water.
Cautions.--1. Never rub the body with salt or spirits. 2. Never roll the
body on casks. 3. Continue the remedies for twelve hours without
HANGING--Loosen the cord, or whatever it may be by which the person has
been suspended. Open the temporal artery or jugular vein, or bleed from
the arm; employ electricity, if at hand, and proceed as for drowning.
APPARENT DEATH FROM DRUNKENNESS--Raise the head; loosen the clothes,
maintain warmth of surface, and give a mustard emetic as soon as the
person can swallow.
APOPLEXY AND FITS GENERALLY--Raise the head; loosen all tight clothes,
strings, etc.; apply cold lotions to the head, and send for a surgeon.
SUFFOCATION FROM NOXIOUS GASES, ETC.--Remove to the fresh air; dash cold
vinegar and water in the face, neck, and breast; keep up the warmth of
the body; if necessary, apply mustard poultices to the soles of the feet
and to the spine, and try artificial respirations as in drowning, with
LIGHTNING AND SUNSTROKE--Treat the same as apoplexy.