MEDICAL: Traumatic Injury Management Skills
by George Matheis on October 23, 2010 · 13 comments
Its just a flesh wound! For a long time people would show up at edged weapons and firearms classes, and at breaks questions about first aid would always come up. The folks asking the questions were not usually police, military, or paramedics, since these people get training as part of their job. They were coming from your average Joe who realized that if you are training to use guns and knives, you may have the need to treat an arterial bleed or GSW (pro-speak for gun shot wound).
Because of this we started adding a one hour block of instruction to in every class on TIMS (Traumatic Injury Management Skills). There is no shortage of information on first aid an emergency medicine. However this can be overwhelming to the lay person who is trying to put together a first aid kit to deal with the most likely events.
While serving as a police officer what I found was the it was the worst scenarios that required my intervention. I also found that the things you do in the first few minuets can mean all the difference in the world between life and death, or just quality of life following a traumatic event. The worse the injury the more gross your initial response will be.
Couple that with the fact that in most locations emergency medical services are only minutes away. TIMS will allow you with minimal equipment, to provide first aid and keep yourself busy which is the key to mental survival in many situations.
Build your TIMS Kit
Any small pouch or even a zip lock will do. First of all lets look at what we recommend for your TIMS Kit-
- Nitrile Gloves
- EMT Sheers
- Sterile Gauze
- Kerlex (rolled gauze)
- Ace Bandage
- Duct Tape
Many reading this will say, you should add this or that, and I agree. I do carry some other things based on skill level and so should you. But here is the catch, you need to have this kit handy I carry mine in the Bag of Evil which is never more than room away or in the vehicle I am using.
You don’t want it to be in your range bag back at the house when your kid is bleeding all over the ground after putting their pocket knife into their leg. Your TIM Kit like all FAKs (First Aid Kit) should be identifiable. I tie red parachute cord on mine so that it can be quickly identified by anyone I send for it.
Only Fools Rush In
Don’t become a casualty when you are trying to render aid. Many people have walked into downed power lines, or been struck by another vehicle while trying to help out at a motor vehicle accident.
Ask yourself these two questions-
Is it safe to render aid? Is the scene dangerous because of conditions or people?
Can you render aid in the current locations? Too many people let a little training over ride common sense. Yes you want to protect the spine and neck of someone that has just been in a car accident, but if they are pumping blood out of and extremity you may need to move them to treat the visible problem.
Access Responsiveness – DO NOT SHAKE – Evaluate
M- Massive Hemorrhage
A- Airway CPR Protocal
R- Respiration CPR Protocol
Blood goes round and round in a close system. If there is a hole, stop the leak.
Air goes in and out. If it is not, figure out why and fix it.
Use both a visual and physical head to toe inspection of the victim. Common injuries include but are not limited to-
Severe Bleeding- locate source, elevate above chest, pressure point/direct pressure. Tourniquet (mark with time) check distal post to ensure some blood is getting to tissue.
Amputation- located body part if possible, place in a clean plastic bag, and then on ice. If bleeding is uncontrollable consider a tourniquet.
Penetrating Injury- if object remains DO NOT REMOVE, support/stablize and tape in place. Follow severe bleeding protocol.
Burns- pay special attention to burns affecting the face/neck/eyes, hands , feet, genitals, and joints. Remove source of burn. Remove clothes that come off easily. Do not pull on clothes stuck to injury. Cover burns loosely with clean material like bed sheet/blanket.
Eye Injuries- remove eye glasses, not contacts. Flush with water. DO NOT attempt to physically remove foreign bodies from the eyes. Cover both eyes with gauze. Be sure not to put pressure on they eye itself. Tape in place.
Everything listed above are things you should have the time and gear to do in the 5-10 minutes prior to the arrival of EMS. Stay calm, keep moving, and work on anyone with signs of life, you just never know.
If you are not trained, get trained. Contact your local Red Cross.
MEDICAL: Traumatic Injury Management Skills