Friday, June 7, 2013


As a Scout leader trained in Wilderness and Remote First Aid, I am well qualified to report on first aid incidents.  I've written before about my own injuries and here's another first aid article.  Fortunately, I'm not the one who got injured this time.
In stitches. Not funny. 

This is one of my scouts from Boy Scout Troop "Hardcore" 444, who sliced his hand deeply while using a knife in an unsafe manner.  The exact circumstances don't need to be reported but, needless to say, he received prompt and appropriate medical care, including a trip to the hospital for stitches.  This photo is from after the boy returned to camp that night. 
So there's this misconception that "two-deep leadership" means only two adults are needed on any activity.  This event proves that wrong.  Troop 444 operates with at least four adults for just this sort of situation.  If we didn't have enough adult leaders, everyone would have had to break camp and go to the hospital.   As it was, we were able to send the injured scout, two more scouts, and two adults to the hospital while the remainder of the troop stayed at the camp out and continued with the program.  We were able to play it by the book to take care of an emergency while continuing to deliver the Scouting program.
Proper medical care for a cut like this is direct pressure to stop the bleeding.  Use a shirt, neckerchief, or, as we had available, a large gauze pad from our well-stocked troop first aid kit.  The blood flow was doing a good job washing out the cut on its own and indicated that stitches would be needed.  If there isn't as much blood, wash the cut with clean soapy water, rinse with clean water, and bandage with gauze.  But in this case, it was gauze and more gauze then prep for travel.
Also, treat for shock by sitting the patient down and applying first aid quickly and professionally.  You can wrap the patient in a blanket and have them sip water, as well.
The injured scout was able to return to camp that night and participate in the closing campfire program.  During an after action report type activity we call "Roses, Buds, and Thorns", this scout complained about the lack of speedy response when he injured himself.  Not to be mean, but he was corrected and it was pointed out that he was treated and ready for travel in ten minutes and at the hospital within the golden hour.  Then the adult leaders discussed with the rest of the scouts about the proper treatment for this type of injury, simply grabbing cloth and applying direct pressure.  
By being prepared with training and equipment, this scout has made a full recovery and doesn't even have a scar to brag about.