Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Thumb's Up

Well, I did myself a good one just the other day. Nearly took the end of my thumb clean off. A kitchen utensil called a mandolin, used for slicing vegetables, was involved.
The culprit

Normally I'm much safer with blades, having been using them for so long. Guess I need to rip a corner off my Totin' Chip card. 

On to the first aid instruction portion of this post. Remaining calm when an accident has happened is the most important thing. Panic wastes valuable time needed for the treatment and recovery of the patient. Although, if you hurt yourself, using language that would melt a pirate's ear is an understandable response. After hopping around uttering choice exclamations, I got my bleeding thumb under the faucet to clean the injury and begin assessing the damage. I lost a few tablespoons of blood which helped carry contaminants out of the wound. My girlfriend brought over the first aid kit and I directed her in applying a bandage and dressing to the cut. 
Sharp dressed man
After any injury, a patient must also be treated for shock which is characterised by a drop in blood pressure and body temperature. I laid down under a blanket and also took a pain reliever. Aspirin, being a blood-thinner, would have been a poor choice of pain reliever but pain relieving and fever reducing ibuprofen is ideal for this type of accident. Take only as directed. 

I left the dressing on for 24 hours to ensure that bleeding was controlled, prevent infection, and begin healing the injury. After about 24 hours the dressing and bandage should be removed so the injury can be cleaned again, allowed air and blood circulation, and examined. The examination is to check for and treat infection and be sure the wound has begun healing. Cover the wound with a new bandage and clean dressing if it is likely to continue or resume bleeding. Otherwise, allow the wound air and full circulation to heal. 
The result