Thursday, June 10, 2010

First Aid in the Blind

So your hunting partner (or you) sustains an injury or gets ill while out hunting. What do you do? It's a really huge topic to cover. I'm going to try to cover a couple of the basics in case of an emergency.

First and foremost- Keep a cool head. Easy for me to say as I enter my 20th year in the Emergency Medical Services. Try not to panic and think things through clearly. Don't become a second victim rushing to get the ill/injured party to safety.

Communication- Call 911 if you feel the ill/injured party needs immeadiate medical attention. Probably not nessesary for a simple cut or "boo boo toe" but in the event of severe bleeding, breathing difficulty, chest pains or fractures it's probably a good idea to get some help going. Cell phone coverage is getting better all of the time. Let the 911 dispatcher know the extent of the injury/illness and where you are. It's always better to let the help come to you. First Responders will assess the situation and determine the best and safest way to get a victim out. If your out of range of any sort of communication, send someone for help if you can or get them to safety as safe as you can.

Traumatic Injuries
Bleeding- Bright red spurting= Not Good. Direct pressure over the injury is still the best way to control it. Same thing with oozing blood.

Fractures- Is the appendage bent at an odd angle? If it is, it's probably broke. Immobilize it the best you can. A couple of straight sticks and some duct tape can be used to fashion a splint. The main reason to immobilize a fracture is not to cause more damage.

Burns- Stop the burning process- get away from the heat source. Try to keep the area as clean as possible. Cover the area up with as clean as you can find cloth and irrigate with clean water.

Medical Conditions
Medical conditions can be a wide range of problems from difficulty breathing, chest pains, allergic reactions, the list goes on. Like I wrote in the beginning, keep a cool head. Call for help and keep the victim calm and as comfortable as possible. Call for help. If you don't have communication, send somebody for help or get the victim to safety as safe as possible.

I can go on for days and days on what to do in case of an emergency. Nobody plans on getting sick or hurt but it happens. The best way to deal with these situations is to be prepared for them. Let someone know where you'll be and the times you'll be there and when to expect your return. Carry some sort of reliable form of communication and a well stocked first aid kit. Take a course in first aid and CPR.
"An ounce of prevention..." Well, you can try to prevent an emergency from happening but if it's gonna happen, it will happen. Being prepared for an emergency may make the outcome a little better.

Enough of that stuff. 2 1/2 months to early goose season here in Connecticut. My decoys are all set, been practicing the calling. I've been seeing alot of geese and ducks with little ones around here. I was out on a local golf course recently and was amazed by the amount of goslings this year. Looks like it's shaping up to be a good season.

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