- First Aid Using Splints -
Written by Agnes
Anyone venturing through the rougher parts of Erinn is exposed to various dangers that lurk in their way.
Most of the injuries that may occur as a result can be tended with the First Aid skill, but if it's a more significant injury, the skill will not suffice. One of the prime examples of such is when a fracture occurs.
Bones provide the foundation of the body, and they provide support to the body and protection to the organs. It is also where the muscles are attached, so if a bone is fractured, no organism functions as well as it would if all bones are in tact.
Bones are usually light yet very durable, so most collisions would not cause damage. Most fractures occur when someone falls to the ground from a high place, or suffers an impact similar to that. If a fracture occurs, it usually is accompanied by other related injuries. If you are attacked by an Ogre or stomped by a Golem, and you find yourself either unable to get back up or have trouble moving around, you may well have suffered a fracture.
The two most common fractures that occur are open fractures and closed fractures. Open fractures are basically fractures that penetrate the skin and are exposed, while closed fractures show no significant damage on the outside, but the bone is still fractured within the confines of the skin. Open fractures are generally big injuries that can be detected in an instant, but closed fractures aren't as easy to tell because the skin is unaffected by it. If the damaged area seems fine on the outside, but is suffering from constant swelling, or a slight deformation, you may have to suspect a closed fracture.
Even if the bone isn't fractured, if the injured area is swelling and you can't move the area, then it's a good chance you've either dislocated the area or is severely sprained. Dislocation occurs when the joint that connects a bone to another bone is misplaced from the spot, and the sprain occurs when the ligaments surrounding the joints for support is damaged. When you turn your ankle, that means you've sprained the ankle. If your arm falls off from the shoulder socket, that means it's been dislocated.
When an injury like this occurs, it is imperative that you first immobilize the area, and wait until a Healer or a magician who can use the Heal skill comes by. If you're critically injured or unable to move in the battle, the first thing you need to do is to move to a safer spot, even if it means receiving help from someone else. Even if you are at a safe spot, if you can't receive immediate medical help from the magicians or Healers, then you should use a wooden board or a bandage to make sure the injured area is immobile and put in place. A First Aid involving splints can spare the injury from further damage, as well as lessening the pain and the shock.
Travelers especially are prone to exasperating the injury by moving around too much while trying to stave off an immediate danger, so it is imperative that all travelers learn how to apply First Aid on themselves.
The materials needed for the splint will be a form of support that will fix the fractured/dislocated area and not have it run loose, along with the bandage or a piece of cloth that can be wrapped around the support to hold it in one position. A wooden board or a straight branch, a cane, or even an arrow case can be used for support. You can even use a magazine or a thin magic book for emergency support. Once you're well-experienced in First Aid, you'll be good enough to where just bandaging the area will do the trick.
When applying the splint, first make sure to locate the injured area, then secure it stiff. You must fix the area between two joints where it's injured in order to make sure the area doesn't move. When fixing the area, you must tighten the splint and the injured area with cloth, towel, cape, or other forms of soft fabric, and then use bandage or rope to tightly secure the joints near the injured area to keep it as still as possible. When fastening with the bandage, use the same technique as the one you'll use to stop the bleeding. Make sure it's not fastened too tight so the blood can circulate, and also make sure it's not loose so the area is at least fixed.
When applying First Aid, remember to never, ever forcefully straighten out or move around the injured area to fit into the splint. The best way to prevent further damage is by leaving the injured area as it is, while holding the joints still for minimum movement. Use the bandages and the splint to secure the area first, then cover the area with a large piece of cloth. That way, the injured area will receive both the effects of stability and warmth required for fast healing.
What's important here is to make sure the injured one remains still while the Healer is on the way, and it's imperative that even if it's unavoidable, to minimize the movement of the area. Applying the right kind of First Aid through the hands of an experienced First Aid-er is crucial to preventing further damage of the area.