ST JOHN AMBULANCE: How to deal with a wound to the palm
St John Ambulance, the nation's leading first aid charity has teamed up with the Herald and Gazette to bring you some simple, but life saving, first aid tips '“ this week: dealing with a wound to the palm.
The palm of the hand has a good blood supply, which is why a wound there may cause profuse bleeding.
A deep wound to the palm may sever tendons and nerves in the hand and result in loss of feeling or movement in the fingers.
Follows these simple steps to help:
• Press a sterile dressing or clean pad firmly into the palm and ask the casualty to clench their fist over it.
• Raise and support the hand. Bandage the casualty’s fingers so that they are clenched over the pad – leave the thumb free so you can check circulation. Tie the ends of the bandage over the top of the fingers to help maintain pressure.
• Support the arm in an elevation sling and arrange to take or send them to hospital.
If the casualty has a foreign object embedded in a palm wound, it will be impossible to clench the fist and the following steps should be taken:
• Control bleeding by applying pressure on either side of the object and raising the injured hand above the casualty’s heart. Drape a piece of gauze over the wound and object.
• Build up padding on either side of the object (rolled bandages make good padding) until it is high enough for you to be able to bandage over the object without pressing it further into the wound. Hold the padding in place until the bandaging is complete.
• Arrange to take or send the casualty to hospital.
• For those looking for quick, easily accessible first aid information, the St John Ambulance app is available free on smartphones and the website (www.sja.org.uk) offers demo videos, an interactive game, and lots of free advice. For more information about first aid courses please call 0303 003 0101.
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