You’re sitting at your desk at work when you suddenly hear a loud crash and the sound of breaking glass. You run out to the hallway and find an injured coworker lying on the floor, a large piece of glass stuck in her leg. She tells you that a large glass vase shattered and pierced her calf.
What should you do?
An penetrating injury occurs when an object enters the body, causing a wound. Sometimes the object will remain stuck in the body. For example, a large piece of glass, wood or metal might be seen sticking out of the wound.
Here’s the #1 rule: Do not remove the impaled object..
Pulling out the object can damage nerves and blood vessels and make the wound much worse.
Instead, you should:
- Call 9-1-1 and get your first aid kit.
- Apply plenty of gauze or pieces of clean cloth around the embedded object to begin to control blood loss.
- Place additional bulky dressings around the embedded object to stabilize it in place and prevent it from moving around.
- Monitor the patient for signs of shock and treat accordingly.
- If the object falls out on its own, apply direct, firm pressure to the wound.
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