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Thread: Medical Incident - Some learnings for your first aid kit.

  1. #1
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    Medical Incident - Some learnings for your first aid kit.

    First of all, I'm an idiot. I know that, and I don't need anyone's off hand comments to reinforce that fact. I am posting this up as we all learn from our experiences and I hope that someone else can learn from mine.
    I am a senior manager of a manufacturing business, and am well versed is risk management, health and safety and work place first aid, so please keep that in mind before commenting on my experience. Feel free to add your positive learning experiences.

    So, that said, I am solo hunting on a hill county farm and have shot a nice fat hind on the grassland verge where the deer come out of the bush to feed right on dusk.
    I have managed to get my quad bike to within 30m of the hind, but she is down in a steep little gut, thankfully out of the bitterly cold wind.
    I have a buggered back (ruptured disc) and as a result always bone my animals out in the field to reduce carry weight, and fortunately, on this hunt I have the quad to do the donkey work to hump the meat the 2km or so back to the woolshed where I was staying.

    I keep a first aid kit on the bike and another in my pack made up of and Israeli bandage, Celox Z Fold bandage, steri strips, tape and a few band aids, plus I have an EPIRB (all part of the usual risk management). In all my years of hunting I have never had a serious medical event or ever been in a situation requiring the use of products like Celox.

    Its now 7:30pm and I have boned the hind out down to the very last cut of meat, the precious RH side back steak. My back is screaming out at me and I am on a 9.1 out of 10 on my pain threshold, and I have a very high threshold after 30 years of carrying this back injury. Throughout the boning process as the pain level in my back was building I was telling my self that I needed to be extra careful as the fatigue set in, do things right, don't take short cuts, position the hind correctly for the meat being recovered, and keep my body where it needs to be - ie play the safe game.

    All the best intentions sometimes produce a unplanned outcome.
    Unfortunately, as I was opening up the membrane surrounding the back steak, my rather sharp knife cut through a little easier than I had expected, and I stabbed the pointy end of the knife into the inside of left leg, just below the knee. My immediate reaction was to yell at myself, saying "you f**king idiot - I told you to be careful!". Having felt no real pain, I then carried on with the process of boning out the back steak. 10 seconds later, I felt the blood starting to saturate my sock...……
    "Shit, that might be a bit more serious than I first thought!"

    I reached down with my off hand and my thumb went straight into a hole in my leg. "bugger, bugger, bugger …..!"
    I clambered up the bank to the bike while holding my thumb in the hole to try as stem the flow of blood. Pulled out the first aid kit, and the EPIRB just in case.
    I dropped my trousers to find a nice 15mm incision leaking plenty of the red stuff.

    Knowing that I needed to stop the bleeding, I grabbed the Celox Z fold packet and tore it open. Out popped this bandage that was square stacked into about 10 layers. I wasn't sure if I needed to use the whole stack as a packer with a bandage over the top or wrap it around the whole leg some how?? Seemed a waste to have the celox compound on the back of my leg were I wasn't bleeding, so initially I just slapped the stack over the hole in my leg. Then I tell myself that's a waste because I probably only need a couple of layers to soak up the blood. I pull the bandage stack off again, and tear off two folds and slap it back over the hole and apply pressure. All good.

    Now I needed to tape it in place. I grab the new, never been used roll of medical tape …….. and try to find the F'n end of the tape with one hand and my teeth while holding the Celox bandage in place with the other. After 1 minute of swearing and cursing I let go of the Celox bandage to use both hands on the tape, and to my surprise, the bandage stayed in place on its own and no blood leakage - cool! Finally found the end of the tape, and taped the Celox in place - all good to get me back to base.
    I then proceeded to get my last back steak off the hind, loaded the bike and headed back to the woolshed.

    So, here's the learnings, take them or leave them:
    1. Know where your first aid kit is at all times, what's in it and how to use it. Rehearse in you head or role play with you mates as to how you would deal with different situations and different injuries. For the products you carry in your kit, watch some youtube demos to get familiar. In a situation of stress, you need to rely on what you have practiced.
    2. I learned that for this type of wound, a couple of squares of Celox bandage will stem quite a blood flow, and fast. Its good stuff, and I can now say first hand, if you don't have it in your hunting first aid kit, you need to get some.
    3. If you have one of the big Z fold bandages, you can easily tear off sections by hand as needed, but for the price, the smaller Celox "patches" might be a better beat. I only used about 15% of the total bandage and they are around $100 each. Do get the bandage or patches as apposed to the sachets of Celox granules - I am told that the granules are difficult to keep in place if the blood flow is high. If you do have granules, you probably need to poor them onto a swap/patch and then apply this to the wound.
    4. I also leant that when you put the Celox bandage on, just focus on keeping it in place with hand pressure for 1-2 minutes. Let it do its magic, then you can focus on how you are going to keep in in place after that.
    5. If you carry tape in your kit, and you should, find the end of it and fold in back on itself so that the end is easy to find in an emergency.
    6. While I had an Israeli bandage in my kit I didn't use it, instead I tapped the Celox in place. in hind sight, a better and easier solution would have been to use the Israeli bandage.
    7. Stress, physical or mental, can impede you. Be conscious of this, adapt or compensate accordingly to ensure that you keep yourself safe. I thought I was, but then this happened ….


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  2. #2
    Member Sako851's Avatar
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    Must of been rather deep? Glad you had the necessary kit to patch it up. Accidents can happen, thanks for spelling out some of the points

  3. #3
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    Accidents do indeed happen. Well done fixing the problem with what you had. And there but for the grace of whatever deity we salute, go us too.

    (Excuse the question but you are up to date for tetanus jabs yes? Sorry, cannot help the reflex ask, I bet they already checked at the facility).

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    Get some gauze to go with your Israeli, even have a spare Israeli as they are bloody good

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fat ninja View Post
    Get some gauze to go with your Israeli, even have a spare Israeli as they are bloody good
    To be honest, having had this relatively minor incident, I would replace all of my normal bandages with Israeli type. Since they come fully sealed (water proof) and you need no retention clips or tape to hold them in place, they would deal to 95% of large limb injuries.

  6. #6
    Member Tussock's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hotbarrels View Post
    I am a senior manager of a manufacturing business, and am well versed is risk management, health and safety and work place first aid, so please keep that in mind before commenting on my experience. Feel free to add your positive learning experiences.
    1. Know where your first aid kit is at all times, what's in it and how to use it. Rehearse in you head or role play with you mates as to how you would deal with different situations and different injuries. For the products you carry in your kit, watch some youtube demos to get familiar. In a situation of stress, you need to rely on what you have practiced.
    2. Stress, physical or mental, can impede you. Be conscious of this, adapt or compensate accordingly to ensure that you keep yourself safe. I thought I was, but then this happened ….
    You are not an idiot, you actually did really well.

    For reasons 1 and 7, health and safety and employment first aid training may be next to useless, bordering on counter productive, for outdoor first aid.

    I have done three really serious after incident investigations for outdoor injuries for businesses. All these businesses had done their OHS and had protocols in place and were compliant. None of it actually worked. People did a bunch of completely random and bizarre shit which made absolutely no sense. Some of them were extremely experienced outdoorsman. No one went to jail for this because I was able to demonstrate they had an acute stress reaction (the psychological version shock).

    When something happens to you outdoors, there are vastly more unconstrained variables (which run through your head at high speed) and the level of responsibility feels much higher. It is far from unusual for people to crack up.

    The only way to prevent this is drill. You need to, as you put it, role play. It has to be a subconscious or shit can get very weird.

    So you did good. Welcome to the "whoops I stabbed myself" club. Everyone is an idiot sometimes.
    tikka, shift14, Boaraxa and 5 others like this.

  7. #7
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    I've always had a first aid kit when I go hunting. The problem is I've always left it at camp or in the ute.Pretty naive thinking that I will get back to camp to use it.Makes you think alright.I will have to put one in my daypack. How big are the kits people carry.

  8. #8
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    Thanks for sharing

  9. #9
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    Thanks for sharing that @hotbarrells and really glad that it turned out well for you. A timely reminder.

    I have to confess that I have been out there in the bush, and more recently on private land but right up on the bush line, and I have been carrying the most basic or first aid kits. I have always thought about accidentally cutting myself even just dressing out hares and rabbits but obviously have not thought about it seriously enough. Your post has prompted me to add a decent first aid kit to my list of things to buy when I venture into the big city on Wednesday.

    Cheers
    Phil

  10. #10
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    Thanks for posting that summary @hotbarrels

    I never used to carry a First Aid Kit until about 5 years ago after I got carried away with my knife when taking a front hock off a deer and collected my left thumb just beneath the knuckle. You know how when you cut the knuckle of a deer you see all that bone and lubrication of the joint? Yeah... my thumb was a bit like that. Luck was on my side as one of my fellow hunters had a kit with him. Since that day, the First Aid Kit goes everywhere.

    Included in my First Aid Kit is a sachet of Celox. I also have a Celox Bandage which I take on group hunts (not solo hunts) - just in case... heaven forbid. I've watched videos online demonstrating their use but never considered the granules would be difficult to retain on a wound with a high blood flow, so thanks for highlighting that important information.

    Having the tape "started" is also another damn good suggestion. The day you need the tape will be the day you're cold or in shock, have blood all over your fingers and trying to get the tape started with one hand. I'm going to the garage shortly and will deal to that one right away.

    I hate doing role play. I hate it with a passion as its right outside my comfort zone. That said I recognise the postive reinforcement which comes with role play. I'm a volunteer with the Red Cross and First Aid role play is a heavy part of our regular training. But when the chips are down and you turn up at an accident or incident that role play kicks in and works like magic.

    Your lessons are definitely well-received here.
    sambnz and Cordite like this.

  11. #11
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    Thanks for sharing this experience. You made preparations which ensured that you made it through. We can all learn a lesson from that.
    In a crisis, you don't rise to the occasion, but sink to the level of you training and preparation.
    keneff and Cordite like this.

  12. #12
    Shootin the breeze.... Survy's Avatar
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    Thanks for the story, glad you’re ok.
    I pack a med kit and then leave it on the quad dog.
    But I have placed 3 tampons in it just in case.
    HILLBILLYHUNTERS likes this.
    “he waka eke noa”

  13. #13
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    My first aid kit is a roll of strapping tape , Panadol & a plb , I’m going to upgrade my kit after reading your story.
    Actually I remember contributing to a pig dog kit a while back & seen as how iv never head of Israel bandages perhaps a thread on must haves could be good.
    Thanks.
    Last edited by Boaraxa; 22-04-2019 at 10:52 AM.
    The Green party putting the CON in conservation since 2017

  14. #14
    Member Max Headroom's Avatar
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    Hands up anybody who never cut or stabbed themselves with a knife.

    I used to have a mindset that I applied to my preparations for things like hunting.

    Can I do this when I'm injured, exhausted and alone on a rainy night? If I can't, then maybe I need to rethink it.

    Ceelox and Israeli Bandages will go on my to get list.
    tikka, keneff and Cordite like this.

  15. #15
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    i think after reading this I will upgrade my first aid kit and watch a couple vids on how to use it more efficiently. mind you I never have a sharp knife so wont stab myself as bad as that I hope.

 

 

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