juices, or sugar water maybe given if the casualty is conscious and able to swallow, if he has no internal injuries, and if vomiting is no problem.
One final precaution must be given concerning the use of liquids: NEVER GIVE ALCOHOL TO A PERSON IN SHOCK OR WHO MAY GO INTO SHOCK. Alcohol increases the blood supply to surface vessels and so diminishes the blood supply to the brain and other vital organs.
Heat is important in the treatment of shock to the extent that the injured person's body heat must be conserved. Exposure to cold, with resulting loss of body heat, can cause shock to develop or to become worse. You will have to judge the amount of covering to use by considering the weather and the general circumstances of the accident. Often alight covering will be enough to keep the casualty comfortable. Wet clothing should be removed and dry covering provided, even on a hot day. Use blankets or any dry material to conserve body heat. Artificial means of warming (for example, hot-water bottles, heated bricks, or heated sand) should not be ordinarily used. Artificial heat may cause the loss of body fluids (by sweating), and it brings the blood closer to the surface, thus defeating the body's own efforts to supply blood to the vital organs and to the brain. Also, the warming agent may burn the victim. KEEP AN INJURED PERSON WARM ENOUGH FOR COMFORT, BUT DO NOT OVERHEAT HIM.
The best position to use for the prevention or treatment of shock is one that encourages the flow of blood to the brain. If it is possible to place the injured person on his back on a bed, cot, or stretcher, you can raise the lower end of the support about 12 inches so that his feet will be higher than his head. If the circumstances of the accident make it impossible to do this, it might still be possible for you to raise his feet and legs enough to help the blood flow to the brain. Sometimes it is possible to take advantage of a natural slope of ground and place the casualty so that his head is lower than his feet.
In every case, of course, you will have to consider what type of injury is present before you can decide on the best position. For example, a person with a chest wound may have so much trouble breathing that you will have to raise his head slightly. If the face is flushed rather than pale, or if you have any reason to suspect head injury, do not raise the feet. Rather, you should keep the head level with or slightly higher than the feet. If the person has broken bones, you will have to judge what position would be best both 5-40 for the fractures and for shock. A fractured spine must be immobilized before the victim is moved at all, if further injuries are to be avoided. If you have any doubts about the correct position to use, have the victim lie flat on his back. THE BASIC POSITION FOR TREATING SHOCK IS ONE IN WHICH THE HEAD IS LOWER THAN THE FEET. Do the best you can, under the particular circumstances, to get the injured person into this position. In any case, never let a seriously injured person sit, stand, or walk around.
The first step to treating a snakebite is to determine whether the snake is poisonous. Many harmless snakes bite in self-defense. Distinguishing characteristics that help to determine if the snake is poisonous follow:
VIPERS. - The viper has two long, folding fangs at the front of the upper jaw. A pit viper also has a small, deep pit between the eyes and the nostrils, slit-like pupils of the eyes, and a flat, triangular head; the scales behind the anus are in one piece. Rattlesnakes, copperheads, and moccasins are pit vipers; all vipers are poisonous.
CORALS. - The coral snake has a black nose and brightly colored bands of either red, black, and yellow or red, black, and white. On coral snakes the black and red are separated by yellow or white; on the nonpoisonous (false coral) snake, the yellow and red are separated by black. It has short, grooved fangs and must chew into its victim before the poison can be injected. The coral snake is related to the cobra and the krait.
COBRAS. - The combat attitude of the cobra is with the forepart of the body raised vertically and the head tilted sharply forward. Usually the neck is flattened to form a hood. These snakes are very poisonous and should be avoided. Adders are related to the cobra and can be found throughout the continental United States.
TREATMENT OF SNAKEBITES. - Prompt action to reduce the effects of poisonous snakebites is essential. The following is a step-by-step treatment for snakebites:
1. Avoid undue exertion. If circumstances allow it, lie down and remain quiet. A snugContinue Reading