Bleeding from Wounds.
If bleeding occur from any part where a bone lies near the surface, as the head or face, it may generally be stopped by pressing firmly against the bone with a finger, or a piece of cork, or by binding on tightly a hard pad. If this does not succeed, lift up each edge of the wound, and examine carefully to see if any small stream of blood is spouting out in jets. If so, an artery is wounded, and the point of small forceps or tweezers must be dipped in where the jets come from; the spouting mouth taken hold of and drawn out; and a strong silk thread passed around it, and tied below the forceps. The white and gaping mouth of the vessel may then be seen.
If the bleeding be profuse from an arm, the whole current of blood to that limb must be cut off, which may be done by some person pressing a thumb firmly into the neck behind the middle of the collar bone. This will dam up the blood in the great artery of the arm, as it comes out of the chest. The handle of a door key, wrapped in several folds of linen, may be pressed upon this place for a long time until medical assistance can be had.
Dangerous bleeding from the thigh or leg may often be stopped by pressing the great artery just below the crease of the groin.
If the bleeding be below the middle of the upper arm, or middle of the thigh, pass a handkerchief once or twice around the limb, as far above the wound as possible, and tie it tightly. Slip a stiff stick under this, and turn it round, like the handle of an auger, until the handkerchief becomes so tight as to stop the bleeding. This arrangement is called a stick tourniquet, and is intended to answer the same purpose as the instrument represented by Fig. 155.
One of the best methods now in use, of arresting hemorrhage in cases of accidental injuries of the large arteries of the extremities, is by surrounding the limb above with two turns of a piece of rubber tubing about three fourths of an inch in diameter, and tying it tight. This safely and effectually controls all bleeding.
Advantage is taken of this elastic property of rubber in controlling hemorrhage, in performing what is called bloodless operations of Surgery. It is called Esmarch's method, from the name of the originator. It may be resorted to in all operations on the extremities, whether of amputations, the removal of tumors, or in the minor operations of removing needles, and whenever the bleeding interferes with the performance of the operation.
It is applied as follows: The limb should first be tightly bandaged with an elastic rubber bandage about three inches wide, from below upwards, and then surrounded at the highest point with a band or tube of rubber in the place of a tourniquet. The bandage is then to be removed, when the operation may be performed in temporarily bloodless tissues.
An amputation of the thigh may be thus performed without loss of any blood of consequence.
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copyright 2005, J. Crow Company, New Ipswich NH 03071