Facial wounds that involve the eyelids or the
soft tissue around the eye must be handled care-
fully to avoid further damage, If the injury does
not involve the eyeball, apply a sterile compress
and hold it in place with a FIRM bandage. If the
eyeball appears to be injured, use a LOOSE ban-
dage. (Remember that you must NEVER attempt
to remove any object that is embedded in the
eyeball or that has penetrated it; just apply a dry,
sterile compress to cover both eyes and hold it in
place with a LOOSE BANDAGE).
Any person who has suffered a facial wound
that involves the eye, the eyelids, or the tissues
around the eye must receive medical attention as
soon as possible. Be sure to keep the victim lying
down; you must use a stretcher for transport.
All chest injuries must be considered as serious
conditions, for chest injuries may cause severe
breathing and bleeding problems. Any victim
showing signs of difficulty in breathing without
signs of airway obstruction must be inspected for
chest injuries. The most serious chest injury that
requires immediate first aid treatment is the
SUCKING CHEST WOUND. This is a pene-
trating injury to the chest that produces a hole
in the chest cavity, causing the lung to collapse,
which prevents normal breathing functions. This
is an extremely serious condition that will result
in death if not treated quickly.
Victims with open chest wounds gasp for
breath, have difficulty breathing out, and may
have a bluish skin color to their face. A frothy
looking blood may bubble from the wound dur-
The proper treatment for a sucking chest
wound is as follows:
1. Immediately seal the wound with a hand
or any airtight material available (e.g., ID
card). The material must be large enough
so that it cannot be sucked into the wound
when the victim breaths in.
2. Firmly tape the material in place with strips
of adhesive tape and secure it with a
pressure dressing. It is important that the
dressing is airtight, otherwise, it will not
relieve the victims breathing problems.
The object of the dressing is to keep air
from going in through the wound. NOTE:
If the victims condition suddenly
deteriorates when you apply the seal, IM-
MEDIATELY remove it.
3. Give the victim oxygen if it is available and
you know how to use it.
4. Place the victim in a Fowlers or semi-
Fowlers position. This makes breathing a
little easier. During combat lay the victim
on a stretcher on the affected side.
5. Watch the victim closely for signs of shock
and treat accordingly.
6. Do not give victims with chest injuries
anything to drink.
7. Transport the victim to a medical treatment
A deep wound in the abdomen is likely to con-
stitute a major emergency since there are many
vital organs in this area. Abdomnial wounds
usually cause intense pain, nausea and vomiting,
spasm of the abdominal muscles, and severe
shock. Immediate surgical treatment is almost
always required; therefore, the victim must receive
medical attention at once, or the chances of sur-
vival will be poor. Give only the most essential
first aid treatment and concentrate your efforts
on getting the victim to a medical treatment facil-
ity. The following first aid procedures may be of
help to a person suffering from an abdominal
1. Keep the victim in a supine position. [f the
intestine is protruding or exposed, the vic-
tim may be more comfortable with the
knees drawn up. Place a coat, pillow, or
some other bulky cloth material under the
knees to help maintain this position. DO
NOT ATTEMPT TO PUSH THE IN-
TESTINE BACK IN OR TO MANIPU-
LATE IT IN ANY WAY!
2. If bleeding is severe, try to stop it by ap-
plying direct pressure.
3. If the intestine is not exposed, cover the
wound with a dry sterile dressing. If the in-
testine is exposed, apply a sterile compress
moistened with sterile water. If no sterile
water is available, clean sea water or any
water that is fit to drink may be used to
moisten the compress. Figure 4-47 shows
an abdominal wound with the intestine
protruding. Figure 4-48 shows the applica-
tion of compresses large enough to cover
the wound and the surrounding area. The
compress should be held in place by a ban-
dage. Fasten the bandage firmly so that the
compress will not slip around, but do not