Treat the victim for shock and see that he or
she receives a medical officers attention as soon
as possible. Permanent deformity of the nose may
result if the fracture is not treated promptly.
Fracture of the Jaw
A person who has a fractured jaw may suffer
serious interference with breathing. There is likely
to be great difficulty in talking, chewing, or
swallowing. Any movement of the jaw causes
pain. The teeth may be out of line, and there may
be bleeding from the gums. Considerable swell-
ing may develop.
One of the most important phases of emer-
gency care is to clear the upper respiratory passage
of any obstruction. If the fractured jaw interferes
with breathing, pull the lower jaw and the tongue
well FORWARD and keep them in that position.
Apply a four-tailed bandage, as shown in
figure 4-59. Be sure that the bandage pulls the
lower jaw FORWARD. Never apply a bandage
that forces the jaw backward, since this might
seriously interfere with breathing. The bandage
must be firm so that it will support and immobilize
the injured jaw, but it must not press against the
victims throat. Be sure that the victim has scissors
or a knife to cut the bandage in case of vomiting.
Treat the victim for shock and evacuate as soon
Fracture of the Skull
When a person suffers a head injury, the
greatest danger is that the brain may be severely
damaged; whether or not the skull is fractured is
Figure 4-59.Four-tailed bandage for the jaw.
a matter of secondary importance. In some cases,
injuries that fracture the skull do not cause serious
brain damage; but brain damage can, and fre-
quently does, result from apparently slight injuries
that do not cause damage to the skull itself.
It is often difficult to determine whether an
injury has affected the brain because the symp-
toms of brain damage vary greatly. A person suf-
fering from a head injury must be handled very
carefully and given immediate medical attention.
Some of the symptoms that may indicate brain
damage are listed below. However, you must
remember that all of these symptoms are not
always present in any one case and that the symp-
toms that do occur may be greatly delayed.
Bruises or wounds of the scalp may indi-
cate that the victim has sustained a blow
to the head. Sometimes the skull is de-
pressed (caved in) at the point of impact.
If the fracture is open, you may find glass,
shrapnel, or other objects penetrating the
The victim may be conscious or uncon-
scious. If conscious, the victim may feel
dizzy and weak, as though about to faint.
Severe headache sometimes (but not
always) accompanies head injuries.
The pupils of the eyes maybe unequal in
size and may not react normally to light.
There may be bleeding from the ears,
nose, or mouth.
The victim may vomit.
The victim may be restless and perhaps
confused and disoriented.
The arms, legs, face, or other parts of the
body may be partially paralyzed.
The victims face may be very pale, or it
may be unusually flushed.
The victim is likely to be suffering from
shock, but the symptoms of shock may
be disguised by other symptoms.
It is not necessary to determine whether or not
the skull is fractured when you are giving first aid
to a person who has suffered a head injury. The
treatment is the same in either case, and the
primary intent is to prevent further damage to the
Keep the victim lying down. If the face is
flushed, raise the head and shoulders slightly. If
the face is pale, have the victim lie so that the head
is level with, or slightly lower than, the body.
Watch carefully for vomiting. If the victim begins
to vomit, position the head to prevent choking
on the vomitus.