be given therapeutically and the amounts
that produce death.
6. Morphine causes considerable mental con-
fusion and interferes with the proper ex-
ercise of judgment and therefore should
not be given to ambulatory patients.
7. Morphine is a dangerously habituating
drug. It should not be given trivially and
must be rigidly accounted for. Under no
circumstances should the corpsman ad-
minister morphine except in an emergency.
Morphine administration to patients in shock
or with extensive burns should be rigidly con-
trolled. Morphine administration by subcutaneous
or intramuscular routes may not be absorbed into
the bloodstream because of the reduced peripheral
circulation, and pain may persist. When this hap-
pens, the uninformed often give additional doses,
hoping to bring about relief. Then when resuscita-
tion occurs and the peripheral circulation im-
proves, the stored quantities of morphine are
released into the system, and an extremely serious
condition (morphine poisoning) ensues. When
other pain-relieving drugs are not available, and
the patient in shock or with burns is in severe pain,
16 mg of morphine may be given intramuscularly
(followed by massage of the injection site), but
the temptation to give more must be resisted.
Doses should not be repeated more than twice and
then at least 4 hours apart, unless otherwise
ordered by a medical officer.
If the pain from the wound is agonizingly
severe, morphine may be given if examination of
the patient reveals no:
1. Head injury.
2. Chest injury, including sucking and non-
3. Wounds of the throat, nasal passages, oral
cavity, or jaws wherein blood might
obstruct the airway.
4. Massive hemorrhage.
5. Respiratory impairment, including
chemical burns of the respiratory tract.
Any casualty having fewer than 16 respira-
tions per minute should not be given
6. Evidence of severe or deepening shock.
7. Loss of consciousness.
Overdose is an ever-present danger. For this
reason, every casualty who has received morphine
should be plainly identified. Write the letter M
and the hour of injection on the patients
forehead, e.g., M0830. A skin pencil, colored an-
tiseptic, or ink maybe used for this purpose. The
empty morphine syrette or tubex should be at-
tached to the shirt collar or other conspicuous area
of the clothing by a safety pin or other means to
alert others that the drug has been administered.
INJURIES TO BONES, JOINTS,
Many kinds of accidents cause injuries to
bones, joints, or muscles. In giving first aid to
an injured person, you must always look for signs
of fractures (broken bones), dislocations, sprains,
strains, and contusions.
An essential part of the first aid treatment for
fractures consists of immobilizing the injured part
with splints so that the sharp ends of broken bones
will not move around and cause further damage
to nerves, blood vessels, or vital organs. Splints
are also used to immobilize severely injured joints
or muscles and to prevent the enlargement of ex-
tensive wounds. You must have a general under-
standing of the use of splints before going on to
learn the detailed first aid treatment for injuries
to bones, joints, and muscles.
USE OF SPLINTS
In an emergency, almost any firm object or
material will serve as a splint. Thus, umbrellas,
canes, rifles, tent pegs, sticks, oars, wire mesh,
boards, corrugated cardboard, and folded
newspapers can be used as splints. A fractured
leg may sometimes be splinted by fastening it
securely to the uninjured leg. Whenever available,
use manufactured spirits such as the pneumatic
splints or the traction splints.
Splints, whether manufactured or improvised,
must fulfill certain requirements. They should be
lightweight, strong, fairly rigid, and long enough
to reach past the joints above and below the frac-
ture. They should be wide enough so that the
bandages used to hold them in place will not pinch
the injured part. Splints must be well padded on
the sides touching the body; if they are not prop-
erly padded, they will not fit well and will not ade-
quately immobilize the injured part. If you have
to improvise the padding for a splint, you may
use clothing, bandages, cotton, blankets, or any
other soft material. If the victim is wearing heavy
clothes, you may be able to apply the splint on
the outside, allowing the clothing to serve as at
least part of the required padding. Fasten splints
in place with bandages, strips of adhesive