II. GIVE PROPER FIRST AID FOR FACE AND NECK INJURIES
3-5. Face Injuries
tissue injuries of the face and scalp are common. Abrasions (scrapes) of the skin
cause no serious problems. Contusions (injury without a break in the skin) usually
cause swelling. A contusion of the scalp looks and feels like a lump. Laceration
(cut) and avulsion (torn away tissue) injuries are also common. Avulsions are
frequently caused when a sharp blow separates the scalp from the skull beneath
it. Because the face and scalp are richly supplied with blood vessels (arteries
and veins), wounds of these areas usually bleed heavily.
Neck injuries may result in heavy bleeding. Apply manual
pressure above and below the injury and attempt to control the bleeding. Apply
a dressing. Always evaluate the casualty for a possible neck fracture/spinal cord
injury; if suspected, seek medical treatment immediately.
Establish and maintain the airway in cases of facial or neck injuries.
If a neck fracture or/spinal cord injury is suspected, immobilize or stabilize
casualty. See Chapter 4 for further information on treatment of spinal injuries.
When a casualty has a face or neck injury, perform the measures
a. Step ONE. Clear the airway. Be prepared to perform any of
the basic lifesaving steps. Clear the casualty’s airway (mouth) with your fingers,
remove any blood, mucus, pieces of broken teeth or bone, or bits of flesh, as
well as any dentures.
b. Step TWO. Control any bleeding, especially
bleeding that obstructs the airway. Do this by applying direct pressure over a
first aid dressing or by applying pressure at specific pressure points on the
face, scalp, or temple. (See Appendix E for further information on pressure
points.) If the casualty is bleeding from the mouth, position him as indicated
(c below) and apply manual pressure.
care not to apply too much pressure to the scalp if a skull fracture is suspected.
Step THREE. Position the casualty. If the casualty is bleeding from the mouth
(or has other drainage, such as mucus, vomitus, or so forth) and is conscious,
place him in a comfortable sitting position and have him lean forward with his
head tilted slightly down to permit free drainage (Figure 3-12). DO NOT use the
sitting position if–
It would be harmful to the casualty because of
The casualty is unconscious, in which case, place him
on his side (Figure 3-13). If there is a suspected injury to the neck or spine,
immobilize the head before turning the casualty on his side.
you suspect the casualty has a neck/spinal injury, then immobilize his head/neck
and treat him as outlined in Chapter 4.
Step FOUR. Perform other measures.
(1) Apply dressings/bandages to specific
areas of the face.
(2) Check for missing teeth and pieces of tissue. Check
for detached teeth in the airway. Place detached teeth, pieces of ear or nose
on a field dressing and send them along with the casualty to the medical facility.
Detached teeth should be kept damp.
(3) Treat for shock and seek medical treatment
Dressings and Bandages (081-831-1033)
a. Eye Injuries. The
eye is a vital sensory organ, and blindness is a severe physical handicap. Timely
first aid of the eye not only relieves pain but also helps prevent shock, permanent
eye injury, and possible loss of vision. Because the eye is very sensitive, any
injury can be easily aggravated if it is improperly handled. Injuries of the eye
may be quite severe. Cuts of the eyelids can appear to be very serious, but if
the eyeball is not involved, a
person’s vision usually will not be damaged.
However, lacerations (cuts) of the eyeball can cause permanent damage or loss
(1) Lacerated/torn eyelids. Lacerated eyelids may bleed heavily,
but bleeding usually stops quickly. Cover the injured eye with a sterile dressing.
DO NOT put pressure on the wound because you may injure the eyeball. Handle torn
eyelids very carefully to prevent further injury. Place any detached pieces of
the eyelid on a clean bandage or dressing and immediately send them with the casualty
to the medical facility.
(2) Lacerated eyeball (injury to the globe).
Lacerations or cuts to the eyeball may cause serious and permanent eye damage.
Cover the injury with a loose sterile dressing. DO NOT put pressure on the eyeball
because additional damage may occur. An important point to remember is that when
one eyeball is injured, you should immobilize both eyes. This is done by applying
a bandage to both eyes. Because the eyes move together, covering both will lessen
the chances of further damage to the injured eye.
NOT apply pressure when there is a possible laceration of the eyeball. The eyeball
contains fluid. Pressure applied over the eye will force the fluid out, resulting
in/permanent injury. APPLY PROTECTIVE DRESSING WITHOUT ADDED PRESSURE.
Extruded eyeballs. Soldiers may encounter casualties with severe eye injuries
that include an extruded eyeball (eyeball out-of-socket). In such instances you
should gently cover the extruded eye with a loose moistened dressing and also
cover the unaffected eye. DO NOT bind or exert pressure on the injured eye while
applying a loose dressing. Keep the casualty quiet, place him on his back, treat
for shock (make warm and comfortable), and evacuate him immediately.
Burns of the eyes. Chemical burns, thermal (heat) burns, and light burns can
affect the eyes.
(a) Chemical burns. Injuries from chemical burns require
immediate first aid. Chemical burns are caused mainly by acids or alkalis. The
first aid is to flush the eye(s) immediately with large amounts of water for at
least 5 to 20 minutes, or as long as necessary to flush out the chemical. If the
burn is an acid burn, you should flush the eye for at least 5 to 10 minutes. If
the burn is an alkali burn, you should flush the eye for at least 20 minutes.
After the eye has been flushed, apply a bandage over the eyes and evacuate the
(b) Thermal burns. When an individual suffers
burns of the face from a fire, the eyes will close quickly due to extreme heat.
This reaction is a natural reflex to protect the eyeballs; however, the eyelids
remain exposed and are frequently burned. If a casualty receives burns of the
eyelids/face, DO NOT apply a dressing; DO NOT TOUCH; seek medical treatment immediately.
Light burns. Exposure to intense light can burn an individual. Infrared rays,
eclipse light (if the casualty has looked directly at the sun), or laser burns
cause injuries of the exposed eyeball. Ultraviolet rays from arc welding can cause
a superficial burn to the surface of the eye. These injuries are generally not
painful but may cause permanent damage to the eyes. Immediate first aid is usually
not required. Loosely bandaging the eyes may make the casualty more comfortable
and protect his eyes from further injury caused by exposure to other bright lights
certain instances both eyes are usually bandaged; but, in hazardous surroundings
leave the uninjured eye uncovered so that the casualty may be able to see.
Side-of-Head or Cheek Wound (081-831-1033).
Facial injuries to the side
of the head or the cheek may bleed profusely (Figure 3-14). Prompt action is necessary
to ensure that the airway remains open and also to control the bleeding. It may
be necessary to apply a dressing. To apply a dressing—
(1) Remove the dressing
from its wrapper.
(2) Grasp the tails in both hands.
(3) Hold the dressing
directly over the wound with the white side down and place it directly on the
wound (Figure 3-15 A).
(4) Hold the dressing in place with one hand (the casualty
may assist if able). Wrap the top tail over the top of the head and bring it down
in front of the ear (on the side opposite the wound), under the chin (Figure 3-15
B ) and up over the dressing to a point just above the ear (on the wound side).
possible, avoid covering the casualty’s ear with the dressing, as this will decrease
his ability to hear.
Bring the second tail under the chin, up in front of the ear (on the side opposite
the wound), and over the head to meet the other tail (on the wound side) (Figure
Cross the two tails (on the wound side) (Figure 3-17) and bring one end across
the forehead (above the eyebrows) to a point just in front of the opposite ear
(on the uninjured side).
Wrap the other tail around the back of the head (at the base of the skull), and
tie the two ends just in front of the ear on the uninjured side with a nonslip
knot (Figure 3-18).
Ear Injuries. Lacerated (cut) or avulsed (torn) ear tissue may not, in itself,
be a serious injury. Bleeding, or the drainage of fluids from the ear canal, however,
may be a sign of a head injury, such as a skull fracture. DO NOT attempt to stop
the flow from the inner ear canal nor put anything into the ear canal to block
it. Instead, you should cover the ear lightly with a dressing. For minor cuts
or wounds to the external ear, apply a cravat bandage as follows:
the middle of the bandage over the ear (Figure 3-19 A).
(2) Cross the ends,
wrap them in opposite directions around the head, and tie them (Figures 3-19 B
and 3-19 C).
If possible, place some dressing material between the back of the ear and the
side of the head to avoid crushing the ear against the head with the bandage.
Nose Injuries. Nose injuries generally produce bleeding. The bleeding may
be controlled by placing an ice pack over the nose, or pinching the nostrils together.
The bleeding may also be controlled by placing torn gauze (rolled) between the
upper teeth and the lip.
NOT attempt to remove objects inhaled in the nose. An untrained person who/removes
such an object could worsen the casualty’s condition and cause permanent/injury.
Jaw Injuries. Before applying a bandage to a casualty’s jaw, remove all foreign
material from the casualty’s mouth. If the casualty is unconscious, check for
obstructions in the airway. When applying the bandage, allow the jaw enough freedom
to permit passage of air and drainage from the mouth.
(1) Apply bandages
attached to field first aid dressing to the jaw. After dressing the wound,
apply the bandages using the same technique illustrated in Figures 3-5 through
dressing and bandaging procedure outlined for the jaw serves a twofold purpose
In addition to stopping the bleeding and protecting the wound, it also immobilizes
a fractured jaw.
Apply a cravat bandage to the jaw.
(a) Place the bandage under
the chin and carry its ends upward. Adjust the bandage to make one end longer
than the other (Figure 3-20 A).
(b) Take the longer end over the top
of the head to meet the short end at the temple and cross the ends over (Figure
(c) Take the ends in opposite directions to the other side
of the head and tie them over the part of the bandage that was applied first (Figure
cravat bandage technique is used to immobilize a fractured jaw or to maintain
a sterile dressing that does not have tail bandages attached.
to Give Proper First Aid for Chest
and Abdominal Wounds and Burn Injuries