This section of the book is from the "Household Companion: The Family Doctor" book
These may be either Bruised Crushed, Cut, Lacerated (torn), Penetrating or Poisoned wounds.
Bruises are familiar to everybody. If the blow or fall has been of such moderate violence as to injure only the surface of the head, body, or limbs, it is not a serious matter. Some blood will be forced out of the small vessels; swelling and discoloration will follow. It will be first red, then almost black and blue, and at last dull yellow or yellowish-brown This is the history of a "black eye," or of a bruise of any other part. Early use of a soothing application will do the most good. There is nothing better for this than cocoa butter, or " camphor ice." Arnica has a reputation for bruises far beyond its desert. When a bruised part becomes painful, a cloth wet with lead-water and laudanum will be suitable. Later, bathing with soap-liniment will hasten the absorption and disappearance of the blood-deposit which causes the discoloration.
Pressure On Artery Of Arm
Pressure On Artery Of Thigh
Crushed wounds are much more serious, often endangering life. Such, affecting the head, will cause fracture of the skull. Falling on the chest, ribs may be broken; or, worse, the heart or lungs may be so pressed as to kill at once or shortly. When a limb is crushed in a railroad accident, it may be wholly or partly severed from the body. We might expect great bleeding in such cases; but it does not occur; the arteries are paralyzed, and bleed little or none, even when torn across. The immediate danger then is from shock, going down into fatal collapse. When this is recovered from, the injured limb must be dealt with according to the methods of surgery. Amputation is often called for; the damage being too great for the limb to be possibly saved.
Shock constitutes the greatest immediate danger in all crushing injuries. Afterwards, there may be inflammation (or perhaps mortification) of internal organs involved; lungs, liver, stomach, kidneys, peritoneum, etc. Such cases will require perfect rest in bed, with treatment which can only be judged of by an experienced practitioner of medicine or surgery. Tetanus (lockjaw) occasionally follows a crushing injury.
Cut wounds are dangerous at first through bleeding. Bruised, crushed, and torn wounds bleed, as a rule, very little. Much difference exists as to what is cut in an incised wound. If only small vessels, the capillaries, are divided, the blood flows steadily, of a moderately red color, being a mixture of arterial and venous blood. If a vein is cut, the flow is steady, and the color of t h e blood is dark-red, almost blue-black or dark-p u r p 1 e. When an artery has been cut, bright red blood comes out in jets, timing with the pulsation of the heart in pumping blood through the arteries. Whatever the source of a flow of blood from a cut wound, we should endeavor (after cleaning out, best with a stream of cold water, any foreign bodies in it) to stop the hemorrhage by putting and holding the edges of the wound together. Pressure may then be added, so far as needful and available. Over a solid bone, as the skull, this will always be practicable. Bleeding even from a divided artery of the scalp can always be checked, by firm pressure on the vessel against the bone. A compress may be made by folding up a fragment of handkerchief, or rag of muslin or linen, into a thick piece an inch square. Laying this right over the source of the bleeding, it maybe kept in place by the firm application of a bandage around the head.
To stop bleeding from a vein, large enough to be seen, when pressure at the wound will not do it, the rule is to press just below the wound; that is, on the side farthest from the heart; as the blood flows in the veins from the extremeties towards the Heart.
When an artery bleeds, and pressure at the wound fails or cannot be applied, pressure must be applied above the wound; that is, on the side nearer to the heart; the course of the blood in the arteries being from the heart.