FIRST AID AND FIELD SANITATION
This chapter will help you understand the
1. Keep the victim lying down, with his head level
importance of first aid to an injured person and will
with his body, until you have determined what type of
provide you with an explanation of the first-aid
injury the person has and how serious it is; however, if
measures that you can apply to yourself and to other
the victim has one of the following problems, you need
persons before trained medical personnel arrive.
to place him in a different position:
How-to instructions in lifesaving measures are provided
a. Vomiting or bleeding about the mouth and
for clearing the upper airway, giving artificial
semiconscious. When the victim is in danger of sucking
ventilation, stopping bleeding, controlling shock, and
in blood, vomited matter, or water, place him on his side
protecting the wound. In addition, the fundamentals of
or back, with his head turned to one side, lower than his
field sanitation are presented.
First aid is the emergency care given to sick or
b. Shortness of breath. When the victim has a
injured persons. Emergent y care must not take the place
chest injury or breathing difficulties, place him in a
of proper medical or surgical treatment but should
sitting or semisitting position.
consist only of furnishing temporary assistance until
competent medical aid is available.
c. Shock When the victim is in shock place
him on his back with his head slightly lower than his
The purposes of first aid are (1) to save life, (2) to
feet. When injuries permit, the victim's feet should be
prevent further injury, and (3) to preserve vitality and
raised and supported 6 to 12 inches off the deck.
2. In examining the victim, move him no more than
Everyone in the Navy must know when and how to
is absolutely necessary. You may need to remove some
apply first-aid measures. They also must be prepared to
clothing to determine the extent of his injuries. Remove
provide competent assistance to persons injured in
enough clothing to get a clear idea of the extent of the
battle, collision, fire, and other accidents that may occur
injury. If done incorrect y, removing clothing may do
on land, on sea, or in the air. A real knowledge of first
great harm, especially in fracture injuries. When
aid and its purposes, when applied properly, can mean
the difference between life and death, between rapid
necessary, rip or cut the clothing along the seams. When
recovery and long hospitalization, and between
clothing is removed, ensure the victim does not become
temporary disability and permanent injury.
chilled. Shoes may have to be cut off to avoid causing
pain or increasing an injury.
When administering first aid, you have three
primary tasks. They are (1) to maintain breathing, (2) to
3. Keep the victim reassured and as comfortable as
stop bleeding, and (3) to prevent or reduce shock
helpful. Assure the victim that his injuries are
You must work quickly, but do not rush around
understood and that he will receive medical attention as
frantically. Do not waste time looking for ready-made
soon as possible.
materials, but do the best you can with whatever is at
hand. Also, send for medical help as soon as possible.
4. Do not touch open wounds or bums with your
fingers or other objects, except when sterile compresses
or bandages are not available and it is absolutely
necessary to stop severe bleeding.
GENERAL FIRST-AID RULES
5. Do not try to give an unconscious person solid
Although each case of injury or sickness presents its
food or liquid by mouth. The victim may vomit and get
own special problems, there are some general rules that
some of the material into his lungs when he breathes,
apply to practically all situations. Before proceeding to
causing choking. Death could result.
learn the specific first-aid treatment for various types of
injuries, you should have a thorough understanding of
6. When a bone is broken or when you suspect that
the following rules:
one is broken, do not move the victim until you have