FACT: Severe and even fatal injuries may be
considerably less painful than a mashed fingertip, which
can cause agony.
MYTH: With similar injuries, everyone
experiences the same amount of pain.
FACT: Some feel pain far more severely than
Figure 10-42.--Position for treatment of shock.
others. Also, those who would not be in much pain from
a wound when they are rested, relaxed, and confident
might experience severe pain from the same wound
when exhausted, tense, and fearful.
The best position to use for the prevention or
MYTH: Only people in severe pain go into shock.
treatment of shock is one that encourages the flow of
FACT: Persons in shock tend to feel less pain;
blood to the brain. When it is possible to place the
however, pain, unless relieved, can cause or increase
injured person on his back on a bed, cot, or stretcher,
you should raise the lower end of the support about 12
inches so his feet are higher than his head, as shown in
RELIEF OF PAIN
figure 10-42. When the circumstances of the accident
make it impossible to do this, you should still endeavor
Relief of pain can often be accomplished without
to raise his feet and legs enough to help the blood flow
the use of drugs. Reassure the injured person and make
to his brain. Sometimes it is possible to take advantage
him realize that his injuries are understood and that he
of a natural slope of ground and place the casualty so his
will get the best possible care. He should also be
head is lower than his feet.
informed of plans to get medical help or plans to move
him to a place where medical assistance is available.
In every case, of course, you have to consider what
Pain can often be relieved by furnishing adequate
type of injury is present before you can decide on the
support for an injury. Fractures of bones in which the
best position; for example, a person with a chest wound
surrounding tissue swells rapidly are extremely painful
may have so much trouble breathing that you must raise
when left unsupported. Adequate immobilization of
his head slightly. When his face is flushed rather than
fractures not only relieves pain but prevents further
pale or if you have any reason to suspect head injury, do
tissue damage and shock. Needless suffering can often
not raise his feet. Rather, you should keep his head level
be eliminated by unlacing or slitting a shoe or loosening
with or slightly higher than his feet. When the person
tight clothing in the region of the injury. Often a simple
has broken bones, you will have to judge what position
adjustment of a bandage or splint is of much benefit to
is best both for the fractures and for shock. A fractured
the casualty, especially when accompanied by a few
spine must be immobilized before the victim is moved
to avoid further injuries. When you are in doubt about
the correct position to use, have the victim lie flat on his
HEAT EXPOSURE INJURIES
back. THE BASIC POSITION FOR TREATING
SHOCK IS ONE IN WHICH THE HEAD IS LOWER
Excessive heat affects the body in a variety of ways.
THAN THE FEET. Do the best you can, under the
When a person exercises in a hot environment, heat
particular circumstances, to get the injured person into
builds up inside the body. The body automatically reacts
this position. In any case, never let a seriously injured
to get rid of this heat through the sweating mechanism.
When the body loses large amounts of water and salt
person sit, stand, or walk around.
from sweating, heat cramps and heat exhaustion are
likely to follow. When the body becomes overheated and
MYTHS AND FACTS ABOUT PAIN
cannot eliminate the excessive heat, heatstroke will
The following is a list of common myths and facts
MYTH: All extensive injuries are associated with
severe pain and the more extensive the injury, the worse
Heat cramps usually affect people who work in hot
environments or who engage in strenuous exercise