(2) Splint the limb, if appropriate. Splinting the injured limb can reduce
additional damage to the limb and help to reduce pain and the risk of shock.
(a) If one or more bones in the limb have been fractured, apply a splint
to the injured limb. Broken bone fragments may grate on blood vessels and nerves and
cause additional damage.
(b) It is good practice to splint the arm, forearm, thigh, or leg when a
severe wound is present even if the limb is not fractured. Immobilizing the limb helps to
stop bleeding and reduce pain. It reduces muscular activity, which can increase the
rate of blood flow (and, therefore, blood loss).
If the casualty has suffered an incomplete amputation, splint the
Prevent chilling or overheating.
(a) In cool weather, cover the casualty with a blanket, poncho, or other
available materials to keep him from loosing body heat. Place covering under the
casualty as well as over the casualty in order to prevent chilling.
Blood loss can cause a significant drop in body temperature even in hot
(b) In warm weather, keep the casualty in the shade. If natural shade
is not available, erect an improvised shade using a poncho and sticks or other available
materials. Fanning the casualty promotes the evaporation of perspiration, which will
cool the casualty.
(4) Reassure the casualty. Keep the casualty calm. Tell the casualty that
you are helping him. Be confident in your ability to help the casualty and have a "take
charge" attitude. Your words and actions can do much to reduce his anxiety. Be
careful of any comments you make regarding the casualty's condition.
(5) Seek help. If possible, send a soldier to get the combat medic. If a
combat lifesaver is available, send for him. Both the combat lifesaver (a non-medical
soldier trained in advanced first aid) and the combat medic can start an intravenous
infusion to help restore the volume in the casualty's blood circulatory system.
If the casualty is in shock, do not give him anything to eat or drink.
If you leave the casualty in order to seek medical help, tell the casualty
that you are going to get medical help and will return. Before leaving,
turn the casualty's head to one side. This position will help to keep the
casualty from choking should he vomit.