5- Checking for shock. Shock means there is inadequate blood going to the tissues and organs. There a quite a few different symptoms to look for These include:
Sweaty but cool skin (clammy skin).
Paleness of skin. (In dark-skinned people, look for a grayish color of the skin.)
Restlessness or nervousness. (This is one I've seen nearly every time)
Confusion (does not seem aware of surroundings).
Faster than normal breathing rate. (Rapid, shallow breathing, especially)
Blotchy or bluish skin, especially around the mouth.
Nausea or vomiting.
6- Check for fractures. Spinal fractures are the most important to look for and there are a few things to look for. If the casualty is conscious, ask them if they are able to move. Try to determine any decreased sensation to extremities (paralyisis or numbness). Look for unusual body position, or odd angles of extremities. Open fractures are usually a bit easier to determine, since the bone is sticking through the skin (Did anyone else just cringe?) Things to look for when looking for closed fractues include:
One other thing to check is what's called capillary refill. To see how this works, press down on your fingernail for a second. When you let go, you'll notice the area under your fingernail is white and turns red again quickly. This is the blood being squeezed out of the capillaries there and filling back up when you let go. A broken bone will sometimes pinch a blood vessel, so when you do this to a casualty, it will take longer to refill.
7- Check for burns. These are easier to check for. There are a few levels and types of burns, but we'll only go over the three basic ones, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd degree burns.
1st degree- Red, tender area. Everyone has had these.
2nd degree- Raised blisters, very painful, will almost always have first degree around the edges.
3rd degree- Blackened, charred skin, sometimes grayish in color if the casualty is dark skinned. If the casualty is consciaous, they may not have any pain there. This is because the nerves are burned and dead.
8- Check for head injuries. There are quite a few symptoms to look for here also:
Fluid from the ear(s), nose, mouth, or injury site. (Is fairly clear and has almost a sweet smell to it)
Sleepiness. (Do not let them go to sleep)
Loss of memory or consciousness.
Staggering in walking.
Nausea or vomiting.
Convulsions or twitches.
Bruising around the eyes and behind the ears.
Hah hah, and you people thought you were just drunk at the bars, huh?
"I have always been a soldier. I have known no other life. The calling of arms, I have followed from boyhood. I have never sought another." From The Virtues of War, by Steven Pressfield.