Friday, November 14, 2008

Direct Pressure

Running up to triage with a blood-soaked rag covering a body part is good way to skip the line.  It won't necessarily get you brought back right away - we have plenty of people with impressive lacs wait to get sutured - but if you remove the rag and bright red blood spurts into the air, you'll quickly win yourself quite a bit of attention.

Situations like those, while rare, are why I always keep the triage desk drawers stocked.  As soon as I saw the pulsing red rainbow arcing over the desk, I grabbed a wad of 4x4s from the drawer and clamped down on the arm.  A nurse ran over a wheelchair, and we rushed him to the trauma room with my hands still locked around his arm.  It wasn't until a large BP cuff was over-inflated above my hands that my brief career as a human tourniquet ended.  

Word to the wise: when playing poker with an unsavory crowd, try to avoid cheating the dude with the knife.