From David In Israel: On Suture, Staples, and Glue for Wound Closure

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One of the most used high skill medical interventions is suturing. In times of disaster when qualified medical practitioners are not available, suturing can be performed easily as long as it is not in nerve rich areas such as the face and hands. (Sutures in these areas could cause debilitating nerve damage and should only be attempted by a person that is specially trained.)

1- Suture. I will not attempt to describe the knot in writing but practice with forceps and pre-threaded suture packs on raw chicken or turkey skin on the bird (sew then eat). Keep Ethylon 5 and 3 as well as chromic gut 3 in your gear. Generally, gut is used for internal sutures and Ethylon for removable [external] sutures.

2- Surgical Staple Guns. For surgical closure, staple guns are an easier but messier way to close a wound. Stapling can even be performed one handed.

3- Glue A close chemical relative of cyanoacrylate "super glue" (2-octyl cyanoacrylate) is available from veterinary suppliers as vetabond. See:
Super glue cyanoacrylate is an irritant, so sensitive tissues especially need the dermabond/vetabond formula. For the face and hand wounds just butterfly closures or glue [instead of sutures], unless you have special training in nerve and vascular location.

Wounds needing suture must be fully cleaned, preferably with betadine and even then they still have high risk of infection. If there is sign of infection open and drain. Consider systemic antibiotics.

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This page contains a single entry by Jim Rawles published on January 23, 2006 9:51 PM.

NAIS: What Does it Take to Raise an Alarm These Days? by Ken Anderson of "All Maine Matters" was the previous entry in this blog.

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