Chest injuries are considered severe and require immediate assistance in most cases. Any breach of the chest cavity could be life-threatening for the patient, and a quick reaction from bystanders can change the outcome and potentially save their life.
The first few minutes after an injury is called the golden hour because any intervention during this time would be critical for the rest of the treatment. First responders like paramedics know this all too well, and emergency services would often guide a person at the scene through the first few steps to provide care until a trained person arrives on the scene.
Typically, a trained first responder would use a chest seal kit for injuries where the chest wall is compromised. They’re so easy to use that anyone can apply the seals. Many first aid kits would contain some form of a chest seal, and for those unfamiliar with the chest seal kit, here are some tips on how to use them properly:
- Recognize When To Use A Chest Seal Kit
The ribs and muscles of the chest form a cage-like structure around vital organs like the heart, lungs, and major blood vessels. When an injury compromises any of these, emergency services should transport the person immediately. An emergency or trauma center would be able to perform the procedures that’d ultimately save a life.
Sometimes, it won’t be possible to get an injured person to a hospital quickly, and bystanders would have to step in for the time it takes for help to arrive. Knowing which equipment and techniques to use for different injuries is crucial. This helpful site has chest seal kits that an excellent first aid kit should have.
Chest injuries could mean an opening between the inside of the chest and the environment around the patient. It could result in sucking the air around the torso into the chest cavity. When this happens, the lungs may collapse because of the added pressure, and the person can stop breathing.
Applying a chest seal in this instance wouldn’t necessarily stop the bleeding. Still, it’d assist the person to breathe easier and avoid lung collapse (also called pneumothorax) until trained personnel arrive.
- Choose The Correct Chest Seal
A halo seal is one of the oldest versions of a chest seal, and it’s nothing more than a bandage-like plaster with a plastic backing. This type of seal doesn’t have a valve, which means the patient would have to be monitored more closely for signs of change in their breathing. It could be a good short-term solution, but the patient would have to get to a hospital as soon as possible.
Other chest seals may have different types of valves. These valves allow airflow in one direction, which would minimize the air that’s sucked into the chest but permits the air build-up from inside to flow out. There could be a risk of blood clotting around the seal, making it ineffective. Bystanders would still have to watch patients and check their breathing regularly.
- Successfully Applying The Chest Seal Kit
For a successful application, follow these steps to apply the chest seal kit:
- Observe the patient’s chest injuries and assess whether more than one seal is needed. A gunshot wound, for example, may have one entry and one exit wound that could be at different sides of the chest.
- Wipe the areas to make them as clean as possible. There may be blood or other fluids that’d prevent the seal from adhering correctly.
- Remove the packaging from the chest seal kit and peel off the backing paper to expose the adhesive.
- Follow the directions on the packaging to apply the seal over the wound.
- Keep an eye on the patient’s consciousness level, breathing, and heart rate until emergency teams arrive.
When help arrives to take over, provide as much detail as possible. Describe the injury, how it happened, and what has been done to assist the person up to that point. It’ll help emergency workers understand what other help the patient may still need.
Laypeople must have some basic first aid training when an emergency strikes, especially when there are severe injuries like chest wounds. Saving a life is possible when one of the bystanders can successfully use a chest seal kit until paramedics arrive or take the patient to a hospital.
Chest seals are so easy and convenient to use that even a person untrained in medical procedures can use them. The only catch is that they need to be in the available first aid kit before an injury occurs. Find a supply store online or in the area, and pack your chest seal kit as soon as possible.