There are some perks to hanging around people who aren't studying exactly what you are studying. In my case, whenever something goes medically wrong, or whenever something is bleeding, I get a call. In my friend's case, when he split his finger open, he didn't have to go to the emergency room.
Last semester, I got a call at about 1PM on a Friday. It went something like this:
Friend: "Hey, Erika... um... I cut my finger with a kitchen knife and I don't know if I should go to the ER."
Erika: "Oh no, how long has it been bleeding?"
Friend: "About half an hour..."
Erika: "I'll be right over."
I grabbed what was left of my EMT supplies and rushed over. When I arrive, he explained that his room mate, also a law student, was too disturbed with the sight of blood to help him.
|Minor Finger Laceration|
Upon examination, I realize that it was "just a flesh wound" and stitches would not be warranted. I had learned at an early age when a cut or scrap was serious from my MD father. I would often run to him crying when I had cut my toe running on asphalt. He would look at it, give me a hug, and tell me it's just a flesh wound. "Band-aids won't help," he'd explain, "We will just put some hydrogen peroxide and alcohol on it and it will heal up just fine." I could see that the superficial skin layer, the epidermis, had been damaged, but the deeper layer of the dermis was not. So, I told my friend it was just a flesh wound and gave him roughly the same treatment my dad would have given me. I cleaned his injury with alcohol, hydrogen peroxide and some Neosporin. Although, unlike my dad, I believe in the powers of band-aids, especially when flaps of skin are involved. So, I tightly wrapped a band-aid around his finger to make sure the skin flap healed properly.
This was early in my career as a personal on-call EMT, so unfortunately I didn't have the proper personal protective equipment (PPE) at the time. I washed my hands thoroughly with soap and water both before and after treating the site. Since then, I have increased my stock of medical supplies and am proud to say I now stash a box of gloves in my apartment. Just in case my medical services are ever unexpectedly needed again!
This is a picture taken months after the incident. Glad to know he didn't have to waste his time at the emergency department over such a minor laceration.