If an object is protruding from the wound, apply additional bandages to
hold the bulky dressings in place. Do not wrap the bandages around
the protruding object. Tie the bandages in a nonslip knot beside the
object, not on it.
Have the casualty resume normal breathing.
c. Apply Additional Padding, If Needed. Additional pressure and stability
can be achieved by placing padding material or other dressings over the field dressing
and securing the material with bandages, an elastic roller bandage, or the casualty's
belt. Make sure the padding and securing materials do not interfere with the casualty's
DRESS AND SEAL THE OTHER OPEN CHEST WOUNDS, IF ANY
If there is more than one open chest wound, seal and dress the other wound(s)
using the same procedures. If improvised dressings and bandages are needed, make
dressings from the cleanest material available and use material torn from a shirt or
other material as bandages.
3-10. COMPLETE SURVEY
After the open chest wounds have been sealed and dressed, continue your
evaluation and administer any other needed care, including procedures to control
3-11. POSITION THE CASUALTY
Position the casualty in the position of comfort if he is conscious. Most
personnel will request to sit up. This acceptable if the tactical situation permits. If the
casualty is unconscious and can not protect his own airway, place the casualty in the
a. On Side. Positioning the casualty on his side aids in maintaining an open
airway and helps fluids to drain from the casualty's mouth. There is controversy over
which side to lay the casualty on. Your local protocols should dictate this. Figure 3-6
shows a casualty in the recovery position lying on his injured side. Pressure from
contact with the ground acts like a splint and helps to reduce pain. Since the pressure
is on the casualty's injured side, the other (uninjured) lung is not restricted and can
inflate fully during inhalation.
b. Sitting Up. The casualty may wish to sit up. If he can breathe easier when
sitting up than lying on his injured side, allow him to sit up with his back against a tree,
wall, or other stable support. If the casualty becomes tired, position him in the