Basic Medical Procedures
Treatment of Common Battle Injuries
- 1 Foreword
- 2 History of medicine
- 3 Medical Guidelines: A conscious patient
- 4 Tending a shotwound
- 5 Draft Medical Guidelines: tending an arrow wound
I have decided to write out my collected notes from the teachings of Sir Doctor Rentarn Finje. Perhaps, in the future they may prove valuable to new apprentice medics. They follow not mine, but Sir Rentarn's methods.
History of medicine
The history of the human race is marked by a recurring pattern. A constantly changing and demanding environment has driven humans to adapt to their situation out of necessity. This has become part of the human nature. Humans are adaptable through training, capable of becoming as strong as the Dwarves, as intelligent as the Gnomes and as enlightened as the Draenei.
It is the Human race that started medicine. Other races have or had their own means, like resorting to druidism or a close affinity with the Light. Humans had to go around and make their own method.
As we do not have these affinities out of our nature, and not every human can heal or cast spells, there was need to go around magic. This necessity has driven men and women to the art and science of medicine. It is an adaptation to the world we live in, born out of the constant necessity and justifying its existence.
There may be Dwarven healers and medics but their traditional methods are not our own. Healers, physicians, priests... the concepts are vague enough to grasp what we all have in common. We heal, mend and repair but we do so in different ways.
Knowledge and responsibilities
Medicine is not based on magic, but based on knowledge. A proper treatment can only be administered if the cause of the problem and the solution to this problem are known. It is therefor important that a medical practitioner arms himself with proper and profound knowledge.
Medical practitioners will often be confronted with life threatening ailments or wounds and thus the choice of their treatment may determine the life or death of their patients. Furthermore an ill chosen treatment may aggravate the patient's condition and even lead to death. Such is the responsibility of medical practitioners.
Despite profound medical knowledge, one must also accept that not all injuries can be treated or the resources may not prove available. It may prove impossible to save everyone and this realization must harden a practitioner and guide him to realistic judgments of the patient's condition.
Whereas it is impossible to save everyone, and this must be accepted, the death of one's patient due to lack of effort in training or lack of effort in study can not be accepted. Therefor sloth can not be tolerated.
Medical Guidelines: A conscious patient
When handling a conscious patient, communication with the patient can be used. It can be used to ease the analysis of his injury. But it must also be used to comfort the patience and, as such, the doctor must talk with confidence. It is important to use this to establish a sense of trust from the patient.
To start the medical analysis, the patient can be asked where it hurts. Subsequently the doctor can inquire the patient about other injuries. It is crucial to first assess all injuries. Only when the injuries are known, they can be triaged and treated according to their urgency. Small wounds and scratches may not bleed as much, and thus seem less urgent as say a hemorrhage, but they can fester.
Stopping the bleeding
First the bleeding of a wound must be stopped. For this a bandage can be pressed against the wound till the bleeding is staunched. Should the wound prove large, the bandage can be unrolled and folded to match the size of the wound. If no bandage is available, another piece of cloth or clothing should be used to function.
Flaming a wound
If a wound is staunched, it can be flamed with alcohol so it won't fester. This should be applied on both wounds and scratches. The procedure may hurt the patient a lot for a brief moment and it is recommended to give a piece of leather to the patient to bite on.
To flame the wound, put alcohol on your hand and then spray it on the wound, followed by putting your hand on the wound. This will yield a strong burning feeling to the patient so beware. One application is enough and its effect is instant.
To properly stitch, the curved stitching needle is the best tool. Once threaded, the needle is pricked through on one side on the wound till it comes out on the other side of the wound. The thread must be pulled firmly to ensure it closes the wound. The needle must always be pricked on the same side, so the thread properly crosses the wound.
When the wounds are properly stitched, bandages will aid covering the wound and keep them clean. Bandages should be used sparingly, trying to cover as many wounds and scratches as possible.
If required or preferable, a healing potion can be administered to the patient to accelerate their healing.
Tending a shotwound
Checking the bullet
The first step is to check whether the bullet is still present in the wound. The procedure when the bullet flew through is unknown to me still.
The bullet or shrapnel is usually made of a metallic material. As such, having a good source of light may aid in seeing both bullet and shrapnel. Make sure the procedure is executed in a sufficiently lighted area or have a candle nearby.
If the bullet is still in the wound, an incision should be made underneat the wound with a scalper. The scalpel should then be inserted in the wound till the bullet is felt.
Removing the bullet
Using the scalpel, the bullet is to be pushes back. There will be no need to use the flat side of the scalpel as this may cause additional damage to the wound. The knife should however, not be used too prudently. The flesh will heal as long as the bullet is removed.
As the bullet is nearly out, it is recommended to use the fingers to pull out the bullet. This may prove hurtfull to the patient.
Inspection of the bullet
As the bullet is removed, it should be inspected closely under the light. Some bullets may break and as such shrapnel may still be left in the wound.
Should there be shrapnel left in the wound, it should be removed. Use tweezers in the wound to find and take out the pieces. It may require a lot of light and some time to find the shrapnel but it is important for the patient's health to work swiftly.
Flooding the wound
When both bullet and shrapnel are removed, the wound should be flooded with water. This will remove any remaining metallic dust and dirt from the wound. This may be performed with normal water and may have to be performed several times to ensure the wound is clean.
Flaming the wound
After the wound is clean, the wound can be flamed to prevent it from festering. Work like a regular wound.
Remarks and guidelines
Despite the ease of using tweezers, it is recommend to use your fingers whenever the situation permits it. This trains dexterity and prepares the medical practitioner for situations where the luxury of tweezers may not be available.
Draft Medical Guidelines: tending an arrow wound
Note to self: these notes are incomplete. Please check the questions at the bottom. This is to be completed with the aid of Sir Doctor Finjé
Removing the shaft
After the basic medical assessment of the patient's condition, the shaft of the arrow is to be removed. The shaft can either be broken or sawed off with the bonesaw.
Checking the arrowhead
The angle of the arrowhead decides if the arrow can be pulled back the way it came or if it is better to pull out on the other end.
Slide the scalpel along the center of the arrowhead (and remainder of the shaft). Using the scalpel, feel the direction of the wings on the arrowhead. Make an incision on either side of the arrowhead, so the wings can freely be moved.
Removing the arrowhead
The arrowhead, once freed with the cuts, should be slided out of the wound.
Finishing the wound
After the arrowhead is removed, the wound can be treated as usual, flaming, sitching and bandaging it.
Important notes and additions
- Flaming a wound will also cause the flesh to swell in reaction and as such help in closing the wound and stop the bleeding.