NARD Diving MedicineDiving MD

Field Expedient First Aid

When operating without a first aid kit, or caught with more victims than your kit can provide for, you can use items you already have. The diving mask can be used as a small splint or sling. All divers should carry knives for cutting, but if needed the glass of a mask may be used. Mask, fin, and knife straps can be used as tourniquets and holding bandages in place.

The snorkel can be used as an airway, and it can also be used as a splint, if rigid enough. For a broken finger the barrel can be used as a splint. First cut to fit, and then spilt it open with your knife. When slipped over the injured finger it makes for good protection. The split in the barrel must be there to allow for expansion if more swelling occurs and easy removal. The snorkel can also be used for tightening bandages or tourniquets.

Fins can be used for splints, and pillows. They make excellent fans for over heated victims. They can be used to elevate the feet for shock.

Wet suits keep victims warm. If they are in one and it is a cool day leave them in it. When it is a hot day, get them out and use as a cover. Wet suits also can be folded for padding of long splints or used as a pillow. They can be cut into bandages, slings and pressure bandages.

Buoyancy compensators can be used as a pillow splint. They also can hold water for cooling down a heat victim. The straps and belt can be slings, or tourniquets. Inflated they make good pillows for the head or elevating the feet.

Swim suits and tee-shirts can be cut into bandages

Everything you have at a dive site can be used in an emergency situation, you are only limited by yourself.

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