The UK P&I Club has issued a new bulletin on life-saving actions for minor injuries such as burns, dislocations, head injuries. With regards to head injuries, the Club pinpoints that these can be serious due to the risk of hidden bleeding beneath the skull and suggests (with the use of an Acronym) key actions to take in case of such injury.
ymptoms and signs associated with a head injury include confusion dizziness, nausea, loss of consciousness, headache, loss of recent memory and scalp wounds. Scalp wounds can bleed profusely
resulting in a significant loss of blood if not controlled, hence it’s important that direct pressure is applied to the area as soon as possible.
You may need to use several packs of gauze or other material to achieve this in addition to applying direct manual pressure.
In association with Red Square Medical, who offer a full range of maritime medical services, the UK Club suggests to check AVPU
Alert – Are they alert, eyes open and responding to questions?
Voice – If not alert or eyes open, do they respond to questions or following instructions?
Pain – If not – if you pinch them gently, or press hard oz–n a part of their body, do they open their eyes, withdraw or respond accordingly?
Unresponsive – If you shake gently, do they respond at all? If unresponsive, assess their airway and breathing if you feel competent to do so.
The Club recommends to seek medical help immediately and communicate your findings.
If you are waiting for help to arrive, it’s important to repeat the AVPU checks at regular intervals as the situation can deteriorate quite rapidly. Assess for bleeding from scalp wounds and apply direct pressure if appropriate.