Wilderness Medicine, First Aid, and Outdoor Skills
Foreign Bodies

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US Army First Aid Manual
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Appendix F: Glossary

Example of a foreign body impaled in the middle finger. This happened to be a metal staple that was imbedded in the bone. Foreign bodies are not uncommon in the outdoors and usually occur from falls.

Foreign Body Removal

Foreign Body in Finger
Foreign Body Removal

Another example of a foreign body in the top of a woman's right hand. This is a 2" metal staple that was accidently shot into the woman's right hand.

X-ray

Foreign Body in Hand

This gentleman was walking through the woods when getting gouged in the right lower leg with a stick. He pulled the small stick out and was under the assumption that he removed the entire twig. Five days later he came to an urgent care center with a warm, red, wound, draining pus. Two pieces of wood were removed, one measuring 3/4".


This young gentleman shot a nail through his thumb. He was fortunate that it did not hit the bone. Although this would rarely happen in the outdoors, there have been incidents of individuals putting knives and tent stakes through their hands. Nail in Finger

This gentleman punctured his left hand with an awl. Picture looks more gruesome than this actually is. In the outdoors, this can be immediately removed usually with no problems.

This gentleman was moving a fiberglass bathtub when his hand was impaled with a splinter.

This is an example of a foreign body through a gentleman's great toe. He was using a nail gun and it inadvertenly shot through his shoe and into his toe. Although this is very unlikely to occur in the outdoors, foreign bodies of this nature are not uncommon when falling on a rock climb, or downhill skiing.

When falling, many times twigs or limbs could be embedded in our legs, feet, arms, or hands. The standard procedure for small foreign bodies in our extremities should be quick removal and irrigation of the wound. The exception would be foreign bodies to the chest, abdomen, face or neck.

In the examples to the left, if pliers are not available, it's important to be creative. Here a hammer can be used just as effectively to remove this nail.



 




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