Wilderness Medicine, First Aid, and Outdoor Skills
Pictures of Lacerations

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US Army First Aid Manual
Fundamental Criteria for First Aid
Basic Measures for First Aid
First Aid for Special Wounds
First Aid for Fractures
First Aid for Climatic Injuries
First Aid for Bites and Stings
First Aid in Toxic Environments
First Aid for Psychological Reactions
Appendix A: First Aid Case and Kits, Dressings, and Bandages
Appendix B: Rescue and Transportation Procedures
Appendix C: Common Problems/Conditions
Appendix D: Digital Pressure
Appendix E: Decontamination Procedures
Appendix F: Glossary

Example of a blowout laceration to an index finger. This can occur when a log falls on your finger or smashed between a rock. This gentleman was lucky. These lacerations usually involve a fracture, this one however did not.

If you can return from the outdoors in 2days or less, this wound can be bandaged and immobilized as long as it is thoroughly cleaned and irrigated. If greater than 3 days, one may attempt closure.


A flap laceration as above can occur usually with sharp objects such as glass, a knife, or sliding on rocks.

If you can return from the outdoors in 3 days or less, this wound can be bandaged and immobilized as long as it is thoroughly cleaned and irrigated. If greater than 3 days, one may attempt closure.

An avulsion laceration of the left index finger. This is a common injury when a pinching motion has occured between two objects.

Unless one can get to medical help with a salvaged piece of skin in less than 12 hours, a skin graft as the one aboved should not be attempted. This wound should be thoroughly irrigated, cleaned, and bandaged. This will heal nicely over time.

A crush injury to a young man's right foot. This injury is 7 days old. He sustained two large blowout lacerations as well as two fractured toes. The redness you see in the picture is from a secondary infection which is not uncommon with these injuries.

This wound should be cleaned, irrigated, and immobilized in a 90º angle with a SAM splint. Elevation and ice if possible.

Crushing injury to the left index of a young man. This laceration encompassed 75% of the girth of the finger. In this injury you can clearly see the flexor tendon. However, this individual was lucky enough to avoid a tenden laceration.

In the outdoors, this finger needs to be irrigated, bandaged, and splinted. If transport is greater than 3 days, antibiotic coverage is highly recommended.

Laceration to the lower lip from a direct blow. These can occur by a limb hitting one in the face, or falling. This gentleman had a 2" laceration to the lip as well as losing two of his upper teeth.

Lip lacerations rarely need to be closed and usually heal fine on their own. However, the outside edge of the lip should be closed by a professional healthcare provider due to increased chances of scaring and difficulty with wound approximation. In the outdoors, apply pressure and make sure the air way is clear. Due to increased bleeding of all mouth injuries, one should be aware to keep the airway open.

A flap laceration as above can occur usually with sharp objects such as glass, a knife, or sliding on rocks.

While using a saw, this man cut off a portion of his thumb. There was no bone involvement in this laceration.

Partial amputations of this nature usually do very well. Cleaning the wound is very important with large amounts of water. Bandage and transport.

A young man sustaining a laceration to the neck. This looks much worse than it is, however any laceration to the neck must be assessed for the severity of injury. The neck is the corridor from the head to the body, and not only contains our breathing and eating apparatus, but many nerves and vessels run through it. It is of the utmost importance to make sure the person is breathing without any obstruction.

This man sustained a laceration to his left arm. It is actually not that deep but it is long. Adipose tissue (fat) is protruding which makes this wound look worse than it actually is.

This man sustained a severe laceration above his left eye. He was very lucky not to have lacerated the supraorbital nerve which is visible in the picture.

All facial lacerations bleed excessively. If you are the caregiver it is important not to panic. Clean the wound, reassure the patient, bandage and transport. If greater than 3 days, closure may be attempted, NEVER USE SUPER GLUE OR ANY OTHER TYPE SUBSTANCE TO CLOSE A WOUND ON THE FACE IN THIS LOCATION. Super glue and other type substances would be detremental to the eye.

This young man had his finger caught when a car door slammed on it. This injury can also occur by a log or a rock dropping on one's finger. One should always assume that there is also a fracture involved with the laceration.

Irrigation with water and bandaging is a must. These crush injury wounds should always be splinted and elevated to decrease swelling. This gentleman was walking and had no tendon laceration or fracture.

This gentleman sustained a crush injury to the palm of his right hand. Although he did not have any fractures, he had one flexor tendon laceration. The flexor tendons are the tendons in our hand that makes our fingers curl in. This was a very dirty wound and needed to be cleaned and irrigated throroughly. The wound was temporarily closed and was sent to a specialist to repair his flexor tendons. It's important to note his hand was bandaged as well as splinted past the wrist so he could not move his fingers until he saw the specialist.

This gentleman sustained a rather severe flap laceration to his scalp. Whether you're one day or seven days from getting care, always remember to use large amounts of irrigation to clean the wound. With head lacerations, it is important to lightly feel inside for "a step off" which is indicitive of a skull fracture.

In the outdoors this wound can easily be managed with a pressue dressing and a wrap that can go around the head and under the jaw.

This wound was closed with stainless steel staples.

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