Once an individual is injured, it is important to avoid moving him/her to prevent further injuries. Nevertheless, there are cases which would require moving the individual. If moving the individual is required, it is vital to move him/her in a gentle manner and minimally as possible. Abrupt movement can worsen shock or even move the bones that will puncture the blood vessels.
When moving injured individuals, it is important that you know how to perform the appropriate lifting procedures. You can learn these procedures in any first aid class.
Prevent further injury
If you are going to move an injured individual, you have to initially check for any wounds or broken bones. If bleeding is present, always control it first before doing anything else as long as the individual can breathe. Determine the site of the injury and assess the damage. You have to apply pressure on the wound or on the artery above the wound. Avoid using a tourniquet right away since it is only reserved as the last resort. If one of the limbs has a wound, it should be elevated above the level of the heart in order to minimize the loss of blood. Examine for any broken bones. The common signs of a fracture include localized swelling, disfigured limbs, and pain during movement and numbness at the site of injury. If there is a broken bone, do not attempt to reset it. Always take note that the ends of the broken bone can be sharp. As a first aid measure, you can utilize a stick or any straight object and then tie a splint to the bone on both sides to provide it with support as well as preventing the bone from moving further.
How to move the injured individual
There are various methods when moving an injured individual and it depends on the severity of the injury, surroundings as well as the distance that will be travelled. With the fireman’s carry, you have to carry the individual balanced across your shoulders so that you can travel longer distances. The weight is distributed evenly and commonly used if the individual is suspected with bone fractures. Nevertheless, since it involves the manipulation of the wrist and arms, it should not be used if there are fractures on the upper body. Do not forget not to move someone if you suspect a broken neck or spine. In case there are no fractures, you can perform the fireman’s carry by turning the individual on his/her stomach. Wrap one arm around the waist and lift him/her into standing position. You can use your leg muscles, not the back muscles. You have to hold the wrist closest to you using your free hand, lift it and then loop the arm over your shoulders. The next step is to bend down and reach between his/her legs. Wrap your arm under his/her thigh but do not attempt to carry by supporting the knees. Heave the individual onto your shoulders. One of the arms and legs will freely dangle. Do not forget to balance his/her torso evenly across your back as possible.