Warning

 

Close

Confirm Action

Are you sure you wish to do this?

Confirm Cancel
Member Login

Site Notices
Posted: 11/1/2009 2:45:43 PM EST
[Last Edit: 11/1/2009 2:53:20 PM EST by batmanacw]
I had a slight accident with one of my machine tools this weekend. Okay. Let me rephrase that. I did something very, very stupid. I was dressing the wheel on my surface grinder and I tried to remove the dresser without turning the wheel off. My fingers slipped and I tapped the running wheel with my knuckles on my left hand. That might not sound like much, but a sharpened wheel cuts like nothing you have experienced. It went to the bone in 1/10th of a second.





I bled like crazy. Grabbed a rag and put pressure on it and stopped the majority of the bleeding very quickly. Less than 5 mins and it was done. Fortunately my buddy was there to help me dress my fingers. We only had gauze pads and that cheap assed white medical tape. That crap doesn't stretch at all and is piss poor for dressing wounds.

We applied gauze to each finger and wrapped it tight with a tape. The tape would not put any even pressure on the wound. I really wished I had some vet wrap. Why didn't I have some vet wrap? How stupid was it of me not to have a compression bandage that sticks to itself and puts even pressure over the entire wound.


Once I got home I used some of the people version of the vet wrap after I cleaned it up as good as I could. I have no signs of infection. No swelling. Just soreness in my index finger. It will be a couple days before I can bend it again. The vet wrap makes a great flexible bandage that helps keep my fingers straight to heal faster.

I have been using the Johnson&J. people version, but today I stopped at Tractor Supply and bought the real Vet Wrap. It has latex in it, but I don't have allergies to it so its perfect for me. It cost $2 a roll for 4" by 5 yds, which is twice the width and a lot more yardage than the people version that cost twice as much (2"by 2.2 yds.). I used one of those razor knives with the snap off blades to cut through the whole roll neatly to produce two rolls just perfect for digits and small wounds.

I really think this stuff rocks. Much, much better than using regular gauze to wrap wounds because of its increased ability to compress. It also lends a lot of support to the wounded limb.

I hope the doctors and emt's will chime in on this. I am going to put together a comprehensive first aid kit for the shop. Lots of big bandaids, gauze pads, some betadyne, peroxide, vet wrap, eye wash, and some other stuff.
Link Posted: 11/1/2009 2:50:46 PM EST
best tool to stop bleeding is your finger...apply direct pressure and hold it there....compression bandages to ur finger at u cut at ur buddies house is kinda overkill. we tell it to people all the time in the ER when they come in with a cut, the best tool to stop bleeding is your finger.
Link Posted: 11/1/2009 2:53:46 PM EST
Originally Posted By batmanacw:
I had a slight accident with one of my machine tools this weekend. Okay. Let me rephrase that. I did something very, very stupid. I was dressing the wheel on my surface grinder and I tried to remove the dresser without turning the wheel off. My fingers slipped and I tapped the running wheel with my knuckles on my left hand. That might not sound like much, but a sharpened wheel cuts like nothing you have experienced. It went to the bone in 1/10th of a second.

http://i75.photobucket.com/albums/i307/batmanacw/DSCN0857.jpg

http://i75.photobucket.com/albums/i307/batmanacw/DSCN0856.jpg

I bled like crazy. Grabbed a rag and put pressure on it and stopped the majority of the bleeding very quickly. Less than 5 mins and it was done. Fortunately my buddy was there to help me dress my fingers. We only had gauze pads and that cheap assed white medical tape. That crap doesn't stretch at all and is piss poor for dressing wounds.

We applied gauze to each finger and wrapped it tight with a tape. The tape would not put any even pressure on the wound. I really wished I had some vet wrap. Why didn't I have some vet wrap? How stupid was it of me not to have a compression bandage that sticks to itself and puts even pressure over the entire wound.


Once I got home I used some of the people version of the vet wrap after I cleaned it up as good as I could. I have no signs of infection. No swelling. Just soreness in my index finger. It will be a couple days before I can bend it again. The vet wrap makes a great flexible bandage that helps keep my fingers straight to heal faster.

I have been using the Johnson&J. people version, but today I stopped at Tractor Supply and bought the real Vet Wrap. It has latex in it, but I don't have allergies to it so its perfect for me. It cost $2 a roll for 4" by 5 yds, which is twice the width and a lot more yardage than the people version that cost twice as much (2"by 2.2 yds.). I used one of those razor knives with the snap off blades to cut through the whole roll neatly to produce two rolls just perfect for digits and small wounds.

I really think this stuff rocks. Much, much better than using regular gauze to wrap wounds because of its increased ability to compress. It also lends a lot of support to the wounded limb.

I hope the doctors and emt's will chime in on this. I am going to put together a comprehensive first aid kit for the shop. Lots of big bandaids, gauze pads, some betadyne, peroxide, vet wrap, eye wash, and some other stuff.


Big +1 to vet wrap!!! I was thinking it as I read your post and then you mentioned it. I used to use it on my horses all of the time. Since I got rid of the horses I got rid of all of that stuff, but I need to restock some things, including vet wrap!!! Thanks for the reminder, and I hope your digits heal fast!

Link Posted: 11/1/2009 2:56:52 PM EST
[Last Edit: 11/1/2009 3:05:38 PM EST by batmanacw]
Originally Posted By Teakyman:
best tool to stop bleeding is your finger...apply direct pressure and hold it there....compression bandages to ur finger at u cut at ur buddies house is kinda overkill. we tell it to people all the time in the ER when they come in with a cut, the best tool to stop bleeding is your finger.


I highlighted the important part in red. My fingers worked just fine for stopping bleeding. The compression is convenient for the wrap to protect it. It works better for the immediate dressing. Especially when its something that didn't stop me from finishing out the day. The tape did a shitty job of protecting my finger, holding on the gauze, and letting me continue to work.

Also, this is not just my buddies house, but our machine shop, where we have machines that could wrap you around the spindle like a big bag of jello and not even slow down. Maybe having a better kit there would be a good idea?

An izzy bandage would be overkill. Some vet wrap would have been a great improvement over what I had on hand.


ETA: I would also like to add. Since I did not stop working and did not go to the emergency room (yea right!), having a flexible, tight bandage on my finger was a great idea. Seeing how this is the survival forum, most of the people here are planning on a time when just putting their fucking finger on the wound and going to the doctor will not suffice. Having the right stuff on hand to stop the bleeding and enable people to go on doing what they have to is critical as hell.

Now would you like revise your post or add something really helpful?
Link Posted: 11/1/2009 3:05:20 PM EST
You shoulda taken a blowtorch to a nail and then cauterized it properly.

LOL, just kidding!
Link Posted: 11/1/2009 3:46:01 PM EST
Originally Posted By Scrap5000:
You shoulda taken a blowtorch to a nail and then cauterized it properly.

LOL, just kidding!


and if you were worried about infection, spit on it, toss on a shop towel, and duct tape. done deal, now get back on the clock ya slacker... no lame excuses for goofing off here...


j/k man. I agree w/you 100%, you might want to evaluate your kit a bit, glad you're ok and it's not as bad as it could easily have been
Link Posted: 11/1/2009 3:50:11 PM EST
non stick gauze and duck tape would have got ya done for a minor wound like that. Heck I cut the end of my finger off and non stick gauze and duck tape saved me arse. The side of the finger regrew too. Took 5 years but its mostly finger shaped again.


The hole in you preps was RUSHING.
Link Posted: 11/1/2009 3:56:22 PM EST
For compression on digits, I use electrical tape.
Link Posted: 11/1/2009 4:08:24 PM EST
You are referring to Coban wrap. Good stuff.


Bob
Link Posted: 11/1/2009 4:15:16 PM EST
I hear if you have dogs lick it it never gets infected....
Link Posted: 11/1/2009 4:24:59 PM EST
[Last Edit: 11/1/2009 4:28:11 PM EST by monkeyman]
Thanks for the tip. 3M makes Coban wrap for people, Vetwrap for animals. Same stuff but the animal stuff is half as much and comes in lots of cool colors. Gonna have to buy some for my FAKs.
Link Posted: 11/1/2009 5:20:20 PM EST
Just one thing to be aware of... vet wrap may contain latex. If you are allergic you could get a re-action from it.
Link Posted: 11/1/2009 5:30:54 PM EST
batman,

The second lesson is to not work with tools/machinery unless someone else is present. With a buddy there to help out, things were probably much easier to wrap up.

I once cut my hand on a tool blade I was sharpening - no one to help out meant doing it one-handed, and of course, it was my off-hand trying to do the work. I'm sure I leaked a lot more blood than I should have, just because I'm a spaz with my right hand.

Glad to see you're ok. Watch for infection regularly!
Link Posted: 11/1/2009 6:07:24 PM EST
It looks like you're doing great. I'd add to people in general, one of the problems with hand injuries is underlying tendon injuries. Almost all the muscles for the hand are located in the forearm and attached by a delicate and complicated tendon and pulley system. So, make sure all your fingers do everything they did before, or make sure to get a professional too look at is as soon as possible. It turns out the longer you wait, the more likely a cut tendon will retract beyond reach and be impossible to repair. If that occurs, the hand surgeon is going to attach your lame finger to a nearby tendon that goes to another finger and tell you to retrain your brain through hand therapy and call it good. You can also have partial tendon lacerations that don't necessarily require repair, but should be splinted to avoid complete rupture. These can often be very difficult to identify and are more trouble some for flexor tendons (on the palm side of your hand) because you usually put a lot more force on your tendons when gripping. In short, still a good idea to have a professional look at these instead of self treating as long as they are available.

The other nice thing about your post is that you left it open and it healed very nicely. I see a lot of posts about stocking staples, glue, or sutures. You're more likely to cause an infection when closing under less than ideal conditions. The only reason to close is to make a scar smaller (you may also need a suture to tie off bleeders or re-attach tendons, fascia, or to cover up bone so you don't get an infection in the bone. As we can see with you're wound, it closed up very nicely and it probably did start out very deep and widely open.
Link Posted: 11/1/2009 8:00:18 PM EST
[Last Edit: 11/1/2009 8:02:20 PM EST by jeffers_mz]
Tools powered off for adjustment. Any chance you'll hit the switch accidently, unplug them.

Squeeze the base of the finger, usually top and bottom, to stop bleeding. Move your grip around and you'll find the point easily and the flow will magically stop.

Till you let go, or until it clots.
Link Posted: 11/2/2009 12:42:23 AM EST
Originally Posted By Gerri:
It looks like you're doing great. I'd add to people in general, one of the problems with hand injuries is underlying tendon injuries. Almost all the muscles for the hand are located in the forearm and attached by a delicate and complicated tendon and pulley system. So, make sure all your fingers do everything they did before, or make sure to get a professional too look at is as soon as possible. It turns out the longer you wait, the more likely a cut tendon will retract beyond reach and be impossible to repair. If that occurs, the hand surgeon is going to attach your lame finger to a nearby tendon that goes to another finger and tell you to retrain your brain through hand therapy and call it good. You can also have partial tendon lacerations that don't necessarily require repair, but should be splinted to avoid complete rupture. These can often be very difficult to identify and are more trouble some for flexor tendons (on the palm side of your hand) because you usually put a lot more force on your tendons when gripping. In short, still a good idea to have a professional look at these instead of self treating as long as they are available.

The other nice thing about your post is that you left it open and it healed very nicely. I see a lot of posts about stocking staples, glue, or sutures. You're more likely to cause an infection when closing under less than ideal conditions. The only reason to close is to make a scar smaller (you may also need a suture to tie off bleeders or re-attach tendons, fascia, or to cover up bone so you don't get an infection in the bone. As we can see with you're wound, it closed up very nicely and it probably did start out very deep and widely open.


So far everything is working okay. I have not tried to fully bend my index finger to help keep the wound closes. Both fingers are plenty stiff. No swelling at all an the wounds aren't even that tender now.

When I have a wound with a small flap of skin, i usually tear the flap off to avoid infection. An open wound seems to do better for me.

Good advice about seeing a doctor if you think tendon damage is a concern. Fortunately I only hit the side of my fingers.

Won't make that mistake again. My fingers will look funny bandaged up for the next week, but they will be good as new. It took dripping blood all over my shop to realize that I was neglecting putting decent medical supplies where I really need them.

I have a nice ammo can sized kit that I have shown pictures here before that is going into my truck. A kit will be put together over the next week for my shop.
Link Posted: 11/2/2009 2:01:17 AM EST
[Last Edit: 11/2/2009 2:04:33 AM EST by thereisnospoon]
Learned the same lesson two summers ago at the gun range, in the middle of nowhere. Thankfully, I was not alone and 2 EMS techs were helping set up. We were prepping for a Tac Rifle Match and I was taskde with ripping some 1X2's into 1X1's...with a DeWalt battery powered circular saw.

Result:



And surgery the following Tuesday to repair the Extensor tendon and then 6 weeks with a pin and then six weeks of physical therapy to make it move again.

Thankfully, I had my trauma bag with me and we were able to wrap it up and get to a local hospital.

Bottom line: power tools are dangerous ! If ans when the SHTF I am going back to hand tools!

Spoon
Link Posted: 11/2/2009 2:35:10 AM EST
hundred mile an hour tape and some MRE t.p is all you ever need.
J/K thanks for the heads up on the vet wrap!!
Link Posted: 11/2/2009 2:43:12 AM EST
thank you SOOO much for this reminder. I have the same gap in my kit as well. and... well, this is embarassing... my mom is a vet...
Link Posted: 11/2/2009 5:05:25 AM EST
You should be able to get the 2" animal version for around $1.60 if you look. I used to have a case in my medical cabinet, because I have an ankle that dislocates easily. The vet wrap works really well in that area. For bleeding I would probably just go back to what I know and used when I was an EMT, but it's still something good to have in your kit.

I think you did the right thing leaving it open. I used to cut my hands on on the benchtop belt sander when I made knives. Because of the speed it was spinning it tended to be about half cut and half burn. They always seemed to heal really slowly, and I can't help but wonder if the speed it was spinning was forcing tiny pieces of grit and trash into the wound.
Link Posted: 11/2/2009 5:52:44 AM EST
[Last Edit: 11/2/2009 6:04:47 AM EST by Country_Boy]
One thing I've learned arround machines is to keep some antiseptic or clean water handy as well as something clean to bandage it. Betadyne and sterile 4x4s are nice. Bottles water and clean paper towels are probally enough. Infections are so easy arround metal working fluids that probally allready have bacteria growing and you hands are filthy. Flush the crap away, apply some pressure if needed with clean paper towels or to keep it clean, and finish or get to a safe stage. Then quit, wash hands, and put a bandaid or bandage on it. You really need something to keep more crud from getting there. Wearign a glove on that hand might be a good idea, if not contraindicated for some other reason.

A bottle of water is also the best quick first aid for burns. I keep several on hand, because there is too much non potable water sitting arround.

I have a decent first aid kit in the shop, and a bottle of surgical scrub, but I rarely use it. I keep a few bandaids in the top drawer of my roll arround. Lots easier then opening a first aid kit one handed.

Oh, yeah, as somone else said, i love electrical tape. There are probally good medical reasons not to use it, but it will keep a bandaid, wad of TP, whatever on for the rest of the day. That gives the wound time to heal. OTOH, I know several MDs who have the ER nurse stock rolls of duct tape, maybe because their job description doesn't include removing bandages.

My wife, an MD, insists that it will heal faster once it clots if you remove the bandage (talking minor cuts here) once you are home/in bed, and not likely to recontaminate it. This seems logical, at least if your house is insanely clean.
Link Posted: 11/2/2009 6:03:51 AM EST
Originally Posted By QP031:
For compression on digits, I use electrical tape.



I LOVE 3M Super 33+ electrical tape for this!
It's flexible, sticks (doesn't come off in the shower), and very stretchy.
Price per roll isn't cheap (you won't find it for $1 a roll like the cheapie stuff) but it is sooooo worth it.

I keep a roll in the toolbag, kitchen drawer, and the First Aid box.
Link Posted: 11/3/2009 2:33:24 AM EST
So far no discernible infection. Every thing works, but my index finger is still sore.

Posted Via AR15.Com Mobile
Link Posted: 11/3/2009 3:10:54 AM EST
Originally Posted By jeffers_mz:

Tools powered off for adjustment. Any chance you'll hit the switch accidently, unplug them.


He was dressing a wheel on a surface grinder, you do this while it's running and once it's dressed you remove the diamond with the wheel running to keep it true. Sometimes there is slight wear in the bearings and shutting it down and restarting it causes the wheel to go out of round. I always set the diamond as far back on the magnet as possible so removing it is easier.
Link Posted: 11/3/2009 4:30:19 AM EST
Originally Posted By jeffers_mz:
Squeeze the base of the finger, usually top and bottom, to stop bleeding. Move your grip around and you'll find the point easily and the flow will magically stop.



Your fingers actually have arteries on either side that run as far as the first knuckle. So squeeze the sides of it for major bleeding. That is of course after direct pressure, elevation, etc.
Link Posted: 11/3/2009 7:42:20 AM EST
Where are all the people recommending superglue or stitching it up right away?
When I was in the Army I attended the CLS(Combat Lifesaver) Course, and one of my classmates was just dying to put an IV in somebody after the class. Students would get woozy from the heat, and he'd have them stuck before they hit the ground. Guess he forgot about the part where we were supposed to seek medical advice over the radio first if we could. Sometimes the best thing to do is nothing(Do No Harm). That's AFTER you get the bleeding stopped.
Link Posted: 11/3/2009 8:19:57 AM EST
Prevemtion is the best medicine. I always turn off and unplug any device that I am about to work. Never hurts to be too careful.
Link Posted: 11/3/2009 10:33:00 AM EST
Link Posted: 11/3/2009 2:19:25 PM EST
Originally Posted By warlord:
Prevemtion is the best medicine. I always turn off and unplug any device that I am about to work. Never hurts to be too careful.


No kidding. Knowing it and doing it can often be two different things. I have re learned an old lesson, only it hurt this time!
Link Posted: 11/3/2009 3:38:17 PM EST
Originally Posted By safe1:
Originally Posted By jeffers_mz:

Tools powered off for adjustment. Any chance you'll hit the switch accidently, unplug them.


He was dressing a wheel on a surface grinder, you do this while it's running and once it's dressed you remove the diamond with the wheel running to keep it true. Sometimes there is slight wear in the bearings and shutting it down and restarting it causes the wheel to go out of round. I always set the diamond as far back on the magnet as possible so removing it is easier.

I usually do it on the right front of the magnetic chuck, and move the table completely to the right and forward to remove the diamond.
That way the wheel is all the way to the left and rear, way away from my precious fingers. I've yet to be bitten.

Link Posted: 11/3/2009 4:20:24 PM EST
Originally Posted By solution_zero:
Originally Posted By safe1:
Originally Posted By jeffers_mz:

Tools powered off for adjustment. Any chance you'll hit the switch accidently, unplug them.


He was dressing a wheel on a surface grinder, you do this while it's running and once it's dressed you remove the diamond with the wheel running to keep it true. Sometimes there is slight wear in the bearings and shutting it down and restarting it causes the wheel to go out of round. I always set the diamond as far back on the magnet as possible so removing it is easier.

I usually do it on the right front of the magnetic chuck, and move the table completely to the right and forward to remove the diamond.
That way the wheel is all the way to the left and rear, way away from my precious fingers. I've yet to be bitten.



Yea, well. That would be smart and I was being very, very stupid.

Usually, If I am working on something small enough, I will just leave the dresser on the magnet. This time the wheel was too small to allow the head to pass over it so I had to remove it. If the wheel was turned off I would have only gashed my knuckle and barely did any damage but a nasty scrape.

There was a whole lot of dumb on my part. Fortunately, I am using it as a positive and getting my first aid kit up to snuff for the shop and getting some Vet wrap for my preps.

I am thinking about replacing my elastic bandages in my blow out kit with Vet wrap. It weighs a hell of a lot less for more usable material and it doesn't need a closer.

The gauze rolls will stay in for packing wounds.
Link Posted: 11/3/2009 5:55:29 PM EST
Believe it or not, I may have been through something similar.

Do you still have feeling in the digits past the cut?

SRM
Link Posted: 11/3/2009 6:19:55 PM EST
Originally Posted By SRM:
Believe it or not, I may have been through something similar.

Do you still have feeling in the digits past the cut?

SRM


That picture says a thousand words. Damn!

Yea. I still seem to have full feeling. It was pretty deep and nasty, but the wound is so soft and flexible that I have nearly full function after 3 days. Still stiff from being held straight for three days. I am really happy with how it healed up.

The joint is slightly sore, but it will also pass.

I can't imagine having my hand tore up that bad.
Link Posted: 11/4/2009 5:25:12 AM EST
I know EXACTLY how well a surface grinder can bite . I never turn the wheel off after dressing. I do a lot of form grinding so can't risk anything going wrong with the dress. I ALWAYS pull the diamond off AWAY from the wheel after turning off the mag. It shouldn't take that much effort to pull off the diamond or radius/angle dresser.

As to your wounds... The one (could be pic angle) looks close enough to the top of the knuckle to have nicked the tendon. I nicked the tendon on my index finger while cleaning chickens with a mora knife (razor sharp). I could look down into the wound and see the little nick on the tendon. Finger still worked but would feel odd when applying counter pressure while trying to extend the finger. I kept it splinted for 6 weeks just to be on the safe side. It took almost a year before I could bend it enough to pop my knuckle or play guitar again.

On your flex/stretch tape... I like the athletic cloth tape. Yes, it's not sterile, but neither is any other tape once exposed plus it's cheap and sticks better than the first aid tape I've used. The dressing under the tape is what needs to be sterile. Also, I'm sure you know but I'm gonna say it anyway, be careful with using stretchy stuff. It's easy to cut off circulation. I always check with the nail press technique as well as holding the finger to my lips to make sure it doesn't feel colder than the others.

At least you just touched the wheel, Batman. I saw a fellow wipe off the chuck...under the wheel...while grinding .125 shims...It wasn't pretty. Human fingers are >.125 thick. and when wiping from right to left you get sucked under.
Top Top