In a previous entry, we discussed improvising in the field and demonstrated a method of creating a scalpel handle out of its wrapper. This entry will focus on the safety pin and several of its uses. It’s always a good idea to have 4 or 5 of these in your kit. They can be used to solve many medical and non-medical problems. They are inexpensive, don’t expire, and take up hardly any space.
Here is a list of a few things you can do with a safety pin:
-Pin the tongue to the lip to maintain the airway
-Splint a finger
-Make a sling out of a casualty’s shirt
-Close abdominal wounds or large lacerations
-Make a tracheal hook
-Secure an ET or Cric tube.
Like most improvised medicine, these techniques are not definitive treatments, but in certain situations you may not have any other option. You can never carry everything, so knowing how to employ items you have can be a life saver…literally.