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July 2011, Volume 41 Number 7 , p 72 - 72


  • Michael W. Day MSN, RN, CCRN


AS YOU AND A FRIEND are hiking through the hills, you hear someone call out for help. You find a young man entangled in his mountain bike. He tells you he lost control and crashed. When he landed, a tree branch penetrated his left thigh. He was wearing a helmet and didn't strike his head during the crash.His airway is patent, as indicated by his ability to talk. His respiratory rate is 24 and he exhibits no signs of respiratory distress. His radial pulse is bounding at a rate of 110 and you identify no active external bleeding. He reports that he didn't lose consciousness, and he responds appropriately to questions. Even though the temperature has been in the mid-80s, you wrap your sweatshirt around him to prevent hypothermia, which can occur when environmental temperatures are under 85[degrees] F.You identify a 6-inch, "-diameter fragment of the branch protruding from the anterior lateral aspect of the patient's left thigh, with a small amount of blood around the wound. You palpate around

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