Want to watch this video? Sign up for the course here. Or enter your email below to watch one free video.

Unlock This Video Now for FREE

This video is normally available to paying customers.
You may unlock this video for FREE. Enter your email address for instant access AND to receive ongoing updates and special discounts related to this topic.

We are now going to have a look at how knife wounds affect the body. Again, safety comes number one. If there is somebody around that's been stabbed, where was the assailant, where was the person that used the knife, where was the person who actually stabbed your victim? Make sure that they are nowhere near and you are safe before you approach the patient.

The next thing we're looking at is signs and symptoms; what we can see. What does the patient look like? How is the patient breathing, what position are you in? Also blood loss; is the wound gushing blood or is the wound sealed? How much blood loss? How severe is it? Where is the knife? Is it in the chest, is it in the leg, is it in the arm? Again, important information. Because we have got organs that are behind that knife, we need to know what potentially is being damaged. Lungs, heart, liver, kidneys are all in specific places. And wherever that knife wound goes into the body, we need to know what lies behind that. We also need to know the length of the blade. So how far into the body has that knife blade penetrated? Is it still in situ or has it been pulled out?

Another important one is, was it a male or a female that stabbed the person? Women tend to stab downhill, men tend to stab uphill. And that is just a freak of nature but it does tend to be a fact. Women will always stab down, men stab up. And men tend to stab with more force than women as well, so it tends to penetrate deeper. So we need to know the angle, the distance, the depth, the severity. And always check the body for more than one stab wound. Were they stabbed in the back and they are lying on the back and you've missed it? Is there more than one stab wound? So expose the body. Check the torso, check the limbs, following blood loss, follow back to where you find the wounds, and then deal with the wounds appropriately.

Remember, we never pull any object that is penetrating the body out of the body. So if there is a knife that is penetrating the body, it stays in situ until we can get them to definitive clinical care. The way we will deal with it is we will put a dressing on either side of the blade, stabilise the blade so we remove any movement or any chance of moving that blade creating any more internal injuries, and then we will extricate that patient to a trauma center where that knife can be dealt with in sterile and safe conditions.

And just as a final note, remember it doesn't always have to be a knife or a blade. It also occurs during RTC's when pieces of metal, fragments from the car, air crashes; anything that can penetrate the body and is sharp enough to penetrate through the surface of the skin and enter the body, we have to treat exactly the same. So don't get distracted by it not being a knife. Whatever has gone in and exited the body, or has gone in and stayed into the body has to be dealt with in exactly the same way as we just discussed with a knife blade.