Saturday, June 15, 2024

Eye on Life

Broad interest online magazine

Random musings

Plaster disaster

I needed a plaster the other day. An altercation with the lid of an open tin of tuna resulted in a deep slice through the cuticle of my index finger, the part closest to the bone. You wouldn’t think there was room for a blood vessel there, but the blood flowed as though I had put a pick through the carotid artery.
With my finger tightly bound in a tea towel, I scratched a box of plasters out of the cupboard. I managed to open it and a wad of plasters cascaded out, resembling those old sets of postcards tourists would buy at curio shops.  I snapped one off with my teeth and set about opening it.  Have you ever tried to open anything with your thumb and third finger?  Couldn’t work out how to open it, so just used my teeth again. Eventually I succeeded in extracting the plaster from the wrapper.  It had four covering flaps but no instructions.  I pulled one off the sticky side, which immediately curled into itself and became a useless blob. I pulled the other half off and stuck it on my finger, but then had no corresponding half to hold it down.  I pulled the top flaps off and couldn’t identify what purpose they had served.
I wrapped my finger, still bleeding profusely, back in the tea towel, threw the useless plaster in the bin and pulled another one off the cascade to repeat the process.  Finally I got a mangled plaster on to staunch the flow. If it had been the carotid artery, I would have bled to death by now.
I cannot imagine who designed this so-called basic first aid item, as the conclusion is:  useless in an emergency.  I think the best idea is to open every plaster long before you need them and lay them flat on greaseproof paper, ready to be lifted straight onto the wound with the minimum of fuss. I am sure there are many mothers who can identify with the plaster disaster!
(NB: to those who think you could apply a plaster to a burst carotid artery:  do not try this at home.)

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