First Aid – do you know what to do? Part 1

Posted on April 21, 2012

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I recently went on a bit of an Etsy spree, and bought a bunch of cool junk.  Who doesn’t need two hundred vintage envelopes?  Chumps is who.  Included in one of my purchases was a little gem:

Do YOU know how to handle a cave in or hanging? Be prepared!

Yes folks, it’s the American Red Cross First Aid Text-Book, first published in 1933 and revised in 1937.  I pride myself in being ready for any eventuality and so thought it might be useful to peruse this reference book, just in case it had any important insights.  Oh and did it!  There are so many good bits that I’ve decided to make this a two parter, so check back in a few days for the second installment.  Here we go!

First up, the book gives us some advice on some common life saving scenarios.  A fellow first on the scene might encounter bleeding, electrocution, or asphyxia.  Here are some handy notes on asphyxia:

That’s right – you may encounter asphyxia in the event of a victim being buried in a  cave-in.  Great!  You’ll surely be ready for that now, right?  Wondering what to do?  Don’t worry: nothing!  Because the person will be dead.  First aid is a breeze.

This is actually fairly helpful.  Now you know.  Carry a knife, life-savers.

Next are some of my favourites: the illustrations of proper bandaging technique.  Holy crap!  These are unintentionally freaking terrifying!  Enjoy.

Need to scare the bejeezus out of everyone you know? Want to go as Igor Gouzenko for hallowe'en? The American Red Cross has you covered.

Get bitten on the nose by a street urchin while giving him a thrashing for smashing your milk bottles? Covered.

This sunny fellow was used by a generation of mothers to remind their children of the dangers of running with scissors and using mob bookies.

Sociologists tell us that, because of the social repression of the era, certain themes found their way into media surreptitiously. Here we can see strong homoerotic undertones as the desirous valet bandages his swarthy Adonis. Such images would have been winkingly understood and shared amongst closeted gay men at the time. The Red Cross was the subject of much scrutiny in the McCarthy era because of images like this.

So now you know how to handle many important life saving situations.  In our next installment we’ll review the very important “applying groin pressure” manoeuvre.  See you then!  Read part two here.

Posted in: The Obscure