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Show full transcript for Embedded Objects video

In first aid we refer to an object that has gone into the body through the skin as an embedded object.

Grains of dirt or grit can be washed off under a tap, items stuck onto the skin can be removed if it is safe to do so.

Larger embedded objects such as glass or knives need to treated with great care. If you remove the object it is likely to increase the damage and removing it may cause serious injury.

If a person has a knife wound and the knife is still in the body, it may be near an artery, the artery may have been unaffected when the knife entered the body, but if you remove the knife, it may cut the artery on the way out. The knife itself may also be plugging the wound, removing it may lead to increased blood-loss.

As a first aider you leave the item in the body. Put on your gloves and use dressings to reduce blood-loss and to stop the embedded object from moving as demonstrated in the video.

The object is to reduce bleeding and keep the wound protected, you also need to make sure that any dressings or slings you apply do not put pressure on the embedded object and push it further into the wound.

Emergency medical care is needed as quickly as possible.