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TUTORIAL: WHEN HANDS SAFETY WENT WRONG

TUTORIAL: WHEN HANDS SAFETY WENT WRONG

Scarred hand x

“Khorne cares not from whence the blood flows, only that it does…” and in case of our favorite hobby – Let’s just say that it sustains Khorne much more than you can imagine. If you haven’t had any nasty damage done to your hands during hobby labour, than you probably don’t know what true modelling is about! To be short – Yes, a lot of nasty cuts and damage happens to modellers all over the world at daily basis. Most basic are the modelling knife cuts and punctures but believe me – there’s plenty of more serious damage going on all the time. How can we prevent such damage? Well, otherwise than being extra careful – and this not always helps – we can’t. Now you probably wander ‘so what is it that this article is actually about?’ – a fine question, let me answer: This article is all about what happens after you’ve injured your precious hands.

1  BE PREPARED

There’s nothing worse than being caught off guard. Be sure to anticipate an injury at some point and keep some purified water, plasters and a bandage nearby – in case you would need them. Also it is recommended to know where in a hand the most important veins are located. The best way to learn it is to GOOGLE IT. This way, once your hands start bleeding, you will have both confidence and means to deal with an injury the right way…

Scarred hand veins

2  STAY CALM

Nasty hand injuries happen but unless they are located on the inside of your wrist, or you’ve just chopped off a finger – they shouldn’t pose an immediate threat. Sure, they are bloody to a point when you start to wander if death is what’s comming next – but hey – not a chance for that. In worst case scenario a nerve could’ve been damaged, but these tend to regenerate over time. So no matter what – keep calm and reasonable…

Scarred hand calm

3  FIRST AID

Once you’ve located the cut, make sure to clean-up the wound using purified water. (Do not use alcohol!). It is very important, especially due to workbenches being full of dust, sand, pieces of plastic and overall dirt – modelling leftovers. Once the wound is clean, use a piece of bandage or a plaster to cover it (Do not use cotton whool as it will stick to the wound making any later change of dressing difficult).  To help stop the bleeding keep the wounded hand up, pressing the bandaged wound with your free hand…

Scarred hand 1st aid

4  PROFESSIONAL HELP

Most wounds do not require professional assistance. Small cuts are rather easy to deal with, but sometimes – when things went bananas – it’s good to try and seek a Doctors help. Better to have a nasty wound sutured than to parade with a malformed finger to the rest of your days, especially if there’s a chance that hand’s basic functions are endangered (I know the latter from my own experience, as one of my fingers is almost out of the game). Be sure to call/visit a doctor ASAP if any of the below are true:

  • The wound won’t stop bleeding,
  • There is a tension in the wounded finger, you are unable to perform some movements,
  • You are unabple to straighten the finger/s,
  • You feel like some really crazy shit is going on with the wound and it should be cared by a pro,

Scarred hand help

 

MY OWN ADVENTURE:

During my time as a modeller I had my share of some really nasty injuries. The testimony of theese is left over my hands in form of scars. I even had one of my right hand’s knuckles damaged to a point of no turning back to it’s previous function. Still the most bloody of my hand injuries took place in 2011. I remember like if it was yesterday. A sunny day during a weekend with me working on the floor near my old workbench. I was preparing a series of terrain pieces for Warhammer Fantasy Battles ( Yup – there was such a game in the old days 😛 ). I was cutting some styrofoam into basic shape for hills. Done a lot of these and let routine take over. All of a sudden I felt a burning pain in my left thumb.

Scarred hand y

As it happened – I almost completely sliced off the entire top part of my thumb’s knuckle along with a piece of styrodure. At first there was no blood, only pain and a bit of ‘what the hell just happened?’. Moments later blood gushed from the wound. I thought that maybe I’ve injured some vital vein or something – there was a lot of blood, at least much more than ever before. Pressing the injury I’ve checked out google for any information about possibility of veins being in the vicinity of the wound. Fortunatelly for me I cut a knuckle along with it’s neighborhood, instead of slicing through the inner left part of the finger. So I’ve calmed down and cleaned up the wound. First using plain water (not so smart, but I’m hardcore when it comes to injuries – what doesn’t kill me, makes me stronger), then preparing a makeshift bandage…

Scarred hand 1(That looks nasty doesn’t it? That’s how a hand injury looks like – don’t let yourself be overwhelmed with panic once you cut yourself this way.)

I took things into my own hands (or rather hand, as the other one was currently out of commission) and prepared a special form of dressing for the injured finger. My reasoning went like this: I didn’t wanted to go to hospital, await for three to five hours to finally be stitched. I also wanted to keep my finger operational in the future (both near and distant). I wasn’t thinking smart, just followed modellers calling on this. I cut two splints out of a coca-cola bottle, desinfected them with alcohol and used a plaster to secure the finger with them. I also bandaged the wound itself and actually taped the entire construction. This dressing was to be switched couple of times a day – leaving more and more of the finger in the open so that the wound could breathe. The key point was for the wound to stay immobile, not to let it open and start bleeding again…

Scarred hand 2

This looks crazy funny when I see it now – but back then I was proud of my creations. Be it by a blessing or merely luck following idiots – it worked. Right now a scar is in the place of former wound, but at least the finger works fine and no nerve has been severed. It is fully operational with all it’s functions being kept.

Scarred hand 3

So – we’ve learned, we’ve laught – don’t do that at home etc. The final advice I can provide you with is once again – keep calm. Sooner or later an injury will happen to you – keep panic at bay and follow with the first aid. If you’ve prepared yourself beforehand – it will go much smoother and the wound would have a bigger chance to heal nicely.

 

Hope this one is helpful.

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1 Comment so far

Joe BPosted on  3:55 pm - Aug 24, 2016

Ouch! Good write up though! I especially like the humour injection 🙂 glad to see it healed up nicely.

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