Thunder Roads Magazine MO/So. IL 2018-May - Page 16

SAFETY FIRST Just the FAKs, Ma’am that heart rate is going to be rapid and the blood loss will kill you within minutes. I have personally witnessed arterial wounds that caused blood to spurt six-to-eight feet through the air. That’s a lot of pressure behind By Matt Thomason that wound and a half-dozen one-inch bandaids aren’t going to be any- From his 1940s radio shows until his death in 1982, actor Jack Webb’s thing but a time waster. That bleeding has to be stopped. Fortunately, there are a few ways of making that happen. They aren’t character Sgt. Joe Friday of the Los Angeles Police Department was necessarily inexpensive, but what is the value you place on the life concerned with only one thing: the facts. The search for facts of the of your passenger? How about your riding buddies? What about the cases he investigated was the driver of every episode we enjoyed. With importance of your own life? his sober and deadpan approach, Sgt. Friday meticulously worked If possible, lift the wound site above the level of the heart. This will put his case while we anxiously awaited to see the villain’s mug shot and gravity to work for you and by dumping blood back into the rest of the the voice-over announcing the perpetrator’s verdict at the end of each body. First aid kits with gauze that can pack wounds are good. Some episode. The show set a benchmark for the hundreds of police dramas gauze packs have chemicals embedded that will help accelerate the of the same era and into modern day television programming. Amid a clotting process. Those are a nice feature to have as well, but they also wide range of information being given to him by victims and witnesses, have expiration dates. Keep that in mind while working with your budget. he was often quick in replying “All we want are the facts.” Through the You will want to have some kind of bandaging wrap to go around the work of numerous parodies on the character, the lexicon evolved to a wound packing material to hold it in place once bleeding has been curt, “Just the facts, ma’am”. (As if each witness or victim was suddenly, controlled. and singularly, female.) Another good option is a tourniquet. Several people feel that they will For the purpose of this article, I’m going to make the next step in the just want to use a makeshift version. That can work, but one has to prac- evolution of that phrase and change the spelling of “facts” to “FAKs”. tice (and practice, and practice) that m ethod to ensure it will work when it Why on earth would I do that? Because, as motorcycle enthusiasts, we is needed! There are a few excellent commercially-made, military-grade can be prone to injury while on the road. Sometimes the story line of our tourniquets available for purchase. Some are employable with one hand ride can take an unmerciful twist and cause us to need medical atten- for self-care while others have instructions written on them and can also tion. While calling “911” and requesting professional medical assistance serve as a pressure dressing or a splint as well. Opinions vary as to is certainly a top priority, sometimes we have to prepare for an extended which designs are better, but at the end of the day choose the one that wait for help. When that is the case, having the appropriate “FAKs”, or you will commit to learning and using. First Aid Kits, can make a difference in the verdict at the end of our riding Other options you may wish to consider for your first aid kit include episode! smaller bandaid-type bandages as scrapes and scratches can hap- There are all kinds and price points of first aid kits available for pen. A small bottle of eye wash or saline solution is good for when the purchase through local retailers or online outlets. When offering advice occasional item will sneak in past your eye protection. Of course, if you as to which to get, my response will usually come down to one simple require any form of medication for a personal condition, make sure to phrase: “The one you learn how to use.” keep a couple spare doses on board. Sometimes the story of our day While the less-pricey ones can be easy on the wallet and small in changes when we go riding and not having to return home to pop a pill size, they can end up being less of a value when attempting to stop will add to your joy. heavy bleeding. That ends up being an expensive mistake. Motorcycle There are several other items that can end up being personal prefer- accidents are often violent in nature. The very thing that is so attrac- ence in your FAK bag, but keep in mind that whatever you have, use tive about motorcycling is also what causes the most harm to the rider. them wisely…and practice their use! They can save your life! There are usually injuries to bones and joints, and depending on the Get your FAKs straight! Keep a first aid kit on your bike and know how level of protective clothing being worn, there is large potential for open to use what is in it. Most importantly, though, get the facts on how to ride wounds and bleeding. If an artery is severed, your verdict at the pearly safely so you leave your FAK intact and get home to live to ride another gates of heaven is only moments away. Arteries are the blood vessels day! that lead directly to the heart. If you’ve been in a motorcycle accident, …and “Hey! Let’s be CAREFUL out there!” Thunder Roads Magazine 14 Thunder Roads Magazine 15