An impaled object is one that punctured the soft tissues and left embedded. Depending on the site of impalement and size of the object, emergency care might be needed.
A small-sized impaled object such as a splinter can be removed without requiring emergency care. As for bigger objects, a healthcare professional must be seen for proper removal.
Steps in managing an impaled object
The management is based on various factors but some of the basic steps in dealing with an impaled object include:
- Always stay safe and remain calm when assisting an individual with an impaled object. Sharp or pointed objects such as nails or knives not only cause damage to the rescuer but also contaminated by the blood of the victim.
- Call for emergency assistance. Due to its complicated nature, even a seemingly minor case requires emergency attention.
- Do not attempt to remove the impaled object. Remember that any impaled object can create a puncture wound. If the object is removed, there is a risk for triggering bleeding that could not be controlled by application of external pressure.
- There are some exceptions to the rule. In case an impaled object should be removed, perform the steps in controlling the bleeding by applying pressure. An object can be removed if CPR is required and if in the airway.
What happens if the eye is affected?
In case there is an impaled object in the eye, avoid placing any weight on the object or eyeball.
- Both eyes must be covered with bulky dressing but be careful not to place any burden on either eye. Covering both eyes can keep the damaged eye from moving and resulting to further damage.
- If on hand, a paper cup with an open base can slide over the object and provide protection to the damaged eye without any weight on the object or the eye.
In case the emergency team is not available, or the individual must be moved, the object must be secured. Start by shortening the object if possible. If more of the object is protruding out of the body, it has more leverage to damage the adjacent tissues.
Disclaimer / More Information
The information posted on this page on an impaled object is for learning and educational purposes only. To learn to manage this type of injury, register for first aid training at one of our training centers located throughout Canada. The training centers are in Edmonton, Calgary, Vancouver, Kelowna, Saskatoon, Victoria, Surrey, Mississauga, Winnipeg, Red Deer, Toronto, Ottawa and Halifax.