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The New Zealand Medical Service in the Great War 1914-1918

22. Mutilation of Clothing of Wounded

22. Mutilation of Clothing of Wounded.

Preparatory to dressing a wound, it is frequently found necessary to cut the clothing in order to remove it without aggravating the injury or causing pain to the patient.

Although this matter is one for the judgment of the M.O. in each case, these officers will (as far as is consisistent with the welfare of their patients) avoid unnecessary mutilation of clothing, and especially of boots, gum, thigh.

Slacks and tunics may be slit up the seams and by completely unlacing ankle boots, and steadying the leg just above the ankle they may be removed without cutting the uppers or causing pain to the patient in cases of injury to the leg and thigh.

Needless exposure of wounded in cold weather is to be avoided, however, and under the circumstances it may be necessary to cut holes through the clothing in order to adjust the First Field Dressing, with the bandage outside the clothing.

R.M.Os. in their usual lectures on First Aid should explain this to Company Officers, Stretcher Bearers and men.