Sunday, May 4, 2008
How do you fix, someone recently asked, a broken nose out there in the wild places. Here is the short answer: Don't even try. When a fractured snoze reaches an emergency room, there is typically too much swelling to allow the doc to act. Waiting five days, even up to ten days, for the swelling to subside is not uncommon. And a hard blow, so to speak, to the nose might break other parts of the face. If the accident shifted the nose off to one side, attempting to move it back could cause greater harm. Apply cold to the nose, suggest some painkilling pills, and find a doctor--and it's highly unlikely you will need to rush. You'll find lots more nose knowledge in Wilderness Medicine, Fifth Edition, published by Mosby (www.us.elsevierhealth.com).