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* This is not a reference guide



©2015 Kelsey Vetter All Rights Reserved Published by Kelsey Vetter in the Fall of 2015 in Kindra Murphy’s Publication Design. Illustrations from First Aid By The American Red Cross book


By Kelsey Vetter


This book will not actually help you in any medical situation. If you are hurt figure it out yourself.



Limits Vibrations Protection

01 01 01



Ionizing Non ionizing

05 05



Gases Vapors Fumes Dust Exposure Standards Protection

08 09 09 09 11 12



Cuts Breaks Burns

17 23 31


1 09

LIMITS If you are making a lot of loud noise while making art, wear protection. Do you hear ringing in your ears or are you having a hard time hearing after you’re done? Then you overexposed yourself. Don’t fuck up your ears, they have a limit. If you’re screaming to someone 2 feet away you need to wear protection.

VIBRATIONS Do you feel tingling more than your hand? Stop that hammering and take a 10 minute break between every hour of work. If you don’t you can slowly get “dead fingers” where the tingling doesn’t stop, the numbing becomes real, the fingers turn white, and even get gangrene.

Use ear plugs you idiot! Foam ear plugs are cheap, reusable, and provide the best protection. Check the packaging to see how many dB’s it reduces, 25dB is the most common. 01

Artist First Aid: Noise




2 03


IONIZING Ionizing radiation fucks with you! Make sure your materials aren’t radioactive! Glasses, metals, enamels and more can have radioactive uranium in it. If you don’t check for it, it can fuck with your biology!



Artist First Aid: Radiation

Non ionizing radiation fucks you up, just a little less. Ultraviolet rays and infrared light cause damaged to your eyes and skin. Don’t look at the light, put on your damn goggles! Make sure they block whatever radiation your work creates.





GASES Gases are formless and expand to fill a whole room. When they are mixed with air their is no unmixing. Some are really fucking dangerous and poisonous to you! 08

VAPORS Vapors are just like gas, but crazier! They can turn back into liquid if they want. Liquids can vaporize without hitting “vaporization point” (their boiling point). Just don’t fuck with them, they do whatever they want!

FUMES Think of these as hot vapors that are cooled really fast. You can’t see them but they are there and ready to attack your lungs.

Solid matter broken down to a point that it can be inhaled. Dust. The finner it is the finner it is not for your lungs. If it can’t be seen it’s toxic to inhale it!


Artist First Aid: Inhalation



EXPOSURE STANDARDS If the government is involved then you know it’s serious. A standard for inhalation is made to keep you safe so fucking listen to it! They are measured in Threshold limit values (TLVs), the lower the TLV the more toxic it is to inhale. They are broken down into three parts, but these are not guaranteed to protection.


Artist First Aid: Inhalation

1. TLV-TWA: Time-Weighted Averages, these are concentrations that you shouldn’t be exposed to for more than eight-hours in a workday and a forty-hours in work week. 2. TLV-STEL: Short-time exposure limits, these are concentrations that you shouldn’t be exposed to more than fifteen-minutes in a workday. 3. TLV-C: Ceiling limits, these are concentrations that you shouldn’t exceeded during any part of the workday.

PROTECTION Proper ventilation should be the first means of control followed by wearing a respirator. So your studio has great ventilation but we don’t want to chance our life on these toxins so we are going to wear a trendy respirator. Now we’re not talking about that bandanna you have in your back pocket or the surgical mask you swiped from the doctor. There are a wide variety of respirators to choose from, and all of them are for different things. However the 3 basic kinds are: air-suppling, air-purifying, and powered air-purifying. Proper ventilation should be the first means of control followed by wearing a respirator. So your studio has great ventilation but we don’t want to chance our life on these toxins so we are going to wear a trendy respirator. Now we’re not talking about that bandanna you have in your back pocket or the surgical mask you swiped from the doctor. There are a wide variety of respirators to choose from, and all of them are for different things. However the 3 basic kinds are: air-supplying, air-purifying, and powered air-purifying. Air-supplying: Brings the fresh air to you so your lazy ass doesn’t have to do a single thing. These are fucking expensive so unless you’re rich this kind isn’t for you!


Air-Purifying: Your nasty ass breath draws air through fancy filters or chemical cartridges that neutralizes the toxins, and your breath, before being inhaled. If you can’t afford one of these you shouldn’t be doing toxic things! There are 3 kinds of these respirators: 1. Disposable: Like paper masks 2. Half-face: Has replaceable filters and cartridges, it covers your mouth, nose, chin. 3. Full-Face: Have replaceable canisters, looks like old-fashion gas mask.


Artist First Aid: Inhalation

Powered Air-Purifying: You’re wearing the air you breath in on a fancy belt, that pumps through filters or cartridges and into your mask. The air is slightly pressurized. So futuristic, so lazy. If you’re a baller on a budget then this is for you, not as expensive as air-supplying but not as cheap as normal air-purifying.






CUTS There are many kinds of cuts and wounds but that doesn’t matter. What matters is what you do. Grab that one clean cloth in your studio, you know the one, and apply direct pressure to stop the bleeding but don’t cut off the circulation! If it still hasn’t stopped bleeding apply a pressure bandage on it, for the mean time anyway. By placing the bandage strip directly in the center of the wound, keeping a steady pull on the bandage wrap both ends of it around the body part. Next elevate that shit! Unless it looks like you fractured something, then don’t do that. Make sure to give it a little love and elevate it higher than your heart. While you’re still trying not to freak out because it still hasn’t stopped bleeding find that artery and temporarily put it all to a stop! (Also it might be a good idea to call 911 or head to the emergency room at this point.) But don’t stop loving your self and that elevation and pressure just add the artery onto it until the bleeding stops.


Artist First Aid: Injuries and Treatments

For the arm look for the Brachial artery and for the leg look for femoral artery. Now let’s hope your bleeding has stopped or you are at the emergency room. If not well, uh...I guess you’re out of luck.


Artist First Aid: Injuries and Treatments



Artist First Aid: Injuries and Treatments



BREAKS So there is a open and closed fracture, dislocation, sprain, and fractured dislocation, but that’s all just technically terms. All you know is that your are in a hell of a lot of pain and want it to stop. First things first scream until your studio mate comes running over to help you wrap up whatever the fuck you broke so you can get your ass to the emergency room and make that pain stop! Before letting your artist friend make a fancy, creative, sling be sure to scream at them to not to try and set or push the bone sticking out of your arm back into your arm!

If you are your own hero then let’s proceed. If you fucked up your leg well then you’re having a three legged race. But, this time it’s just you and your friend is tyeing your fucked up leg to your not so fucked up leg. Now you have a 0% chance of walking, but remember you broke your arm. Just like that slice that turned into a major wound you got, tear away any clothes around it and directly apply pressure. Also please don’t let your friend stick his finger in it as a piece of performance art.


Artist First Aid: Injuries and Treatments

If the medical professionals are coming to the rescue like super heroes or you aren’t in any other kind of danger, say your “art experiment” didn’t blow up, then don’t even let your friend touch you, its going to make shit way worse.


Artist First Aid: Injuries and Treatments



Since you really fucked up the bones is sticking out and because of that make sure to put a nice cushioning layer, or 5, of bandage around it. Next we don’t want you to swell up like a balloon so you are going to elevate that shit slightly. In the end it depends upon what bone you actually broke to determine what kind of sling your friend should make you but the general rules are loving yourself a little more and tyeing your arm to your chest, while still making sure it’s slightly elevated. If it seems just a little more serious grab that pillow, a gallery review, left over cardboard, or piece of wood you have been saving for a great sculpture you just haven’t thought of yet and help yourself.


Artist First Aid: Injuries and Treatments

Yet again breaking a bone is a lot more complicated than making art you so it depends on the bone your broke for its placement but either way make sure that the material you grabbed supports the bone. Maybe it’s touching it, maybe it’s not. We aren’t exactly sure. Just do the best you can...and maybe see a professional at some point.


Artist First Aid: Injuries and Treatments



BURNS Yikes that “art experiment” just fucking blew up and your chest doesn’t look normal. Well guess what, you are going to the emergency room...again! There are three levels to a burn. First degree burns like that time you grabbed the pot and not the handle. Your hand hurt and swelled, and you went to the doctor but you weren’t in that much pain.

This time you got third degree burns from how high the temperature was. Your skin is white, it hurts to even think, and your shirt is stuck to you. This is terrible so call 911 first! While waiting do not remove the stuck shirt and cover the burn with a thick linen or sterile dressing. It burns like hell but don’t put ice or water on that bad boy because it might cause you to go into shock, then you really will be screwed. The 911 heroes still aren’t there to rescue you and the pain feels like you literally are in hell.


Artist First Aid: Injuries and Treatments

Next are second degree burns, no i’m not talking about the kind your mom gives you when you don’t clean up the basement. This kind of burns is caused from hot liquids and flash burns. Remember that pain you felt when you fried chicken without a shirt on? How your skin looked had blisters, swelled, and looked wet, yeah that pain is bad but it’s not as bad as this time.



Artist First Aid: Injuries and Treatments

Have your friend prepare a special brew consisting of salt and soda. 1 teaspoon of salt to 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda to a quart of room temperature water. Make sure to only drink 4 oz slowly. While this magic potion is taking affect the 911 heroes hopefully have arrived and swept you off to a less painful, dreamer place. If not well...I guess you should keep on waiting.

INDEX Arm Artery

Bandage Bone Break Burn


Dust Dislocation


23 17, 20, 21

Inhaled Ionizing

17, 27 23, 27 23, 27 31, 32

Limits Liquids Lungs


Ear Ear Plugs Exposure Standards Eye

Fumes Fracture

Gases Glasses Goggles



09 23


Non ionizing

Protection 01, 05 01 11 05

09 23

08 05 05 34

Radiation Respirator

Skin Sprain


09, 11 05

01, 11 09 09

12, 13


01, 12, 13

05 12, 13

05 23

Toxic 09, 11, 12, 13 Threshold Limits 11

Vapors Ventilation Vibrations



09 12 01


Artist First Aid: Index


Artist First Aid  
Artist First Aid  

A none guidebook for artist about first aid.