Treating Gun Shot Wounds
Gun Shot Wounds Part 1
After the events in Aurora, I find myself wondering if some basic gun shot wound knowledge would have saved just one person there. Today I will go over some basics of gun shot wound treatment.
I am going to do this post in two parts, equipped and improvised. The equipped portion will tell you about use of proper medical equipment that you should keep in your tactical purse. The improvised portion will go over how to treat a gun shot wound without medical gear.
I will start off with the proper medical equipment you need for treating a gun shot wound. You can get basic kits from several different manufactures each kit contains about the same supplies.
- Homeostatic agent (blood stopper)
- Compression bandage
You can purchase a complete kit like the IPOK from North American Rescue. Or you can purchase everything you need from a company like Amazon and put your own kit together.
When treating a gun shot wound you want to rapidly start assistance. Help should be on its way, so you just need to provide initial medical response until more help arrives. We will start out on an extremity wound, arm or leg.
- Stop the bleeding. You should always try to apply direct pressure to the wound. Remember there may be an entrance and exit wound. Yes that is two holes that need plugged. If pressure does not work, or their are multiple wounds/victims, you may want to save supplies and use a tourniquet. Each tourniquet is different, the standard is the C-A-T. To use the C-A-T tourniquet simply place the tourniquet above the wound (side closest to the body), pull the red tip and tighten the tourniquet down. Twist the rod until the bright red bleeding stops. Record the time the tourniquet was applied if possible.
- Ensure airway. Be sure that the victim is not having difficulty breathing. If so place them on their side, back, or seated, which ever position allows them to breathe easiest. Remind the victim to breathe slowly and deeply. Focus on breathing.
- Prevent Shock. Cover the victim to help keep them warm. Attempt to comfort the victim and keep them calm.
When treating a gun shot wound on the torso of the body there is more that could possibly be wrong. Airway issues could be critical. Some issues are nearly impossible to be field treated by inexperienced and ill equipped individuals.
- Check pulse. With a gun shot wound to the chest the victim may have perished and not need medical treatment. Ensure your efforts will be worth it.
- Check airway. Be sure the victim is breathing properly and has an open airway. Try to get them into a position where they can breathe easily. If conscious remind the victim to breathe slowly and deeply. Focus on breathing.
- Stop bleeding. Using the gauze, place some into the wound to attempt to stop the bleeding. Apply pressure to the wound. There may be multiple wounds. Try to stop bleeding on the worst first. If you have a homeostatic agent you could use. Most are gauze pads that you place in the wound and apply pressure. If you have a compression dressing or Israeli Battle dressing use it to apply pressure to a wound.
- Treat Shock. Cover the victim to help keep them warm. Attempt to comfort the victim and keep them calm.
This is no substitute for proper medical training. All devices mentioned today have instructions with them. You should read all instructions before use. You should call 911 immediately after a shooting and get assistance.
This is not medical advice and should not be taken as such. This information is provided for entertainment purposes only. Please seek medical training if you wish to practice medicine.
To see more go here Gun Shot Wounds Part 2