How to Treat a Gunshot Wound?
In movies, heroes usually know how to treat a gunshot wound (one of the serious injuries!). What about you? Do you know? Given the number of legal and illegal guns that are available in our society, it may be very helpful for you if you familiarize your self with some first aid techniques on how to treat a gunshot wound!
In most cases, it is very hard to predict the degree of damage that is caused by a gunshot. More often, the gunshot injuries may be very serious and you may not be in a position to treat them. Therefore, the best option would be to drive the victim to a hospital as soon as possible. Here are some points that could help you to stabilize the victim’s condition in case there is no hospital nearby.
What should you do?
First of all make sure that the environment is secure and you do not risk anything. If it is not, then take cover or secure the perimeter by yourself.
Contact the emergency services as soon as possible. Stay calm if you want to provide useful and relevant information. Describe the situation to the person who is talking to you on the phone and listen carefully to what they instruct you.
Do not move the victim unless otherwise it is absolutely necessary such as for safety reasons.
If victim is unconscious but breathing, free the air way and allow him/her to intake enough oxygen. If he/she is not breathing, then study the situation and check if there is a need for cardiac massage.
Do not remove the bullet without any medical advice, because it might increase the bleeding. Excess bleeding might cause death. Depending on the area the bullet is in, it may be advisable to leave it there to prevent such excess bleedings.
Examine the situation carefully and if you think you have to remove the victim’s clothing then do so without moving him/her. You could use either knife or scissors to remove his/her cloths.
In cases of severe bleeding, you can follow the following procedures.
Try to control bleeding by combining the following methods:
Compression of bleeding, and elevation of affected parts. Using compression or applying pressure is one of the most effective methods to control bleedings.
Keep the injured area still and use bandages to increase coagulation. If you do not have any bandages handy then you could use clean cloths in place.
You earn bonus points if you’re fast:
Time is your enemy and ideally the patient should be on the way to the hospital within 10 minutes.
Try to avoid infections. Do not use ointment on deep wounds and opt for solutions of hydrogen peroxide or antiseptic.
If you could find some ice then use it because it can help to reduce blood clotting and blood loss.
The bullet wounds do not bleed much yet; this does not mean that they are less severe. There are still risks of internal bleeding.
The shots can cause three types of injuries:
- The damage caused by the shockwave of the bullet in the body
- Penetration through flesh
- Fragmentation caused by the pieces of bullet
Gun shot wounds are one of the severe wounds and could be fatal if not treated on time. As mentioned above, time is a very crucial element when it comes to treating these wounds. However, if you use some first aid techniques to treat the wound it may give you more time for you to go and obtain proper medical treatment.