With blood gushing everywhere, it can be hard to find the bullet wound entrance and exit site (if there is an exit). All Rights Reserved. The victim may be screaming. More than 39,000 people will die of gunshot wounds each year – or 109 people dying per day. Available for Android and iOS devices. You will treat the more severe source of bleeding first. Our doctors and nurses work quickly to stabilize your condition and get you the care that you need. Soldiers and medics mentally prepare themselves by training in realistic scenarios, complete with actors with fake wounds and blood. Your wound is red, swollen, or draining pus. If the intestines have a bullet hole in them, they will cut the damaged area off and reattach it. Real gunshot wounds are agonizing. When the bullet enters the body, it creates a relatively small entrance hole. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or IBM Watson Health. Many of these gunshot deaths could have been prevented with simple steps to control bleeding while waiting for EMS to arrive. Even if we exclude all of the gun deaths by suicide, there are still nearly 40 people dying from gunshot wounds every day. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice and should not be relied on as health or personal advice. Tampons only soak up blood; they don’t apply pressure to internal arteries which are spilling blood. If a gunshot wound occurs, you’ll have to use whatever you have on hand – like your shirt or jacket. Emergency care for a gunshot wound A gunshot wound, or an injury caused by a bullet or other projectile from a firearm, is considered a medical emergency. Even if your clothes are dirty, it’s still better than a tampon. In many senses, treating a gunshot wound is just like any other penetrating wound (see this post on how to treat a knife wound). There’s a memorable scene of self-surgery in 2003’s Master and Commander … If the bullet exits, the exit wound can be massive. This would work, something like plastic wrap which covers more surface area would work better. With gunshot wounds, controlling bleeding is the most important thing. QuikClot is the most well-known brand of hemostatic dressing. This can result in a collapsed lung. In theory, in situations where stopping the bleed is priority, then packing a wound with dirt would make sense. Once bleeding is under control, you can check the ABCs: Airways, Breathing, and Circulation. A bullet can enter or pass through the body at a high velocity, possibly causing serious blood loss and structural damage. We serve Elkhart County by providing advanced care at our emergency department on High Park Avenue. Up until fairly recently, “normal” people didn’t have to worry about getting shot. Just like we learn CPR and the Heimlich, gunshot treatment should be added to the list of basic first aid skills to know. It can be your shirt, pants, towels, etc. There will be blood everywhere. Think war zones or remote wilderness areas. If the gunshot victim is not breathing, start with CPR. If the gunshot wound was from a high-velocity weapon, “it’s like an explosion” went off inside the body. A person can get one hit in a seemingly benign place and die. This isn’t to say you shouldn’t use a tampon to pack a wound if you were shot in a remote rest-stop bathroom and there was literally nothing else available. Rather, I mention these numbers to show why it’s important for everyone to know how to treat a gunshot wound. You have questions or concerns about your condition or care. We comply with applicable Federal civil rights laws. Infection is likely. Primal Survivor™, https://www.airforcemedicine.af.mil/News/Art/igphoto/2000255552/, https://www.incirlik.af.mil/News/Photos/igphoto/2001545181/, https://www.jbcharleston.jb.mil/News/Photos/igphoto/2000391381/, https://www.ems1.com/ems-products/bleeding-control/articles/how-to-pack-a-severely-bleeding-wound-HG4cxUaQ37TVebp1/, https://www.airmedandrescue.com/latest/long-read/treatment-gunshot-wounds, https://www.thetrace.org/2015/09/bullet-injuries-wounds-trauma-surgery/, https://www.health24.com/Medical/First-aid/Wounds-and-bleeding/first-aid-for-gunshot-wounds-20151124, https://fullfact.org/online/dont-put-tampon-in-stab-wound/, http://people.virginia.edu/~rjs7m/TSG/Basic-GSW-Treatment.pdf, https://www.verywellhealth.com/how-to-treat-a-gunshot-wound-1298915, https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/tampons-to-the-rescue/, https://www.quora.com/Can-tampons-plug-a-bullet-wound, https://apps.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a428731.pdf, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5800048/, Essential Guide To Fish Antibiotics for Humans, Prepper’s Emergency Dental Kit Checklist (and Why You Need One), How to Make Penicillin at Home (Just in Case SHTF), IFAK Contents: What Soldiers Have in their Individual First Aid Kits, How to Build a Compact Wilderness First Aid Kit which Could Actually Save Your Life, Survival Books and Movies For Education and Entertainment. Once bleeding is under control, you can check the ABCs: Airways, Breathing, and Circulation. Goshen Wound Center offers leading-edge treatments, including hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT). Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances. Cover the wound with a clean cloth or gauze. It’s something of a Hollywood trope that quickly removing the bullet is the best way to ‘cure’ a gunshot wound. You won’t be much use to the victim if you freak out and can’t remember the first aid steps you learned. A gunshot wound, or an injury caused by a bullet or other projectile from a firearm, is considered a medical emergency. Established relationships with nearby trauma centers allow us to smoothy transfer critical patients with gunshot wounds. This material must not be used for commercial purposes, or in any hospital or medical facility. I’m not sure where the dirt myth comes from. This material is provided for educational purposes only and is not intended for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. The decision to proceed with surgical treatment of the gunshot wound … In 2019 alone, the United States experienced more than 400 mass shootings. You may need any of the following tests to diagnose the damage caused by your GSW: A GSW may be minor if it does not go deep into your skin or damage any of your organs. Clean, but not sterile. Don't try to clean the wound itself. Once inside the body, the bullet’s energy creates a larger cavity in the soft tissues. Nine titles packed full of premium prepper information. The immediate risk of blood loss is more important than the later risk of an infection. ©2020 Goshen Health. It may look swollen and red. As you recover, tell your doctor if your wound shows signs of infection or isn’t healing properly. Read this post about how to apply a tourniquet and see these best tourniquets. If no help is available, it’s not likely you are going to survive. Your pain is not relieved with pain medicine. We do not discriminate against, exclude or treat people differently because of race, color, national origin, age, disability or sex. If blood pressure and oxygenation can be maintained, an urgent CT scan of the brain is obtained. Tampons expand once wet and can cause further injury to the gunshot site. Even if help is hours away, it’s still better to choose life over limb. © 2020. If you don’t have a hemostatic dressing or gauze available, the American College of Surgeons recommends using clothing to pack a wound. You will need to press down hard. In the OR, the surgeons actually split the victim wide open so they can see exactly where the blood is coming from. Just start applying pressure. Another person can take 10 shots and somehow still survive. © Copyright IBM Corporation 2020 Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. You may need to remove clothing – which is one more reason to always carry a survival knife with you. Always get professional help if available. Sucking Chest Wounds. In the movies, the character will either die quietly and immediately. Don’t worry whether it is clean or not. So, in addition to learning how to treat a gunshot wound, you must also get mentally prepared. Your arm or leg is numb, pale, or cool to the touch. The first step in treating any bleeding wound is to apply pressure. Gunshot first aid involves stopping the bleeding and keeping the wound clean. As surgeon David Newman said, internal bleeding is what kills most people who die of gunshot wounds. A bullet can enter or pass through the body at a … Applying direct pressure can help control the bleeding. Skip to Content Below are step-by-step instructions on how to treat a gunshot wound, including what to do if help is not available. Your healthcare provider may or may not remove the bullet. With gunshot wounds, controlling bleeding is the most important thing. English | Español | 中文 | Deutsche | Pennsylvanisch Nederlands | မြန်မာ | عربى | 한국어 | Tiếng Việt | Français | 日本語 | Nederlands | Tagalog | русский | ਪੰਜਾਬੀ | हिंदी, Goshen Physicians Nondiscrimination Notice. This isn’t a discussion about gun control or safety though. Data sources include IBM Watson Micromedex (updated 1 Oct 2020), Cerner Multum™ (updated 1 Oct 2020), Wolters Kluwer™ (updated 30 Sep 2020) and others. A hemostatic dressing is gauze which has been treated with a blood-clotting agent. If help is not available: https://www.airforcemedicine.af.mil/News/Art/igphoto/2000255552/ https://www.incirlik.af.mil/News/Photos/igphoto/2001545181/ https://www.jbcharleston.jb.mil/News/Photos/igphoto/2000391381/, https://www.ems1.com/ems-products/bleeding-control/articles/how-to-pack-a-severely-bleeding-wound-HG4cxUaQ37TVebp1/ https://www.airmedandrescue.com/latest/long-read/treatment-gunshot-wounds https://www.thetrace.org/2015/09/bullet-injuries-wounds-trauma-surgery/ https://www.health24.com/Medical/First-aid/Wounds-and-bleeding/first-aid-for-gunshot-wounds-20151124 https://fullfact.org/online/dont-put-tampon-in-stab-wound/ http://people.virginia.edu/~rjs7m/TSG/Basic-GSW-Treatment.pdf https://www.verywellhealth.com/how-to-treat-a-gunshot-wound-1298915 https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/tampons-to-the-rescue/ https://www.quora.com/Can-tampons-plug-a-bullet-wound https://www.thetrace.org/2015/09/bullet-injuries-wounds-trauma-surgery/ https://apps.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a428731.pdf https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5800048/.