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Gunshot Wound Basics

Hopefully none of us have to deal with a gunshot wound in our lifetime. We see and hear of shootings more and more in the news lately, which unfortunately raises the possibility of encountering a gunshot victim. In a SHTF scenario, that chance is likely to be even greater. Quickly I want to review some basics to caring for someone who may be a victim of a gunshot wound. I am not a surgeon, nor do I claim to have any knowledge of such, but these tips are only for dire situations when no one with a higher skill level can quickly attend to someone who has been shot.

First, Ensure your safety. Do not go out to help the person if you can quickly become a victim yourself.

Second, Take Action. You may be the least qualified person near the victim, but their chances of survival are far greater if you try to do something for them. Even if it may only be simple application of pressure to the wound.

Third, Call 911 or for more advanced help if possible. This may not be possible in a SHTF scenario, but if there is an emergency response team still available, get them to the victim.

Fourth, Immediately begin chest compression if there is no sign of breathing or life.

Fifth, Counter shock, this most often occurs after blood loss. Lie the victim down if they are up or trying to stand, keep them warm.

Sixth, Stop the bleeding (look for entrance and exit wounds; use direct pressure and/or a tourniquet of extremity).

Seventh, Plug gunshot holes with cloth or a tampon.This will help control bleeding some. You cannot do anything about internal bleeding, but controlling the bleeding externally can help.

As you can see these steps are very basic, but if you can take action, they can improve the chances of survival. Again these steps are to be used if there is no one more skilled available.

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