Gunshot wounds are among the most serious injuries. The extent of the damage is difficult to assess and often exceeds the limits of first aid treatment, so it is necessary to get the shot to the hospital as soon as possible. However, before receiving the injured person’s medical care, it is necessary to provide him with basic first aid.
Provision of basic first aid
Provide a safe environment. If a person has been shot unintentionally (for example, while hunting), make sure that the person’s weapon is secured and not aimed at anyone. If the person has been the victim of a crime, make sure that there is no shooter nearby and that you and the victim are safe. If possible, use protective equipment such as latex gloves.
Call for help. Call 112. If you are calling from a mobile phone, provide the operator with the most accurate location possible. Otherwise, the operator will have trouble finding your location.
Leave the shot in place. Do not move a person unless necessary to ensure the safety or access of doctors. The spine could be injured. Elevating the wound will help stop the bleeding, however, you should not do anything with the wound unless you are sure that the spinal cord has not been injured.
Act fast. Time is the biggest enemy when caring for a victim. People who receive medical attention within an hour are much more likely to survive. Therefore, try to act quickly, but you must not allow the shot to panic or upset him in any way.
Use direct pressure to stop bleeding. Take a cloth, bandage or gauze and press it against the wound to stop the bleeding. Press for at least 10 minutes. If the bleeding does not stop, check the location of the wound and carefully consider whether it is necessary to move the person in any way. If the bandages are soaked in blood, do not remove them, just apply a new one. .
Use a bandage. If the bleeding stops, apply gauze to the wound and wrap it tightly around the bandage. However, do not tighten too tightly to prevent the part of the body from being cut off from the bloodstream or losing sensitivity.
Be prepared for a possible shock. Gunshot wounds often lead to shock (a condition caused by injury or blood loss). Therefore, expect the victim to show signs of shock and therefore monitor the person’s body temperature for consistency. Loosen tight clothing and cover the person to prevent hypothermia. It is normally recommended to raise your legs, but if you feel a spinal injury, do not move the person at all.
Give the shot a sense of security. Tell him he’s okay and you’ll help him. Calming is very important in this case. Keep person warm.
If possible, ask him if he is taking any medication for various medical conditions (eg diabetes, hypertension) or if he has any allergies. This is important information and will also help distract you from his injury.
Stay with the wounded. Wait with the person for the arrival of the rescue service and continue to calm them down. If blood clots around the gunshot wound, do not remove the scab, as this will prevent further blood flow.
Assessment of the injured person’s condition
Remember the next steps you need to take. For more advanced help, it is necessary to take into account the human condition. You should check your airways, breathing, blood circulation, disability and open wounds.
Respiratory control. When a person is talking, the airways are relaxed. If unconscious, check for airway obstruction. If so, and the spine is not injured, tilt the victim’s head.
Press lightly on the forehead with one hand and raise the chin with the other to tilt the head correctly.
Respiratory control. Does the victim breathe regularly? Do you see the chest rising and falling? If the victim is not breathing, wipe his / her mouth and start breathing immediately.
Circulation control. Press to stop the bleeding, then check the person’s heartbeat on the wrist or neck. Does the person have a recognizable pulse? If not, start resuscitation. Stop all bleeding.
Examine the person for any movement-related injuries. Disability refers to damage to the spine and neck. Make sure the person can move their arms and legs. If this is not the case, the spinal cord may have been injured. Next, look for fractures, sprains, or something that looks unnatural. If the victim shows signs of disability, you should not move her.
Inspection of open wounds. Examine the injured parties as thoroughly as possible for further injuries. Pay close attention to the armpits, buttocks or other parts that are difficult to see. Do not undress the person completely before arriving to avoid shock.
Treatment of injuries to hands or feet
Lift your limb and push on the wound. Carefully consider whether there are any signs of disability or any injury that could lead to injury to the spine. If the injured person shows no such signs, raise the limb above the level of the heart to reduce blood flow. Stop the bleeding with pressure, see above.
Use indirect pressure. In addition to direct pressure, indirect pressure can also be used to limit blood flow in the limb area. You simply push on an artery, or so-called “pressure points “. These are particularly large and strong veins. The pressure will reduce internal bleeding, but it is necessary to make sure that the artery really leads to a wound.
To slow the bleeding into the shoulder, press the brachial artery on the inside of the shoulder, opposite the elbow.
For groin or thigh injuries, push on the femoral arteries, in the crotch at the top of the thigh. This artery is extra large and you have to use your whole palm to squeeze it.
For lower leg injuries, push on the popliteal arteries, which can be found on the back of the knee.
Make a tourniquet. The decision whether to use a tourniquet should not be taken lightly, as extreme limb amputation could occur. However, if the bleeding is extremely severe and you have a bandage or other cloth on hand, use it as a tourniquet.
Use a tourniquet around the limb between the wound and the heart as close to the wound as possible. Tie the limb and make a knot. Leave enough fabric to tie the second knot. Throttling the limb restricts blood flow.
Chest lining treatment
Determine the severity of the injury. If a person is shot in the chest, it is very likely that a lung injury has occurred. The air gets in through the wound, but does not come out due to the collapse of the lungs. Signs of such an injury include chest effervescence, coughing up blood, frothy blood coming from the wound, and shortness of breath. If in doubt, follow this procedure to treat a chest injury.
Find and uncover the wound. Find the site of the injury and remove clothing. If a piece of clothing is stuck to the wound, cut it around. Next, find out if it is a shot and, if so, apply the procedure to both sides of the victim’s body.
Seal the wound on three sides. Take some airtight material (plastic) and attach it to the wound on all sides except the bottom corner. Oxygen will flow through the lower corner.
Once you have sealed the wound, try to force the shot to exhale and tell him to hold his breath for a while. This will force air out of the wound before closing it.
Apply direct pressure on both sides of the wound. This can be done with two pads for each blow. Press them firmly and hold them in place.
Monitor the injured person’s breathing closely. Either talk to the victim or watch her chest rise and fall.
If you do not seem to be breathing, reduce the pressure on the wound so that the chest can rise and fall.
Prepare for possible artificial respiration.
Once the rescue service arrives, do not release pressure on the wound or expose the wound. Paramedics will either use your bandage or trade it for a better one.