How to Deal With a Gunshot or Stab Wound

Although the chances of getting shot or stabbed are slim, if you ever find yourself in a situation where you can help, or where you need to treat yourself, knowing some basic tips could make all the difference.

First of all make sure that you do not put yourself in any danger, if there is a gunman or a knife wielding maniac on the loose, do not put yourself in any further danger. By becoming a casualty yourself, you will be making the situation much worse. If you are the victim of the attack, getting away from your attacker will save you from any further harm.

Next you need to call for the emergency services, you will need immediate help and protection, which the police and ambulance services can provide. They will also provide a quick means to getting you or the patient to the hospital.

Depending where the wound is will determine how much time you will have before you or the patient becomes very poorly. If you had a wound to the chest, then depending if any of the major organs or blood vessels were damaged you may only have seconds left. If it was to the arms or legs then you may have more time. It can be a matter of a few cm’s between major arteries and organs, meaning you may not know how long you have before time starts running out. Wherever the injury is, you will need to put great pressure on the site to stop any bleeding.

Unless you are injured to the brain, heart, or lungs, blood loss will be the first thing that is going to kill you or the patient. The amount of damage from a gunshot wound or stabbing will cause significant bleeding to that site, and if any arteries are involved, then blood will be pumping out. If the injury is to a limb, try and place a tourniquet above the wound site. This could be a belt or some type of fabric. The idea of a tourniquet is to apply so much pressure that it stops the blood being pumped to that area via the major arteries. The amount of pressure will hurt, but you need to try and put as much as you can until the bleeding has stopped. If you achieve this then place great pressure on the site of the wound to help further stop the bleeding.

If you cannot get a tourniquet, then apply great pressure to the wound site.

If the injury is to the body, then you need to apply great pressure to the site. Again the idea is to stop the bleeding you can see, and the bleeding internally that you can’t. This may hurt, but the more you can stem the bleeding, the more time you are buying from bleeding out.

Keep this pressure on until the emergency services arrive to take over care.