Survival Emergencies – What To Do In Case A Patient Suffers From Gunshot Wound

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How severe is a Gunshot Wound?

Gunshot wound, also known as ballistic trauma, is a type of trauma received firing of munitions or arms. Ballistic trauma can be sustained from armed conflicts, recreational gun sports and criminal pursuits. Because of the severity of the damage done to internal organs, gunshot wound is considered as one of the most traumatic injuries that a person might suffer. It is usually difficult to treat the gunshot victim with first aid, so the best option to treat bullet wounds is to send the victim to a nearby hospital immediately. But because time (time to arrive at a hospital to ensure survivability) is the main enemy of a critically wounded gunshot victim, it is important to stabilize the condition of the patient while professional help arrives.

What are the Immediate Effects of Gunshot Wound?

The severity of tissue destruction is relative to the size of the hole the bullet creates and the velocity of the bullet itself. This means that the larger the bullet, the more severe the damage created. In most cases, however, the immediate effect of ballistic trauma is severe bleeding on the site of injury. This results to potential hypovolemic shock, which is characterized by severe loss of oxygen due to lack of blood supply going to the vital parts of the body. This explains why the immediate results of gunshot wound in critical organs are more severe than in the upper or lower limbs. The more vital organs have received immense amount of tissue destruction, the more severe the effect of gunshot wound will be.

Some of the Most Important First Aid for Gunshot Wound Victims

Because of the immediate effects gunshot wounds could have on the victim as medical help arrives, it is necessary to prevent further damage and bleeding in the process.

The first thing to do is to immediately remove the victim from the site of danger prior to administration of first aid.

After you have notified emergency professionals, administer basic first aid – assess the airway, breathing and circulation; keep the airway open if patient is unconscious but breathing; if breathing is hardly noticed, administer rescue breathing.

Control the bleeding by applying pressure to and sealing the wound site to prevent severe loss of blood.

Anticipate shock at all costs – hypovolemic shock normally occurs in gunshot wound victims. They will show signs of hypovolemic shock including changes in body temperature. If the patient feels cold, cover him/her up to warm the skin; if he/she feels warm, though, remove excessive clothing and place patient in well-ventilated location.

If you want to learn about the basic first aid procedures, check out the site for more information.

Related Video on Gunshot Wound:

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“How to Treat a Gunshot Wound.” Retrieved online on June 9, 2013 from

“How to Treat 4 types of Gunshot Wounds.” The Survival Doctor. Retrieved online on June 9, 2013 from

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