Wounds from a bullet are one of the most grievous and traumatic injuries that you might suffer from. It’s always difficult to assess the exact extent of the damage done by the bullet wound, however, in most of the cases it far exceeds what you can see with your eyes and treat with a first aid kit. This is why the best option to treat a bullet wound is always to take the victim to the hospital as soon as you can. However, the situation might be such that they would not be able to pull through without additional help and so here you can read some ways that you can treat a bullet wound at least until you get the patient to the hospital.
- Make sure that the surroundings are safe.
If the bullet wound was accidental, e.g. when you are hunting, make sure that all firearms are pointed away from other people, have no ammo, and are secured. If the victim was shot during a crime, try to make sure that the criminal is no longer around and that there are no other potential health hazards around. Immediately when this is done call for help from the appropriate authorities. Once that you have taken these steps, make sure that you tell the person they are going to be okay and that help is on the way. Reassurance is very important in such situations. You can also try making the person talk to you and to keep them warm until help arrives.
- Make sure that the victim of the bullet wound is not moved.
Ensure that the victim is not moved, unless it is to access care or to keep them safe from further harm. Try to act cool and quickly if you want the person who got shot to have a higher chance of survival. Keeping your cool in such a situation is hard but you have to try your best. There are five critical factors known as A, B, C, D, and E that you must assess. They stand for:
- A – Airway. If the person can talk then the airway is probably clear and so you should not worry about it. If they are unconscious, make sure that the airway is not obstructed. For best result turn the victim’s head to the side and get the tongue out of the way. If there is blood in their mouth, help them remove it.
- B – Breathing. See if the victim is taking regular breaths. Check if their chest is rising and falling. If they are not breathing, make sure there are no obstructions in their mouth and start doing rescue breathing.
- C – Circulation. Apply pressure to the bleeding area(s) and then check the victim’s pulse through their wrist or throat. If they don’t have a pulse, immediately begin CPR.
- D – Disability/Deformity. Disability covers any kind of damage done to the spinal cord and/or neck. Check if the victim can move their hands and feet, if not there might be a serious injury to the spinal cord. Deformity covers anything that looks out of place or unnatural such as fractures, dislocations, etc. Such injuries can be made worse by moving the victim so it’s better to stay put, unless the situation demands it.
- E – Exposure. Always look for an exit wound from the bullet. Make sure to check the victim’s body thoroughly for any additional wounds that might be harder to notice. Give extra attention to the armpits, buttocks, and other areas where it’s difficult to see. However, avoid undressing them completely as they might fall in shock.
- Make sure that you are in control of the bleeding.
Once you have made sure that all of the above have been checked, make sure that you are in control of the bleeding. This is the most important thing if you want to save the victim’s life. Apply direct pressure to the wound using a pad. If there is nothing to cover it simply apply pressure with your hands or fingers as this can also be of critical help. Knowing how to make a tourniquet can be of great help to the victim when applied to the right place.
Keeping your head clear in such a situation might be hard to accomplish, however, doing it can save the victim’s life.