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What to do if you or someone you love gets shot

What to Do if You or Someone You Love Gets Shot

Deleted: This was video taken form a shooting of PnB Rock at Chicken and Waffles on Main and Manchester, the thing to remember here is that , this man could have been saved, if only the people around know what to do in the event of an emergency.

Gunshot wounds are traumatic injuries that require immediate attention and appropriate care to increase the chances of survival and reduce the risk of complications. Knowing how to respond effectively can make a critical difference in outcomes. This essay will provide detailed steps on what to do if you or someone you love gets shot, focusing on injuries to the lungs, stomach, and extremities. It will also cover background information on bloodborne pathogens to alleviate fears about coming into contact with blood, outline the protocol for emergency services, and offer a comprehensive 10-step guide to managing severe bleeding using advanced first aid techniques.

 Understanding Gunshot Wounds

Gunshot wounds can vary significantly depending on the location and severity of the injury. The primary concern in any gunshot wound is stopping the bleeding and preventing shock until professional medical help arrives. Different areas of the body present unique challenges:

  1. Lungs (Thoracic Injuries): A gunshot wound to the chest can cause a pneumothorax (collapsed lung) or hemothorax (blood accumulation in the chest cavity). Both conditions impair breathing and can quickly become life-threatening.
  2. Stomach (Abdominal Injuries): Abdominal gunshot wounds can damage vital organs, leading to severe internal bleeding and infection.
  3. Extremities (Arms and Legs): While typically less fatal than thoracic or abdominal injuries, gunshot wounds to the extremities can cause significant blood loss, nerve damage, and potential limb loss if not properly managed.

Bloodborne Pathogens

Bloodborne pathogens are infectious microorganisms present in blood that can cause diseases such as hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and HIV. While concerns about these pathogens are valid, the risk of transmission in a first aid scenario is relatively low if proper precautions are taken:

Use Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)**: Gloves, masks, and eye protection can minimize the risk of exposure.
Proper Hand Hygiene**: Washing hands thoroughly with soap and water before and after providing care reduces the likelihood of infection.
Avoid Direct Contact with Blood**: Use barriers such as gauze, cloth, or plastic bags to avoid direct contact with blood.

Protocol for Emergency Services

When a shooting occurs, both ambulance and police protocols are activated to ensure the injured receive timely and effective care while maintaining safety and order at the scene:

Call 911 Immediately**: Provide clear and concise information about the location and nature of the injury.
Ensure Safety**: Ensure the area is safe for both the victim and responders. If there is an active threat, find a safe location and wait for authorities.
Provide Basic First Aid**: Follow the steps outlined below to control bleeding and stabilize the injured person.
Coordinate with Emergency Services**: When paramedics arrive, provide them with all relevant information, including the victim’s condition and any first aid measures taken.

10-Step Guide to Stopping Severe Bleeding

  1. Ensure Safety: Make sure the scene is safe before approaching the victim. Avoid putting yourself in harm’s way.
  2. Call for Help: Dial 911 and give precise details about your location and the nature of the injury.
  3. Protect Yourself: Put on gloves or use a barrier to avoid direct contact with blood.
  4. Assess the Injury: Determine the location and severity of the bleeding.
  5. Apply Pressure: Use a clean cloth or gauze to apply direct pressure to the wound to slow or stop the bleeding.
  6. Use Hemostatic Dressing: If available, apply a hemostatic dressing, which contains agents that help clot blood quickly.
  7. Apply an Israeli Bandage: This multifunctional bandage provides pressure to the wound and can be used as a tourniquet.
  8. Use a Tourniquet: For severe limb bleeding that cannot be controlled with direct pressure, apply a tourniquet above the wound. Note the time of application.
  9. Monitor and Reassure: Keep the victim calm and still, and monitor their condition for signs of shock, such as pale skin, rapid pulse, or shallow breathing.
  10. Handover to Paramedics: When emergency responders arrive, provide them with all relevant information and continue to assist as needed.


 Specific Scenarios and Examples

**Chest Wound (Pneumothorax)**: If someone is shot in the chest, the immediate concern is to prevent air from entering the wound, worsening a potential pneumothorax. Seal the wound with a clean plastic wrap or a specialized chest seal to prevent air from entering the chest cavity.
– **Example**: A victim with a chest wound was quickly sealed with a plastic wrap by a bystander, preventing further lung collapse and stabilizing their condition until paramedics arrived.

**Abdominal Wound (Internal Bleeding)**: For abdominal injuries, the key is to keep the victim still and avoid any pressure on the abdomen. Lay the victim on their back with knees bent to relieve pressure on abdominal organs.
– **Example**: A person shot in the stomach was kept calm and still by a passerby who bent their knees to reduce pressure on the injury, significantly increasing their chances of survival.

 **Arm or Leg Wound (Severe Bleeding)**: If bleeding from an extremity is severe and not controlled by pressure, a tourniquet may be necessary. Place the tourniquet above the wound and tighten until bleeding stops.
– **Example**: A hiker who was shot in the leg was saved by a friend who used a belt as a makeshift tourniquet, stopping the bleeding until emergency services could arrive.

Being prepared to handle a gunshot wound can save lives. By understanding how to respond to different types of injuries and utilizing appropriate first aid techniques, you can make a significant difference in the outcome of such traumatic events. Remember to stay calm, act quickly, and follow the steps outlined to provide effective aid until professional help arrives.

Knowledge of advanced first aid tools like hemostatic dressings, Israeli bandages, and tourniquets, combined with an understanding of bloodborne pathogens and emergency protocols, equips you to respond effectively and confidently in critical situations.

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