×   Frame 1: Check the whole body to identify entry and exit wounds. Frame 2: Stop the bleeding by applying firm pressure directly to the wound. Callout: For chest wounds, use a credit card to form an airtight seal on the wound to prevent the lung from collapsing. Frame 3: Check heart rate and breathing. Begin CPR if necessary. Frame 4: Elevate the wound above the heart to slow bleeding. Callout: Arm and leg wounds may benefit from a tourniquet. Frame 5: Clean the wound with water and alcohol, if available, and apply a pressure bandage. Frame 6: Treat the person for shock and get medical attention as soon as possible.

| November 30, 2018

First Aid, Gun Skills & Safety, Survival, Tactical Skills, Visual Guides

How to Treat a Gunshot Wound

Gunshot wounds can be one of the most devastating injuries a person can endure. Depending on the type of bullet, its trajectory when it hits you, and the location it enters, a bullet can rip apart internal organs, break bones, puncture lungs, and cause severe blood loss from critical arteries. Because gunshot wounds can cause such an array of damage, it would take years of training to understand how to treat them all effectively. But, there are things everyone can do to help buy time for a gunshot victim — primarily in the form of stopping the bleeding, keeping the victim stable, and seeking medical attention as quickly as possible. It also helps to have some prior knowledge of properly making/using a tourniquet, handling a sucking chest woundtreating someone for shock, and administering CPR. 

Consider always carrying a proper first aid kit — complete with pressure bandages, QuikClot, disinfectant, stitches, and nitrile gloves — with you, as they can come in handy not only in situations where you expect to be around firearms, like hunting, but unfortunately in this age of mass shootings, in any time or place. 

Illustrated by Ted Slampyak