HealthTop Tips

What To Do If You Get A Gunshot Wound? 

Look, most things movies tell you about gunshot wounds are not true.

For instance, when bullets hit water, they usually stop or break apart instead of cutting through it. Also, if a weapon could knock someone being shot backwards, it would knock the person shooting backwards too.

Feeling helpless is one of the worst parts of getting a gunshot wound. It’s scary not to know when or where it might happen, or what to do. So, don’t rely on what you see on TV to treat a bullet wound. It could make things much worse.

gunshot wound in glass.

The Key Takeaways.

With a gunshot wound, every second counts. You should try to get to a hospital quickly. Staying alive might depend on fast thinking. 

A bullet wound in the chest is not better than one in the leg. Doctors won’t assume it’s simple, and you shouldn’t either. 

Don’t give up; try to help yourself and find help.

I Have A Gunshot Wound. What Do I Need To Know?

Losing too much blood is the main reason people die from bullet wounds. You have to stop the bleeding right away.

If you get shot in the chest region (usually from your neck to navel), having any air get into the wound and chest is dangerous. You can cover it with something like a plastic bag, a cello tape, your ID card, or anything that keeps air out.

Sudden amputations in particular (when a body part is suddenly cut off) the muscles around it tighten up. It doesn’t gush blood and doesn’t look like busted fire hydrants like in horror movies. It might take minutes or hours to start bleeding a lot.

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If the main arteries in your arms, groin, or under your collarbones get torn, it can cause severe bleeding.

Your body has ways to protect itself if you lose blood quickly. It moves blood from your arms and legs to your important organs to keep them working. But this only helps if the bleeding has been stopped.

When a bullet goes through you, it can slice big blood vessels without your muscles noticing right away.

When it comes to gunshot wounds, where the bullet hits and the path it takes is vital. In a case of mass shooting, the shooters can’t aim with accuracy, it’s often just luck. Trying to cause flesh wounds like in horror movies is just not realistic, and it’s not something these mass shooters practice. 

And, it’s strange, but true: getting shot several times in the upper body doesn’t always mean you’ll die or become a vegetable.

So What Can You Do When You Get A Gunshot Wound?

Take Cover. 

Find something strong to hide behind that can block bullets. If there’s nothing to hide behind, move away from where the shooter can see you. You don’t want to get shot again.

In real life, unlike TV, where our heroes are fighting courageously with severe gunshot wounds, serious gunshot wounds can quickly cause lasting damage, especially if they disrupt major arteries. 

It’s not something to take lightly. Don’t try to act tough like the heroes on screen. JUST DON’T.

Stop The Bleeding. 

If you can, stop the bleeding. Press down hard on the gunshot wound or use a tight bandage or tourniquet on the arm or leg to control the blood loss.

Simply put, cover the wound and apply pressure. 

Swelling and color changes are clear signs of heavy bleeding. Studies say that 90% of deaths from gunshot wounds that could have been stopped are because of bleeding that wasn’t controlled. Sadly, a lay man might not be able to handle such blood loss.

You Need To Be Warm. 

This isn’t just about feeling warm. Losing a lot of blood can make your body very cold, which can stop the blood from clotting. So, cover up to help your body slow down the bleeding.

Go To A Hospital. You Don’t Have To Wait For An Ambulance.

In a mass shooting, there will not be enough ambulances for everyone. So, find a car and leave quickly. Don’t wait for an ambulance. In emergencies like this, time is vital, and waiting will make things worse. Stay calm and act fast.

What To Do If You’re Shot In The Chest Region? 

If you’re shot anywhere from your neck to your belly, yes, that counts as being shot in the chest region.

Press on the gunshot wound to stop the blood. You also need to keep air from getting into the gunshot wound. Cover it with something that doesn’t let air pass, like tape, plastic, or a special chest seal. Anything around you will do it. You even can use a plastic bag, your ID, or anything that seals out air.

A lot of people who are shot in the chest die because their lung collapses, a condition called “tension pneumothorax.” The lungs don’t have muscles and they get bigger because of a vacuum effect in the chest, so any hole can be really bad.

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