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How do I Treat a Bullet Wound?

By Jacob Queen
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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The first thing to do in the case of a bullet wound is to call emergency services and summon an ambulance. While you are waiting, you should avoid moving, because you may have internal injuries that could be aggravated. You need to do whatever it takes to stop any bleeding that might be happening, and if you have a chest wound, you should seal it to help avoid a collapsed lung. If the shot person isn’t breathing, those treating him should begin cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), asking the 911 operator for instructions if they don't know how to do it.

The amount of time you have to treat a bullet wound is going to vary depending on the severity of the injury and the location. Larger caliber bullets will produce much more damaging wounds, and wounds to the chest and torso are generally very dangerous. A bullet wound in a person’s arm or leg is usually much less dangerous, but sometimes those wounds can be deadly because of bleeding. Any bullet wound should be treated as an emergency, just to be on the safe side.

Gunshot injuries are often associated with crimes or other dangerous situations. It is usually important to watch out for your own safety while treating a bullet wound, especially if there are indications that it was the result of a crime. The person who shot the individual may still be nearby, and the area may be dangerous for other unexpected reasons.

Sometimes a bullet wound injury can be the result of an accident. A common way for this to happen is when people are hunting. Sometimes a hunter will accidentally fire at a person when they are trying to hit an animal. Hunting accidents are especially dangerous because they usually happen very far from emergency medical help, and the guns involved are often high-powered rifles, which produce very severe injuries.

In some cases, a bullet wound injury can happen because of poor gun safety practices. Some people handle loaded guns without using the safety and accidentally shoot themselves or their family members. For this reason, many experts recommend keeping guns unloaded while they’re stored. Another common kind of bullet wound accident is when children find their parents' guns and figure out how to fire them. Most experts recommend that guns be stored in a safe location where children can’t get access to them.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
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