first-responders

Gunshot Trauma – Ideas and Considerations for Your Kit

Gunshot trauma is a topic that has been on my mind for a while. I recently realized I have never written anything regarding this topic. And on that note, do you know what is just around the corner?

More specifically, did you know that May 15 is Officer Memorial Day!

That is this week, which, if you are like me, makes you wonder where the year is going. With that said, I decided to write something up regarding gunshot trauma.

As with most everything dealing with emergency preparedness, there is a lot of thought that goes into preparing and dealing with these types of injuries. Trauma is also a topic that can go in many areas, and it just might, but we hope to focus on gunshot trauma.

Let’s get started.

Trauma

Trauma means going through a distressing or disturbing experience. It is also something that can be both physical and emotional.

I have not been shot, at the posting of this article, but can only imagine the emotional toll that can put on a person. We are going to be gearing this towards the physical side of things. As in the trauma that your body is going through.

The body will not only experience the intense pain, but I have heard it feels like a painful scalding sensation.

Not only are you dealing with the entry, and hopefully the exit, but you need to consider what the bullet does to your body. The organs, blood loss, broken bones, and infections are just the start.

It is sad, but these types of situations can occur anywhere. A few of the situations someone could encounter are an active shooter (mall, school, park), being in a vehicle accident, all the way to work-related (machine or human error). To me, the scariest ones would be an active shooter.

Active Shooter

Watch the news today, and you will hear or see something regarding a shooting. The active shooters can occur anywhere, and the truth is we should all be prepared if and when it happens.

With that said, here is something that I firmly believe. If you carry a gun, you should be familiar with how to attend to a gunshot wound.

Dealing with crises, like COVID 19, people tend to overreact to what is going on around them. What if there was no more TP, or the banking system shut down? I have a feeling that people started to panic.

Similar to when there are riots, people start breaking into stores and homes. You can also bet a lot of people will be carrying around firearms, knives, and other weapons. Not only to protect their families but their possessions.

I would take this a step further, what if your economy shut down? What if you didn’t prepare, and you and your family didn’t have any supplies? What would you do?

See, I knew this post was going to go in a few different directions. I think that this is one of the reasons why preparing for severe wounds and injuries is of utmost importance.

Knowing how to treat, not only a gunshot, but all severe injuries is a great way to feel calm when this happens. I have mentioned about having different kits for different applications. But having some necessary first aid supplies, and maybe just adding one or two additional pieces, will help you in multiple situations.

First Aid Kit and SuppliesFirst aid bag

Just before the virus and lockdowns started in 2020, I took a first aid class. Something interesting to me was that a good portion covered gunshot trauma.

I hope that nobody will even have ever to use it, but in today’s economy, you just never know.

I carry a few items (and have for years) that are designed explicitly for gunshot injuries (but then again, I have carried a weapon for a long time). You can buy your own premade kit, just like first aid kits we have discussed before. I have found there are some things I like using and others that I don’t.

Here are some things to consider, and some of the items I use, remember to always practice with applying, and know how to use everything you carry. Some of these items will be repetitive, but if you haven’t read my other posts, then it’s good to have redundancy.

The Top Three Things To Remember

Because I always like to make things as easy as possible. There are just need some necessary items for trauma-related injuries, something that will

  1. Stop or prevent bleeding
  2. A way to open airway or airway obstruction
  3. Splints

Good To Have Items

  • QuikClot (a Hemostatic Dressing to stop or prevent bleeding)
  • Rapid Application Tourniquet System
  • Israeli Bandage
  • EMT Shears (I love my Leatherman Raptor Shears)
  • CPR Face Shield
  • Chest Seal (Important item to know how to use correctly, you can even use the packaging for an extra seal)
  • Nitrile Gloves (Something you cannot have enough of)
  • Small Light (Penlight to check eyes)
  • Compressed Gauze (Fun fact, the blue line on the fabric is for X-ray machines)
  • Various Bandages
  • Tweezers

Depending on what you want to use this kit for, I found some additional items listed below. Just make sure you know how to use them and have room for each of them. I know I sound like a broken record, but sometimes things need to be continuously repeated.

  • Blood Pressure Cuff
  • Cervical Collar
  • Sutures
  • Abdominal Pads (We always had multiple sizes and at least 5″x9″)
  • Stethoscope
  • Splint Tool (Common size is generally 1″x36″)
  • Ammonia Inhalant (Remember that if someone has been shot the chances of them going into a sock or losing consciousness is exceptionally likely, this is one way to help them to regain consciousness)
  • Extra Nitrile Gloves (You will use more than you think)
  • Pain Relievers (I’m sure you will already have these in another kit or close by)

Some Resources

The more you know, the better. As for everything with this topic, I always like having some extra resources and places to find useful information. I also understand that I have covered a few of these things in the past, but below are a few other sites I like to visit to make sure I’m up to date on most of my information.

  • The American Red Cross
  • FEMA‘s website has a lot of information, but here cover the five steps that may save a life!
  • Something that I plan on writing about later is the USCCA. I have been a member here and have been very happy I signed up. USCCA not only provides excellent information on firearms, self-defense knowledge, training, they even offer legal protection!

Final Thoughts

As I’ve said before, if you carry any of these items, please know how to use them. I always suggest signing up for a first aid class to get the appropriate training. Above was a list that I hope will get you started, and you can always add anything you need or think should be in the kit.

You made it to the end, thanks for reading and I invite you to leave a comment below! I know that many don’t like to think about serious injuries (like if you get shot), but starting a conversation will help us all learn.

Bike tire and tube

Do you have any suggestions or other ideas (like using an old bicycle tube as a tourniquet; speaking of bicycle tubes, they have a ton of different applications)?

Again, I just want to remind everyone about the Police Officer day. I also want to thank all first responders and all they do for us daily. Unless you have worked in the field, you don’t honestly know what they go through day in and day out. Remember to thank them for what they do!

Please leave a comment below, and we can all learn together!

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