First aid supplies for gunshot wound

This is a discussion on First aid supplies for gunshot wound within the Related Gear & Equipment forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I got to worrying about firearm injuries whether as a victim or near an accident. I purchased Quickclot and Israeli battle dressings from Amazon. One ...

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Thread: First aid supplies for gunshot wound

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    Member Array jasgo's Avatar
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    First aid supplies for gunshot wound

    I got to worrying about firearm injuries whether as a victim or near an accident. I purchased Quickclot and Israeli battle dressings from Amazon. One set for my vehicle, one set for my shooting bag, and one set for home. Figure anything to stop bleeding until actual emergency aid arrives.

    I'm not an EMT person and wonder if anyone has suggestions or what they have on hand for initial treatment of firearm injuries.

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    Array MattInFla's Avatar
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    A non-invasive method of managing a sucking chest wound is handy. Something like an Asherman seal or similar.

    Don't get a kit with a big honking' needle for chest decompression. Despite what some suggest, that is not a procedure that should even be contemplated by a layperson.
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    Pay attention to the expiration date on your QuickClot. Unlike some other products it is not a product that has a useful life very much beyond its expiration date.

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    Bear in mind quik-clot is only for use on extremities. You don't really want to pour that on a chest or gut wound.

    Really, unless it is a two way range, direct pressure and pressure points can stop most GSW bleeding. An Israeli bandage is always good to have. I am a bigger proponent of a tourniquet you can use with one hand, like a CAAT Tourniquet, than quik-clot for extremeties. But, bear in mind with everything I just said, I am not a medical professional. I just fall back on my hours of military GSW training/experience.

    EDIT: See if you local community college or red cross or someone has first aid courses. Having the tools is one thing, having the knowledge and confidence to use them correctly is another. I firmly believe first aid is one of those fields that you can learn about forever, and everything you learn is worth the effort.
    limatunes, QKShooter and 64zebra like this.
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    Tampons make good emergency hole plugs. The absorbant pads that wemen use (next to tampons) also work well for wounds (and are very similar to the sterilized absorbant pads found in crash boxes on ambulances. Super glue is great for sealing things from cuts to large wounds until proper medical care can be rendered, along with butterfly stitches. Hydrogen peroxide for disinfecting to brushing your teeth with. Listerine will even disinfect in a pinch. Most hospitals use saline solution to irrigate (wash out wounds and remove debri) ...gause to wrap/protect. Never seal a puncture wound. It has to drain & heal from the inside out otherwise it can get infected and cause major problems. Do irrigate it good with saline. BTDT...cost me $1,000 to find out this little bit of information. A silver "space blanket" helps if victim goes into shock or to keep warm until help arrives. Garbage bag will do in an emergency to keep warm-slit holes for head/arms and put it on, under your shirt. Silver Oxide Ointment would help if you could find it without a prescription to prevent infections. Never give a gutshot victim a drink of water...bad idea. Leg/arms emergency splints (basically bendable aluminum or that flexible plastic stuff in case of a joint blown out. Wrapping tape....duct tape works for everything in an emergency from holding a wound together, splinting broken ribs, legs, arms, wrists, to even patching your car radiator hose if it pops in a bad area.
    Last edited by Gunsmoke16; January 31st, 2012 at 09:31 PM. Reason: typo.

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    You say just for firearms related injuries so I'll tell you what I keep in my range kit. That is different from what I keep in the car, or in my diaper bag for the kids, or the house.

    I have a couple 5x9 pads, a few non-sterile 4x4 gauze pads, three rolls of Kerlix brand gauze rolls, two Vaseline gauze pads, a roll of Coban, and a roll of 2" wide waterproof tape. I put those items in a plastic "freezer vacuum" bag and vacuum seal it with a food sealer. It sucks all the air out and reduces the bulk considerably. I pack it in a small nylon pouch I found somewhere. Also in the pouch are a few pairs of EMS gloves and a disposable airway barrier that I think is MDI brand. Fancy bandages and Qick Clot not needed, and If I could find the 5x9s that were packaged in the clear plastic wrappers, I'd use those and get rid of the Vaseline gauze.

    I worked a detail for NASCAR where I had to carry everything for a 20 hour day with me. When space was at a premium the one item I carried (for my own use, before I could count on EMS backup) was a roll of sterile Krimptex or Kerlix brand gauze. There is a lot you can do with that before backup arrives, believe me. The loose weave of that surgical gauze will really soak up a lot of blood, and you can pack a wound with it. Sure, the surgeon will cuss you later, but it stops a lot of bleeding.
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    SOF tourniquet, Kerlix, chest seal, gauze pads. There are very few places in the lower 48 where you cannot be inside a trauma center most ricki-tick, so decompression and worries about long-term use of a tourniquet shouldn't come into play. Modern combat casualty care basically tells us that the most common PREVENTABLE loss of life from these types of injuries is from bleeding, so I worry most as a layman about getting the bleeding under control. Everything else will (generally) either kill you outright or give you enough time to get to the ER before it will kill you...
    Last edited by OPFOR; February 1st, 2012 at 11:39 AM.
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    VIP Member Array suntzu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OPFOR View Post
    SOF tourniquette, Kerlix, chest seal, gauze pads. There are very few places in the lower 48 where you cannot be inside a trauma center most ricki-tick, so decompression and worries about long-term use of a tourniquette shouldn't come into play.
    Although true you will get EMS care or ER care rather quickly in most cases, I highly recommend NOT to use a tourniquet unless absolutely necessary (severed limb or unstoppable arterial bleeding). First, heed the advice somebody gave you:get training a the Red Cross. People not trained will always go for the bleeding first. WRONG. First is check out the area for your safety, then the ABC's (Airway, Breathing, Circulation)in that order. Bleeding can even been controlled with a severed limb with direct pressure and elevation. I know.

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    Many sights sell "Blow-Out" kits,it's can be a little better than just throwing something together,Chinook has a good kit,as does PMK.

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    suntzu makes a good point about scene safety as mentioned by Buckeye "unless its a two-way range"....always make sure you are safe to do what you need to do, obviously if its an accident this is not an issue

    I have 2 kits, one I made for work and one in the car, both have: bolin chest seal (with and w/o valve), quickclot sponges (no granules to pour in, can pack these into the wounds to get bleeding stopped), rolls of gauze, 2 tourniquets, large and small dressings, gloves, emt shears, emergency blanket, cpr mask, tape, and a sharpie (one use for this is you can write on my tourniquet the time it was applied, ems needs to know this, at least tell them as close as possible).
    Just as you should train for using your firearms, you should know how to use your medical gear. We get medic training in the academy and refresher each year, and my wife is a critical care nurse and has added some more, so I'm ready to aid if needed. I'm looking at going to a live fire 2-day tac medic class this spring.
    I bought these from different sites at different times. I don't remember which ones were which, the stuff is available lots of places.
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    Quote Originally Posted by suntzu View Post
    Although true you will get EMS care or ER care rather quickly in most cases, I highly recommend NOT to use a tourniquet unless absolutely necessary (severed limb or unstoppable arterial bleeding). First, heed the advice somebody gave you:get training a the Red Cross. People not trained will always go for the bleeding first. WRONG. First is check out the area for your safety, then the ABC's (Airway, Breathing, Circulation)in that order. Bleeding can even been controlled with a severed limb with direct pressure and elevation. I know.
    With all due respect.... WRONG. Tactical Combat Casualty Care has reversed this long-held notion based on the years of experience we have gained dealing with combat related wounds - i.e. deep penetrating wounds. In these cases, stopping life-threatening bleeding is generally the first order of business. Below is an exerpt from a recent (not sure if it's the MOST recent) TCCC guidelines - all emphasis is mine. As an aside, I just went through our three-day TCCC course five times in the last six months, as I was a program manager for the larger course of which tac-med is a part. If there is life threatening extremity bleeding, stop it. The surest and quickest way to stop it is with a tourniquet.

    Tactical Combat Casualty Care Guidelines 18 August 2010
    * All changes to the guidelines made since those published in the 2006 Sixth Edition of the PHTLS Manual are shown in bold text. The new material on hypothermia prevention is shown in red text.


    Basic Management Plan for Care Under Fire
    Return fire and take cover.
    Direct or expect casualty to remain engaged as a combatant if appropriate.
    Direct casualty to move to cover and apply self-aid if able.
    Try to keep the casualty from sustaining additional wounds.
    Casualties should be extricated from burning vehicles or buildings and moved to places of relative safety. Do what is necessary to stop the burning process.
    Airway management is generally best deferred until the Tactical Field Care phase.
    Stop life-threatening external hemorrhage if tactically feasible:
    - Direct casualty to control hemorrhage by self-aid if able.
    - Use a CoTCCC-recommended tourniquet for hemorrhage that is anatomically amenable to tourniquet application.
    - Apply the tourniquet proximal to the bleeding site, over the uniform, tighten, and move the casualty to cover.



    Basic Management Plan for Tactical Field Care

    Casualties with an altered mental status should be disarmed immediately.

    Airway Management...

    Breathing...

    Bleeding
    a. Assess for unrecognized hemorrhage and control all sources of bleeding. If not already done, use a CoTCCC-recommended tourniquet to control life-threatening external hemorrhage that is anatomically amenable to tourniquet application or for any traumatic amputation. Apply directly to the skin 2-3 inches above wound...
    All the doom and gloom warnings that we all got "back in the day" about how application of a tourniquet automatically means losing the limb have been rendered (almost entirely) moot. All TCCC instructors/medics that I have met teach that, if there is any doubt, apply the tourniquet. The doc can figure it out later, and the chances of you doing any MORE damage are minimal.

    Of course, this is all based on LIFE THREATENING bleeding, not scrapes and scratches - if there is no obvious life threatening bleeding, the priorities of work may change.

    And, of course, I AM NOT A DOCTOR, nor do I play one on TV. Nothing that I say, have said, or ever will say shall be construed as medical advice.
    A man fires a rifle for many years, and he goes to war. And afterward he turns the rifle in at the armory, and he believes he's finished with the rifle. But no matter what else he might do with his hands - love a woman, build a house, change his son's diaper - his hands remember the rifle.

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    I work as a gardener, and my job takes me to some fairly remote locations sometimes. I carry, in addition to the standard car first aid kit, a fanny pack with some more specific gear that could be useful for GS injuries as well. My bigger concerns, of course, are injuries from my various shovels, rakes, stray cougars, bears, etc.

    2 trauma bandages, 1 sm, 1 lg
    1 roll self-stick gauze
    1 bottle saline eyewash
    1 triangular bandage,
    iodine prep pads
    alcohol prep pads
    gloves
    leatherman microman
    2 velcro compression straps (got from REI in backpacking supplies)
    2 quick release compression straps
    2 instant handwarmers
    instant cold pack
    various bandaids
    gauze pads
    ear plugs
    20 ft paracord
    25lb rated S-carabiner
    spare G19 mag
    extra batts for my tactical flashlight
    disposable lighter


    This is the pack that I grab when I go to the range too.
    First aid training, of course, is really important. I should take a refresher course. I learned proper first aid and improvisational first aid in high school.... my teacher was (still is) a Yellowstone Park ranger.

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    Member Array Eaglebeak's Avatar
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    If the victim is a BG, first aid would be another gunshot wound more to the side of center-mass to help provide a drain hole for buildup of internal fluids from shot #1.

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    VIP Member Array suntzu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OPFOR View Post
    With all due respect.... WRONG. Tactical Combat Casualty Care has reversed this long-held notion based on the years of experience we have gained dealing with combat related wounds - i.e. deep penetrating wounds. In these cases, stopping life-threatening bleeding is generally the first order of business. Below is an exerpt from a recent (not sure if it's the MOST recent) TCCC guidelines - all emphasis is mine. As an aside, I just went through our three-day TCCC course five times in the last six months, as I was a program manager for the larger course of which tac-med is a part. If there is life threatening extremity bleeding, stop it. The surest and quickest way to stop it is with a tourniquet.



    All the doom and gloom warnings that we all got "back in the day" about how application of a tourniquet automatically means losing the limb have been rendered (almost entirely) moot. All TCCC instructors/medics that I have met teach that, if there is any doubt, apply the tourniquet. The doc can figure it out later, and the chances of you doing any MORE damage are minimal.

    Of course, this is all based on LIFE THREATENING bleeding, not scrapes and scratches - if there is no obvious life threatening bleeding, the priorities of work may change.

    And, of course, I AM NOT A DOCTOR, nor do I play one on TV. Nothing that I say, have said, or ever will say shall be construed as medical advice.
    1.
    That is for combat situations. It is easier to control bleeding than it is to control an airway as you are under fire and trying actively move the wounded while performing thses tasks. It was written with that in mind, take care of what you can and worry about the rest later. In a non tactical situation go by the abc's. And since you have experience you know that does not mean you only try to open the airway and then go on to the next step. You can control bleeding at the same time by having someone hold the wound, apply pressure with your knee. The key to your post is for expedience under fire.
    The TCCC guidlines under Basic Management Plan for Tactical Field Care say to do the abc's then control bleeding. And the TCCC also tells you to release the tourniquet if evacuation is not anticipated in 2 hours.
    2. I never said the fastest most effective way to control bleeding was not a tourniquet nor did I imply how it can do damage to the area.
    3. My thought is with a choiice between a tourniquet or other means to stop bleeding, a lay person will go for the tourniquet. Don't know about you, but during a good blizzard where I live, I might not get to a hospital from the time a T was put on in 2 hours or so.

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    I've responded to a couple GSW calls as an EMT, one was a bad situation all around and the person passed later on (.22 rifle to the temple) and the other was a .45 slug to the thigh. We used quickclot and a tourniquet with lots of bandages. A tourniquet was last ditch in the past but it has been accepted in the EMS community as an effective method to stop bleeding, used in moderation and in the correct circumstances...such as a hospital isn't 12 hours away, etc.

    The trauma packs that are sold at fire/ems stores online generally carry good stuff in them for everything bleeding related. You get what you pay for, so the cheap kits will have lots of gauze and no much else. I've seen trauma kits designed specifically for GSW that include quickclot, tourniquet, lots of big bandages, and chest seals in some of them.

    First aid classes are a must if you're serious about first aid.

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