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First Aid/doubt about first aid for penetrating trauma


QUESTION: this is the situation :
there are two people in a forest one of them is shot in the leg can that person climb a tree? (they are chased by attackers) and after the attackers are gone how can they treat the wound (they have a basic first aid kit and the person who is shot has decent knowledge about this stuff though the other person is completely oblivious) and also when should we apply antiseptic? is it before or after taking the bullet out?

ANSWER: Hi Auric;

The ability of an individual to climb a tree after being shot in the leg would depend on the severity and location of the wound. If shot in the upper thigh, were major blood vessels could be involved, climbing a tree would seem highly unlikely. Treatment of the wound would first involve controlling bleeding and preventing shock. If the bullet is still lodged in the leg, presumably in the upper thigh, removal should not be considered unless it is the last possible option. Even then, for someone with 'decent knowledge' of first aid and a basic first aid kit, removing the bullet and keeping the individual alive would take extraordinary skill.

Hope this helps.


---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thanks a lot for your answer but what if the bullet strikes somewhere below the knee and above the ankle without hitting the bone or any major blood vessels is cycling or climbing a tree possible then? And how is shock treated?  what are the symptoms of shock?

ANSWER: Under those circumstances, then yes it would be possible to cycle or climb given one's tolerance for pain. Signs of shock are: altered mental status (anxiety, restlessness), Skin is pale, cool and clammy. Nausea and vomiting along with fast breathing may be present. Additionally the individual may be thirsty, may exhibit signs of weakness and confusion, and may be unresponsive.

Manage shock by laying the victim down and elevating the legs 8-12". Cover with blanket and keep warm and do not give food or drink.

Hope this helps


---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Is it possible for a person to avoid going into shock? Does a person always go into shocks after he is shot? And also when can a person who has been stabbed in the left hand below the shoulder play sports like tennis again does the person who was stabbed need physiotheraphy?

Hi again;

1. Shock can accompany any injury although it is more likely in serious injuries. (for example with significant blood loss/fractures, etc.). You can't avoid it if injured unless appropriate treatment is rendered immediately.

2. A stab wound in the hand could take weeks to months to heal enough to hold a racquet. If nerves were damaged, it could take much longer.

Hope this helps


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Dave Hammond


What topics should a first aid kit cover? All aspects of keeping first aid skills and confidence current after training. New training and product technology.


US Navy Medic 1970-1974, Director of Medic training for US Navy, First aid instructor. 35 years in developing new first aid products. Multiple patent holder on new generation of first aid kits.

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B.A. Eastern New Mexico State, M.Ed George Washington University

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