How to survive a gunshot wound

The most important part of surviving a gunshot wound is getting the victim to proper medical attention as soon as possible. Chances of survival improve the faster you get the victim in front of a doctor. Only in a worst case scenario where medical help is not available should you attempt to treat a firearm victim.

[Secure | Immobilize | Breathing | Bleeding | Stabilize]

The impact of a bullet/fragment depends on several factors include the velocity, energy transfer, and type of bullet. When a bullet impacts it instantly decelerates and deforms (a flattening effect known as "mushrooming". As the bullet decelerates on impact, the energy carried by the bullet is transferred to the target -- the higher the energy transfer of the bullet, the greater the damage. explains that
    Hydrostatic shock radiates out from the bullet's path, causing a much larger "temporary wound cavity" that accounts for a significant amount of the soft tissue damage, while the bullet itself plows inward, potentially breaking apart if it strikes bone. The temporary cavity closes back after the bullet's passage, but significant damage, notably to major blood vessels, may have been inflicted by the sudden stretching and tearing involved in the hydrostatic displacement.
Bullets rotate, become deformed, fragment, or deflect off bones. Some bullets are designed to shatter or disintegrate on impact leaving shrapnel in the body. More on bullet types

Wound from velocity energy transfer injury characteristics
Hang guns low low Injury results from direct effects along bullet track.
Rifle Shot High High Wounds are messy -- bullets tumble [yaw] within the wound causing greater damage -- see below.
Munition fragment Low Low Small and numerous wounds, but poor penetration means injuries are limited to fragment track.

With high energy transfer wounds like those caused by shotguns, indirect effects are more important than direct effects. High energy transfer wounds generate injuries including:
+ cavitation
+ fractures, contusions, and lacerations away from the direct fragment tract
+ can result in small entry and exit wounds but large wound cavity
+ fragmentation of bullet and bones can cause secondary wound paths and further injury
+ negative pressure within cavity can suck in external environmental contaminants.

Next: Stabilization of Victim
[Secure | Immobilize | Breathing | Bleeding | Stabilize]

The information above does not constitute medical advice!! It is simply an informational resource. Following the procedures laid out below may result in injury or loss of life. By reading the content below, the user agrees to:
  • to waive the rights to take action against the author;
  • to respect the rights of the author in the contents of this site; and,
  • to indemnify the author and his agents for any and all claims arising from viewing this site.

Travel tips
  Travel Health Tips
  Health Conditions
  Kidnapping Stats
  Culture Shock
  Hotel Crime
  Hotel Fires
  Civil Unrest
  Acts of Terror
  Important Papers
  Civil Unrest
  Public Transport
  Car Rentals
  Shark Attack Stats
Travel Photos
Tropical Fish
Travel Tips
Rainforest Tips
Site Map

what's new | for kids | rainforests | other languages | search | about | contact

Copyright Rhett Butler 2004-2017 is a free resource.