There has been an increase in gun violence on the island in recent weeks, resulting in the deaths of several victims. Whilesome of these victims' gunshot wounds are deadly, others can be treated and their lives spared. Many of these people die as a result of bleeding rather than organ damage.
Here's how you can aid a gunshot victim who has been shot in the chest or stomach before help arrives.
- Call 911: If you or someone close to you is shot, go to a safe location. Help the injured individual get to safety if they can walk or run. Call 911 once you're safe.
- If the patient is conscious, allow him to lie down in the most comfortable posture. If he is unconscious, position him so that the wound is visible.
- DO NOT TRY TO REMOVE THE BULLET: doing so will simply make the bleeding worse.
- Apply pressure: You can stop blood flow by using your hands or even your knee. Forget about the suffering and focus on saving his life. Pain is rarely fatal, but bleeding is.
- Check heart rate and breathing. Begin CPR if necessary.
- If the wound is on the chest, block it with plastic. This is to prevent air from collapsing the lungs.
- If any internal organs are visible, avoid touching them with your hands.
- Do not waste time taking pictures, every second wasted takes the victim closer to death.
- Try to keep the legs lower than the rest of the body. This is necessary to increase blood flow to the legs, thus reducing blood flow to the affected area.
- If the patient stops breathing, use mouth-to-mouth breathing. Apply chest compressions if the heart stops beating.
- Try to get to a hospital asap.
Gunshot wounds frequently occur in risky and scary circumstances. If you can avoid panicking, you might be able to take quick action that saves someone's life.
If it is not safe to assist someone who has been shot, call 911. It is critical that police and medical personnel arrive on the site as quickly as possible.