Firearms and ammunition are major parts of any prepper’s project. They provide protection and security, which are two of your most important concerns in any TEOTWAWKI scenario.

Anyone that begins prepping will come across the subject of weapons, self-defense and survival. Getting acquainted with weapons is one of the basic survival skills that everybody learns in order to defend themselves against potential threats. Many, however, overlook the possibility of you or somebody in your group getting shot. This can happen by accident, when hunting or during armed conflict.

Wherever there’s a gun, there is the possibility of people getting shot, especially if it’s mishandled. Many people learn how to use a gun on their own. It’s fairly easy to get a hold of one and you should definitely approach the subject with an experienced gun handler. Even professionals overlook basic safety principles sometimes. Nobody is perfect, but you should make sure you’re learning from a good source.

st_66.3As you learn how to handle a gun, you should also learn basic gunshot first aid. Do yourself a favor and practice it a little bit before you actually need it. What if you’re engaged in combat with an opposing group and you or someone in your group gets shot?! You’d best make sure you know exactly how to address any blackish red bullet hole, squirting blood all over the place, while under fire.

Of course, nothing compares to professional medical care given by experienced personnel. However, in a SHTF situation, there probably won’t be any functioning hospitals to offer it. This means no facilities, doctors, and no trained field medics available anywhere. You’ll have to rely only on your own, or your group’s, skills.

There are three basic things that you, and everybody in your group, needs to know. You need to keep the injured person breathing, stop the bleeding, and treat for shock.

Basic procedures

st_66.4Carefully remove or cut away the clothing around the wound, as soon as possible. You want enough room to assess the damage and to dress it. If the bullet hit a major organ, there’s little you can do to prevent death. However, if it didn’t, you need to make sure the person won’t bleed out and die.

If the person loses enough blood pressure, the brain will soon be in shock and his body will start shutting down. It’s critical that you stop all bleeding as quick as possible and keep the wounded as warm as you can. Be very careful when handling and moving their body, as bullets can break or fracture bones.

Once you stop the bleeding, locate the exit wound and attend it next. Be careful as bullet paths can be greatly altered when traveling through the body. If there’s no exit, it means the bullet is still inside. Without professional medical care, such as X-rays and surgery, there’s little you can do to get the bullet out. Contrary to what you see in the movies, it will be much better if you stop the bleeding and leave the bullet in there for a while. Many have survived with such pieces of metal lodged into their bodies for years.


st_66.5What do you do if the person is bleeding rapidly and you noticed his heart is fading out? Do you mend the bleeding or perform CPR? Well, there’s no golden rule here. It depends on your circumstances, medical equipment and skills. Basically, if you start doing CPR and you notice that the bleeding greatly increases, you’ll have to focus more on the bleeding. If you’re not alone with the wounded, get someone to help with one of the problems while you handle the other. If the wounded passes out while you are handling the bleeding, you’ll have to focus more on CPR.

Treat for shock

When positioning the body for care, make sure you elevate the legs slightly. The term shock refers to the body gradually shutting down its functions after receiving a trauma, which causes a decrease in the amount of oxygenated blood delivered to the brain and lower blood pressure. You can tell that the wounded is entering shock, if they experience dizziness, breathing irregularity, numbness, rapid pulse, and pale skin color.

Once the bleeding had stopped, the blood pressure can be restored. The wounded should be positioned to direct blood to the heart and brain. Therefore, slightly lifting the legs and maybe other parts of the body will greatly help.

Stop the bleeding

st_66.6You should use pressure bandages directly on the wounds to stop the bleeding. You should really include bandages and a basic first aid kit in your bug out plan. There are ways to improvise, using pieces of clothing, but nothing compares to medical equipment.

If you haven’t got a pressure bandage, use whatever you have to press and hold your regular bandage tightly. However, a pressure bandage will help coagulate the wound quicker and will hold pressure through its clamping system. Otherwise, you should press as hard as you can until it stops pouring.

The exit hole could be very large, and there will probably be a lot of blood squirting all over the place. Depending on how much blood is coming out, you can tell if it hit an artery and/or a vein. If there’s a lot of blood, it probably ruptured an artery.

Be careful as a bandage will hide the flow of blood. If it only slows down the bleeding, without stopping it, the victim will still die. This usually happens when the bandage isn’t tight enough.

Alternatively, you could use a tourniquet if one of the extremities was wounded. A pressure bandage is still more effective; however, for an arm or leg wound, a tourniquet would help a lot. Of course, you could also use them together. Use the tourniquet to restrict blood flow, as this will greatly aid you if an artery was hit. Then, apply the bandage.

Once you’ve stopped the bleeding, make sure they are comfortable and keep an eye on them. You want to make sure they don’t enter shock and that they continue to breathe as they rest.

It might be a good idea to consider getting some bulletproof equipment, just in case. You’ll thank yourself if there’s a crisis situation and your shelter, home or camp is ever under attack. You could stash it somewhere around your property, where you could easily retrieve it, whenever you need it.

Did you ever see a gunshot wound? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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