When SHTF, stopping blood loss is the most important thing.

But the remarkable, universal survival one week later of all others injured in the blasts is a testimonial to fast care at the scene, on the way to hospitals, then in emergency and operating rooms. Everyone played a part, from doctors, nurses and paramedics to strangers who took off belts to use as tourniquets and staunched bleeding with their bare hands.

via The Incredible Stat Involving the Boston Bombing Victims Not Killed in the Attack | Video | TheBlaze.com.

A couple of months back I took a basic class on initial gunshot wound treatment and patient handling. Basically was to prep somebody injured so it survives long enough to get him to paramedics or even a hospital. One of the things that we got taught basically is if the wound looks bad enough, skip the niceties and go straight for the tourniquet where it can be applied.

Mind you, this is a class taught for an urban center where rescue personnel is fairly fast responding to calls in 6-9 minutes. Still, knowing that a good arterial wound can kill a patient in about 4-5 minutes, the concept of applying a tourniquet is not the “ZOMG! He is gonna lose that limb” that it used to be. As we were told, you can live without a leg but not without blood.

My personal guideline is: Blood Slow & Dark = Apply Pressure and bandage good & tight. Blood Fast and Bright = Tourniquet.

PS: We were also told that the use of clotting agents is not well seen by ER personnel b because they are hard to clean and should only be used if the patient will take a long time arriving to an ER or the wound is in a location that a tourniquet cannot be used and other means to quench the flow have failed.

 

3 Replies to “When SHTF, stopping blood loss is the most important thing.”

    1. Remember, we are talking about wounds in an urban area where trained help will arrive within a short span and the patient will be sent to a well equipped facility. Clotting agents are good but perhaps too good for such short window; diminished return sort of speak.
      At least that is how it was explained to me.




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