Bullet wounds might be the type of serious injuries which are very difficult to handle. There are some reasons behind this, and some of those are:
- Bullet wounds might not only be caused by the bullet itself. Instead, a single gunshot might cause several wounds resulted from broken projectiles.
- Bullet wounds are in most cases, deep and severe. Hence, it is very possible that the wounds affect the inner parts of the body, such as tissues, tendons, muscles, bones, and internal organs.
- Bullets and projectiles causing gunshot wounds need to be extracted to avoid infection, yet the location might not be able to be seen with naked eyes.
Because of the difficult situations a gunshot wound might lead to, it is not advised to treat gunshot wounds at home. An effective treatment for gunshot wounds is a professional medical assistance as soon as possible.
First aids for a bullet wound
A bullet wound happens when a bullet or projectile hit the skin, causing injuries or wounds. In most cases, doctors will attempt to remove the infesting bullet from the patient’s body. However, this removal might likely to affect inner tissues and muscles. Hence, in military, infesting bullets are not extracted, unless it may cause infection to the wound itself. However, there are some actions you can do as a first aid to a bullet wound as follow:
- Seek for help as immediate as possible, since quick act heightens the possibility of surviving.
- Meanwhile, put a direct soft pressure to the wound. Use clothing, towel, or wound gauze to perform the pressure. Continue pressing the wound gently until the bleeding decreases.
- Keep the body warm while waiting for professional help.
How a bullet wound is treated
Treating a wound caused by bullets is not a simple thing, since it is prone to infection, especially if the bullet is damaging inner tissues and muscles. After a surgical procedure of extracting the bullet from the body if possible, the patient will have to perform a wound care to make sure proper healing from a bullet wound. In some cases, the bullet is not extracted and this will not be a problem if the wound itself is not infected. Hence, proper wound care for a bullet wound is essential. Do these to promote proper bullet wound healing:
- Keep the dressing and the area around the wound clean and dry. Do not expose the dressing to water to avoid the possibility of infection. If the dressing is not waterproof, cover it a plastic bag during shower time.
- Take prescribed antibiotics and pain relievers. This will be necessary if the bullet causes major wounds which damage your inner tissues, muscles, tendons, or bones. Antibiotics is also necessary for treating bullet wounds, since the wounds are prone to infection from debris and dirt left by the bullet.
- If the surrounding area is swelling, put an ice pack compress to reduce the effect. However, keep the wound site itself dry. Make sure this ice pack compress is allowed by the doctor and will not inhibit the entire healing process.
- Change the dressing as directed by the doctor and avoid harsh solution which may damage your delicate skin tissues, such as iodine and peroxide.
- If the bullet wound is sutured with non-dissolvable stitches, make sure you get it removed as directed by the doctor. Most commonly, sutured wounds require stitch removal within 1 to 3 weeks after performed surgery. Removing these stitches at home is strictly not recommended as it may cause damage to the wound and restart the healing process.
- During healing process, examine signs of infection, such as redness, elevating pain, temperature, increased drainage, and fever.
Bullet wounds may be fatal but proper first aids might enhance the possibility of survival significantly. When treating wounds caused by bullets, pressure is the key. Give a gentle pressure using any absorbent you can find to promote blood clot. Since the wound is commonly deep and large, put this pressure continuously for 10 minutes. Do not release the pressure until the bleeding decreases or professional help comes. Limiting movements also helps promoting blood clot which is crucial.