[Warning: this article contains graphic content]
An intruder has entered into your home and you have grabbed your gun to defend you and your family.
As you enter into the living room on your way to get the kids to safety you meet the intruder and he is armed! You align your sights just as your youngest daughter runs to your legs screaming…. the intruder fires and you fire back hitting him square in the chest.
He is down!
Thankfully you are not injured but….your daughter is lying at your feet with a .380 cal hole in her chest.
The intruder missed you and instead, hit your daughter clinging to your leg.
Sheer PANIC! She is breathing erratically and you can see that her jugular veins are bulging out, her chest rise is uneven, and her respirations are extremely labored. WHAT DO YOU DO!
The average response time for a metro EMS system is 8-10 minutes. In the case of a shooting, the police will have to “secure the scene” prior to the ambulance and fire truck to pull down.
Your response time is now anywhere from 15-30 minutes…..Time is not on your daughters side and it doesn’t look like she’ll make it.
As a former Firefighter/Paramedic for a major metropolitan fire department I have seen this scenario too many times to count.
It is just sad… but what can you do?
THERE IS SOMETHING YOU CAN DO!
If you have the proper emergency medical / first responder training and the on-hand trauma kit you can potentially save her life. I want you to understand that you are not helpless and there are skills you can learn and kit you can have to aid you in this time of need.
First, go to the Red Cross website (http://www.redcross.org/take-a-class/program-highlights/cpr-first-aid) and take a CPR/First Aid class taught in your area. This will give you the basics in CPR and wound care. They are the source for your entry into treating life-threatening injuries. They offer both certified and non-certified training options.
After that, look at companies that offer training in emergency medical care like the course offered by Dark Angel Medical. They offer classes that expand on your Red Cross course and go deeper into treating trauma and airway management for gunshot wounds, stabbings, and others. (http://www.darkangelmedical.com/Training.html) There are other companies out there that provide “on the ground” immediate medical training and I don’t want to exclude them. Get the training where you can and as soon as you can! Also, any well-respected tactical shooting class you take should cover trauma treatment in some shape, form, or fashion and you will have some practical experience to relate to when attending.
A well stocked, as well placed, trauma kit can mean the difference in life or death. A trauma kit should include (at a minimum):
(1) 8” x 12” Compression Dressing
(1) TK4 tourniquet (or SOFTT)
(1) Gauze bandage roll
(1) Nasopharyngeal Airway (30fr) Robertazzi Style
(1) Surgilube Jelly, sterile
(2) Alcohol Prep Pad
(2) Safety pin
(1) Roll of duct tape
(1) Pair of Nitrile gloves
(1) 14ga 3.25” needle/angiocath
(1) Chemlite (red)
(1) Chemlite (green)
(1) Ambu Bag
You can get these materials and others at these websites;
www.tacticalresponsegear.com (Ventilated Operators Kit – V.O.K)
There are 3 main areas of treatment that you will need training on treatment;
1. Bleeding (Hemorrhage)
Bleeding must be brought under control because we have no way of replacing what we are losing. Bright red blood carrying oxygen to our body and thus gives us life. Dark red blood carries de-oxygenated blood back to the heart to get re-oxygenated. Bright red blood and dark red blood are treated the same way in the field.
(1) Direct Pressure (gloved hand)
(2) Tourniquet (if applicable)
(3) Pressure Bandage
…..Then More Direct Pressure
It is not uncommon for a wounded patient to pass out due to blood loss which lowers their blood pressure. When they pass out they can block their own airway and thus we need to maintain it by placing a nasopharyngeal airway in their nose (that’s where the Surgilube comes into play). You won’t get this training in the Red Cross class but you will get it in the Dark Angel class. This tube will allow air to get into the lungs upon a respiration when the mouth is closed or affected by trauma.
3. Tension Pneumothorax
A gunshot to the chest is a penetrating wound. There is a danger of air leaving the lung upon respiration and entering the pleural space (essentially the sack containing the lungs). When this happens the lungs cannot expand upon inspiration and thus your patient suffocates. We can relieve this by using a 14ga 3.25” needle and sticking it into the patient’s chest providing an escape for the trapped air. Yes, this is pretty high speed and may make you queasy but its a hell of alot better than the feeling you’ll get standing beside a casket! Again, you won’t get this training at the Red Cross class but you will get it in the Dark Angel class.
While this is a brief explanation on the required training, kit, and treatment it should bring to light an area that we all can expand our knowledge on. I want you to be prepared for whatever this world throws at you and this is another skillset you need to have.
If you carry a gun then you are carrying a trauma kit…..inducing trauma that is, and you should also be within reach of your other trauma kit….the trauma reducing kit! I recommend that you make several of these up or purchase a prepackaged kit from a reputable source.
Put one in every car, range bag, go bag, and around the house!
Stay Alert and Practice Often!
P.S. If you want to learn the tactics and mindset that help you and your family avoid or survive a home invasion, you may want to consider Tactical Home Defense training.