Home Intruder: You’re Gonna Get Your Hands Bloody…

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December 30, 2013 / Comments (14)

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[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?


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

(1) Quickclot®

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

2. Airway

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!


EJ Owens

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.

Source: http://www.kirotv.com/news/news/deputies-investigating-fatal-home-invasion-near-no/nXps9/

Want to know more about home defense tips? Check out these great articles on our site:

5 Home Invasion Defense Tips

Home Defense: The Best Ammo for Your Shotgun

Home Defense Safety- 9 Tips For Answering Your Door

14 Responses to :
Home Intruder: You’re Gonna Get Your Hands Bloody…

  1. mike says:

    Great article! The only thing I’d add is vasoline gauze for a sucking chest wounds and treat for shock with blankets/coats. Remember airway breathing circulation and get ems enroute asap. Thanks for the article!

    1. Rev Doc says:

      Do you Smoke? Cigarette Cellophane works just as good in an emergency for a sucking chest wound. FYI from a Combat Ranger-Medic

    2. John C says:

      The foil covering the Vaseline gauze is better than the gauze itself.

  2. Curt Kniffin says:

    All great advice, in the article and comments . Understand sucking chest wounds can be a tricky critter. You may have to release the occlusive bandage in some instances . GET TRAINED. Sometimes you can do more harm than good, if you THINK you know what to do. Training is critical. So you KNOW.
    God bless.

  3. John says:

    I’m sorry, but I have to step in and say something about the instructions and the medical gear list. I noticed you stated that the list was a minimum, that’s an understatement. I am including the contents of my Trauma Bag:
    OB Kit 1
    ABD Pad 8×7.5 1
    Trauma Dressing 12×30 1
    Sterile Burn Sheet 60×96 1
    Trauma Sheers 1
    Sterile Water 500ml 1
    2×2 Guaze NS (Multi Pak) 1
    Sterile Gauze Roll 4″x4yd 2
    Kerlix 1
    Ace Bandage 4″x4yd 1
    Ace Bandage 2″x4yd 2
    Tape (Multiple) 1/2″ 5
    Tape 1″ 1
    N95 Mask 2
    Sharpie 1
    Sharps Container 1
    Front Comp:
    Petroleum Guaze 3×9 5
    Oval Eye Pad 1×2 5
    Sterile 4×4 Multi Pak 1
    Sterile 4×4 3
    Sterile 4×4 8
    4×4 Gauze NS 10
    Cravat Triangular Bandage 2
    Gauze Roll Sterile 4″x4yd 2
    Gauze Roll NS 4″x4yd 1
    Guaze Roll NS 2″x3yd 1
    Emesis Bag 2
    Bandaids (Multi) 26
    Amonnia Inhalant 2
    Burn Jel 2
    Lubricating Jelly 2
    Antiseptic Towlettes 2
    Hydrocortisone 1% 3
    Triple Antibiotic 3
    No 11 Scalpel Blade 1
    Portable Sharps Container 1
    Nose Syringe Bulb 1
    OPA Adult Lg 2
    Rear Comp:
    Large Latex Free Gloves Box
    Rt Side Comp:
    Duck Tape 1
    Safety Glasses 1
    Lft Side Comp:
    Cold Pack 3
    Hot Pack 3

    I carry a second bag for airway with more OPa’s/NPA’s in it as well as BVM’s for both adult AND child.

    I do not yet have a Tourniquet. Speaking of, it should be used as a LAST, VERY LAST resort, where the loss of limb is preferable to the loss of life. This article about a child with a chest wound, it’s a very good scenario. But the gear you included isn’t even the bare minimum needed for a “sucking chest wound” which is what a gun shot wound would produce. In a three year old, well, let’s just say it would be a devastating wound. The shock alone would give you less than 3 minutes to stabilize the child. If you want to write an article about a traumatic event, please make it clear about how fast you would have to work to save the child. You literally have less than a minute before the child bleeds out or suffocates. Entry and Exit wounds.

    As for my credentials: Lieutenant/Training Officer in my Fire Dept. and an EMT-B for my county EMS service. I’m not trying to step on your article in any way, but I do feel that it left a lot to be desired in both content and information.

    I DO agree with your admonition that EVERY person that carry’s a weapon for self defense SHOULD, ABSOLUTELY SHOULD have first aid/TRAUMA training. If you are willing and capable of shooting someone in self defense, you should know how to heal it as well. Just in case. Short of obtaining a paramedics cert, go get specific trauma training. It is available anywhere! Your local fire department, local ems, local hospital, red cross. There are a great deal of free and paid courses.

    1. Chris says:

      John, you should take a class like the Dark Angel class. A tourniquet is no longer the “very last resort”. There is plenty of real world experience to prove that it is highly unlikely someone will lose a limb from the proper use of a tourniquet.

  4. lee bermister says:

    shaving crème is great for burns-non medicated and only the regular kind-no lime or any of that. this info from city of dallas, tx paramedic.

  5. Left Coast Chuck says:

    I took the local first aid/cpr class a few years ago at the Red Cross center. In my estimation it was a waste of time. Mainly it consisted of: establish airway, stop bleeding, call 911. I got more training 60 years ago in trying for my boy scout first aid merit badge. I got way more first aid training 50 years ago in the USMC first aid classes given to all Marines so that they could assist the corpsmen who were our first responders. In my estimation if you want meaningful first aid training, don’t waste your time at the local Red Cross center. You need to take a wilderness first responder class or a similar class that teaches you all the stuff we had to learn before there were ambulances and 911. Back then you put the victim in the back seat of a car or the bed of a pickup and hauled for the hospital and hoped there was a doctor on duty. If someone had a phone, they headed home and called ahead to the hospital so they could alert the doctor. Like everything else, today everyone relies too much on the government providing all the services we used to perform ourselves. Not to say that EMS isn’t way better than what we had then, but when seconds count and help is 15 minutes away, you need to know more than what the Red Cross teaches you in its first aid/cpr classes.

  6. Sissy says:

    Wow John,

    Thanks for the list… I just thought I was going overboard with my kit. Looks like there are 2 or 3 items I still need to get. Never considered the nose syringe bulb, but can see where it could come in very handy in several applications. Also need the sharps container.

    I tend to try to cover any emergency as well as trauma. Maybe I have over done it a little bit, but I believe better safe than sorry.

  7. bluejacket says:

    I think that before I would turn my back on the intruder to care for a family member, I would make sure the intruder would never, ever, get up and shoot me in the back.

  8. Not Having it says:

    Everybody seems to forget step 1. Put a bullet through the intruder’s head to guarantee the threat is eliminated. An armed intruder getting back up is not a chance I’m willing to take.

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