Since the Columbine High School Massacre of April 20, 1999, we have seen an increasing amount of Active Shooter Events across our nation. This era is perhaps the worst time in American History, where the young and old have a complete disregard for the value of human life. Active shooter events can quickly turn into a mass casualty nightmare. Clearly, gunshot wounds can cause serious bodily injury and or death. That being said, the Aurora and Sandy Hook Shootings have changed the medical response to these events because many victims bled to death. Therefore, bleeding control techniques would have saved many lives.
What can I do? First and foremost, it is essential to have the proper mindset. You Must Have the Will to Survive! In martial arts, we call it the Indomitable Spirit. Without it, your chances of survival severely diminishes. Then, you must immediately move to a safer location to control the bleeding. If you lose more than 20 percent of your blood, your body will experience hemorrhagic shock which will make it extremely difficult for the heart to pump enough blood supply. Finally, use a pre-made first aid kit to administer your basic life support system until you acquire medical attention. Medical attention should be provided as soon as possible.
Having an individual first aid kit is a necessary component of controlling blood loss. Applying tourniquets, combat gauze, and/or an Israeli Pressure Dressing are proven methods to control bleeding. However, the application of tourniquets have a preconceived notion of losing a limb. But with the current advancements of modern medicine you can typically apply a tourniquet for two hours. If by any chance more time is needed, loosen it to allow the blood to flow for several minutes before retightening the application. Caution, you should have another person do it, in the event you lose consciousness. The kit should also include a chest seal and a nasopharyngeal airway, but adding these items without training, would be a useless endeavor. So look for some training classes in the emergency medical response field to learn how to make the best use of this equipment. The knowledge you acquire may save your own life.
My best to you always.