By Chris Kwader, NREMT-Paramedic, TYHP Huntmaster
Accidents can happen while hunting; however, the most important point is to be ready. The area of first aid I will be covering in this blog post is control of Life-Threatening Bleeding.
Examples: spurting blood, pooling blood on the ground, blood-soaked bandages
Life-Threatening Bleeding can be intimidating but simple processes can be applied to help someone who is hurt and possibly save their life.
The first method is the use of tourniquets. In the past, tourniquets were considered the last measure to control bleeding; now they are widely accepted and utilized. Tourniquets are used specifically for injuries to the arms and legs only!
There are several commercial versions on the market. The two types I am familiar with are the CAT tourniquet and the SOF-T tourniquet; however, if a tourniquet is not available you can also make your own improvised tourniquet, which can be just as effective.
The most important point is, “ know when to use and how to apply a tourniquet.”
There are great resources available online about use of tourniquets. The following link leads to several videos on how to use a tourniquet: https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=tourniquet+training.
The following link leads to videos on how make an improvised tourniquet: https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=how+to+make+a+tourniquet.
The next method to control Life Threatening Bleeding is Wound Packing. This is for injuries that involve areas of the neck, armpits, and groin areas where tourniquets cannot be applied. Again, there are various products on the market and the two that come to mind are Quik Clot or Celox. These products are made with substances that aid in the clotting of blood.
The most important fact is “know when to use and how to use” products that aid in clotting.
Here is a link to several videos on how to perform Wound Packing:
The last option I’ll mention is a class called “Stop the Bleed:” https://www.stopthebleed.org/training/. Stop the Bleed classes are available in-person and online, and are often free. Stop the Bleed courses teach recognition of life-threatening bleeding and focus on 3 main techniques to quickly control such bleeding.
I cannot stress enough, “know when to use these techniques and how to use them”.
I am not promoting or endorsing any of these devices mentioned above or the class. This document is simply describing the techniques that can be utilized to control Life-Threatening Bleeding. If you spend time outdoors you should be prepared to deal with bleeding emergencies – every second will count!