Monday, February 01, 2010

Try not to set yourself on fire.

A couple of Christmases ago, Shootin' Buddy gave me a nice Waller range bag. When I opened it, it already had a couple of Israeli trauma dressings inside. This is because when there are loaded guns about, sometimes bad things can happen, and Shootin' Buddy is a thoughtful and prepared kind of guy.

ToddG was giving his Aim Fast, Hit Fast course in Memphis this past weekend and a student had an ND right into their lower leg. Fortunately, all ended well and everybody reacted properly. Todd sums things up in an AAR:
Plan A is for nobody to get shot. Have a Plan B.


Joanna said...

I once heard that "There are no good plan Bs; if they were any good, they would be plan As."

The flip side is that plan B exists because no plan A is infallible.

Also, most scars are only cool until people find out how you got them.

Anonymous said...

Chinook Medical has Israeli Bandages for about 6 bucks each, less if you buy more. They work great!

Anonymous said...

I keep an IBD and gloves in my shooting vest for IDPA. Also have a trauma and first kit in my car at all times

Take the time and take gunshot first aid course when possible. DTI teaches a Tactical Treatment of Gun Shoots and Tactical Response has one as well.

At our little shoots we have assigned roles in case of injury on the range.


New Jovian Thunderbolt said...

"Never be in a rush to holster your pistol."

Good advice. Why hurry a re-holster, anyway? For that, you have all the time in the world.

I'm having trouble thinking of a reason unless it's to hurry up and do a drill again.

Jake (formerly Riposte3) said...

I always have a kit in my car and gloves in my pocket. My squad radio goes in the range bag and to the line with me, in case of a Kaboom, GSW, or other injury.

The Israeli Bandages are great - we carry them in our major trauma bags - but they're not usually our first line of attack. They're also only really useful for extremity injuries. I would recommend keeping a couple of 5"x9" gauze pads, a roll of medical tape, and a roll of 3" kling in your emergency kit. With those, you can effectively bandage most significant injuries until EMS arrives.

I would also recommend that anyone who handles firearms take a good basic first aid course. The more you handle them, the more I recommend it. If you do something often enough, eventually you will do it wrong. With guns, that means a significant chance for a serious injury. Be prepared.

Anonymous said...

No one thinks of bleeding to death until they are (numbnuts).

Clinton A. Smith

I keep IWB in the cars, in the bathroom, on the "Oh, crap" shelves in the basement, in my range bag and on me while shooting.

It's wierd how people always think that in a gunfight that they will not be shot. Denial as a self-defense mechanism?

OTOH, I always think I'm going to get shot, so I practice with the non-dominant hand, don't dick with guns in the parking lot, and keep IWBs on me. I say let people laugh, most of them do anyway.

Never understood "speed reholstering" either. I guess the gamers think it is all ninjy or such.

I'm no ninjy, I'm just the numbnuts that wants to grow old and gray and not set myself on fire.

Shootin' Buddy

Homer said...

I'll ditto the "have the necessary stuff with you" comments; whenever I'm teaching, shooting a match or working as a weekend RO I have my full trauma kit in the car. Other times it's a basic First Aid kit which fits comfortably in a kid's lunchbox and is always under the truck seat.

This discussion does bring up something I hadn't thought about before, so I'll ask everyone's opinion: given that the possibility of ND-related injuries goes up during training, does it make sense to establish a student requirement that only FMJ ammunition be used? No one wants a hole in their leg, but given the choice between a (hopefully) non-expanding projectile and some of the better expanding bullets on the market, I'd think a better choice would be non-expanding.

If a bullet hits bone all bets are off, but assuming luck holds and it's a clean entry/exit (as appears to be the case in this instance) I'd think there's less tissue damage with FMJ.

zeeke42 said...

Cost generally does a fine job of limiting the use of defensive ammo in training classes. I load poly coated hard cast lead for about 1/5 the cost of my preferred defensive load. CMJ would bump it to about 1/4 the cost. I'm not sure the terminal ballistic differences between lead and jacketed, but I'm not going to tack 25% on to my ammo cost in case I shoot myself. I'll spend the money saved on medical training instead.

Anonymous said...

If one can't afford bespoke first aid kits and feild bandages, the next best thing is nappies and (blush) tampons.

Both are pretty clean, ace at absortion and easy to aquire.

Cheers - Rusty

Kevin said...

Educational post. I'll be adding some stuff to my range bag forthwith. I'm thinking the first aid kit needs to be supplemented.

MCSA56 said...

TacMedSolutions has a nice kit with a Trauma bandage, tourniquet, gloves and some other neat stuff too. $30.00 + shipping. I keep one in my bag.

Someone probably won't need a tourniquet, but then again someone probably won't need Izzy bandages either...

Crucis said...

Come to think of it, I don't remember seeing a first aid or trauma kit at my gun club. I'm going to drop something off and bring up the issue at the next board meeting.

Anonymous said...

For that 30 bucks, you could get 4 IBs, a nice bag from Wally World and several big bandannas, four 1 inch welded steel O rings at Lowes, a 6 inch piece of doweling or two and enjoy a cup of coffee. :)

The bandanna is threaded thru two steel rings and tied (square or surgeons knot) between the wound and the heart/torso. The doweling is threaded thru one ring, twisted until the bleeding stops and the other steel ring is slid over the free end of the dowel to secure your field expedient tourniquet in place.

For a bad torso wound (and bad as in bleeding is not stopping) a packet of Celox works well.

Al T.

NotClauswitz said...

I'm less afraid of getting shot at our range during practice or matches than of some other kind of internal failure. A friend a few years younger than me and in excellent health just had a heart attack. Having said that our range has a good supply of medical equipment and some obnoxiously well trained shooters.

Tam said...


"I'm less afraid of getting shot at our range during practice or matches than of some other kind of internal failure."

Lucky you. ;)

My range is frequented by a bunch of mortal humans, not to mention me. :D

Ed Foster said...

The quick clot powder really works. Sadly, I have first hand (bad pun) experience. I was inside an engine case a couple of years back (JT9-D, big basser) and took a real stinker of a slip, slicing up the right mitt rather savagely.

Also, Rusty is right on the money about the tampons. During my time afield, all the Navy Corpsmen swore by them for in and outs, and even for gut wounds. Peritonitis is obscene, and anything to dry and plug that kind of hole until the hospital is reached is a blessing.

Crusis brought up a good point. With all the cops and other lifesavers in my club I imagine there's a wealth of first aid kits in the various pickups and SUV's parked behind the line, but I don't know for sure.

I think a serious kit, brought out of the clubhouse before every match and hung ostentatiously next to the buzzer button, would have a salubrious effect on everyone there.

I might also consider adding one of those roll up splints and some duct tape. The 200 yard line is a tad long for a two man carry, and bouncing around in the back of a pickup over rough ground without a well splinted leg is asking for a gusher.

Geodkyt said...

Hell, tampons in a zip-lock bag were almost an unofficial SOP for NCOs, when I was in the Guard.

Also useful as a "counseling aid" when some new private whose uniforms still smelled of mothballs started whining in the field. Not a word need be spoken -- just hand him one with one cocked eyebrow, and another sniffle shall not be heard.

Justthisguy said...

Anonymous (Rusty), I thought we'd already covered this over at Bobby's blog. (OB tampons are the only kind to use) I do wonder how occlusive and absorbent those Apple ipads are when it comes to emergency treatment of gunshot wounds.

Anonymous said...

further proof you should get over yourselves and get hitched.

Justthisguy said...

Anonymous @0432, Tam is a grownup wummun, and had she wished to get hitched, I betcha she could have availed herself of any of many opportunities to do so, being smart, and good-lookin, and all that. Mayhap she just didn't want to do that?

Takes all kinds, as the saying goes.

Noah D said...

Okay, I'll be the first one to stand up and say, "OhshitohshithowdidInotthinkofthat?!?"

Time to update the contents of the range bag...

Anonymous said...

Echoing something I wrote over at PTC, I just want to express my respect and gratitude for the intelligent comments that folks here have offered. When the ambulance drove away and the students finally had a moment to let everything sink in, we all expected the internet to be abuzz with "Only dumb people have ADs" stupidity. Instead, at least so far, most online communities such as this one have reacted with the realization that even smart & skilled people are capable of making errors and that there needs to be as much focus on dealing with those errors as preventing them.

Les said...

The bandana and O rings sound pretty workable.

The only downside I can see is if someone practicing alone were to shoot themselves in the supporting arm, in/near the brachial artery.

A one-hand applicable tourniquet is really great at times like those. Just tear open the bag, get it out, pull the cinch cord and then turn the windlass.