Stab wounds require immediate medical attention to stop the bleeding and alleviate the pain until emergency medical services arrive. Keeping a level head and possessing basic first aid knowledge can just save someone’s life. Of all the crimes committed with threats or physical force, a knife was the most commonly used weapon to inflict injury in Canada.
In this blog, we discuss the proper ways of dealing with stab wounds.
When it comes to a stabbing, there are two possible scenarios: either you have been stabbed or have come across someone who has been. In any case, your first reaction should be to call 911. If you don’t have a phone on you, try to grab a passerby’s attention, contact the neighbor or a nearby store. The sooner medical services arrive, the better.
From here on, let’s assume that you just came across someone who has been stabbed on the sidewalk. Get the victim to lie down. The loss of blood or shock can make them dizzy or fall unconscious incurring further injuries while falling to the ground. Elevate the head (using a jacket or cloth) and speak to them in order to calm them down.
The next step is to determine the extent of the injury which will require you to lift the victim’s clothing. Is it a single wound or are there multiple gashes? Your treatment should begin with the most severe wound where the bleeding is the worst.
Spurting blood is a sign of a damaged artery. That is where you should begin to prevent the least amount of blood loss. A loss of around 2 pints of blood leads to shock whereas 5 to 6 pints results in death.
Ideally, a pair of disposable, non-latex gloves is best when dealing with a stab wound. They minimize the risk of an allergic reaction as well as the chance of you or the victim contracting an infection. If you don’t have such gloves or are unable to get them then use an antibacterial hand sanitizer or thoroughly wash your hands. If none of this is possible, wrap multiple layers of cloth on your hands to act as a barrier between you and the victim’s blood.
Carefully remove the clothing over the wound and apply pressure around the affected area. Do not attempt to remove any object lodged into the wound as it is aids in stemming the blood flow and removal would only worsen the problem. Keep applying the pressure and wait for help to arrive.
Effectively treating stab wounds can save yours or someone else’s life. Our Canadian Red Cross First aid training courses will empower you to deal with medical emergencies such as stab wounds and not only save someone’s life, but also minimize the risk of permanent injuries and damage. Contact us in Coquitlam BC, today!