Unfortunately, your companion is deeply wounded in the chest. “How do you help your companion with a deep open chest wound?”
Here’s the answer: You need to have sufficient knowledge and skills to give first aid properly with a deep open wound in the chest.
Understand Chest Wounds In Hunting
What causes open chest wounds in hunting?
There are two groups of causes of open chest wounds:
- Firearm chest wounds: from straight bullets, shrapnel from bombs, rockets, etc
- Chest wounds not caused by fire (sharp objects): knives, scissors, tree branches, etc
Pathogenesis of open chest wounds
Injuries to the chest are quite dangerous (25% of all trauma deaths). The heart, lungs, and major blood vessels around them are located in the chest cavity. If the wound is deep in the chest, it can lead to serious damage to the organs in the chest and upper abdomen and this can lead to death (if too much blood is lost).
The lungs are especially susceptible to injury, affecting the respiratory process. Air can then enter between the membranes and put pressure on the lungs and the lungs can collapse — a condition called pneumothorax (the most common symptom of chest injury).
The larger the wound, the more air enters the thorax through the wound instead of going through the trachea into the lungs. If too much air enters the chest, it will lead to respiratory failure and eventual cardiopulmonary arrest.
How To Help A Hunting Companion With A Deep Open Chest Wound: 5 First-Aid Steps
1. Use the palm of your hand to cover the wound until the wound is covered with other sterile materials
Losing too much blood can be life-threatening. Therefore, using the palm of your hand to cover the wound if the blood pressure is higher than the blood pressure in the blood vessels will slow down bleeding and help the blood clot faster. Blood clots are the only way for patients to stop bleeding completely.
Before administering first aid to your companion, you need to make sure your hands are completely clean (with soap and water or with alcohol concentration >50% or wear sterile medical gloves) so as not to infect the wound.
2. Cover the wound with possible sterile materials such as gauze, a clean cloth, or foil.
The bandage must be completely new and large enough to cover the wound. Completely new, sterile instruments must be used to ensure patient safety.
Cover the wound with several layers of gauze thick enough to block the air completely. Arrange the wound cover to form an air-tight seal to prevent contact with dirt, bacteria, water, etc. infect the wound and make the wound worse.
3. Secure the gauze pads tightly with a bandage or tape.
Sterile gauze, a clean cloth, or foil can all drop or teleport at any time. Furthermore, if not compressed, air will enter the chest cavity.
Therefore, it is necessary to fix the gauze pads tightly with a bandage or tape to ensure that the wound is completely free of air.
4. Transport the victim to the nearest medical station
In addition, because the wound in the chest is deep, instead of relying only on a temporary hemostatic bandage. Please monitor the patient, prevent shock by warming the patient, reassure the patient, bring the patient to a well-ventilated area, avoid moving the patient around, and avoid hurting the patient.
Use analgesics if necessary and instruct the patient to breathe gently. Take the patient to the nearest medical facility to have the right method to save his companion's life.
5. If the person loses consciousness or stops breathing, do the following:
- Perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR)
- Use a blanket or clothing to keep the victim warm, not to let the victim get too cold
- Do not let the victim eat, drink or exercise vigorously
- Apply pressure to the wound (perhaps manually) to coagulate the blood. Excessive blood loss can be life-threatening
Watch the video below to understand better:
Besides the chest, can these first aid steps be applied to other injured areas of the body?
Yes. You can completely apply first aid steps such as covering the wound with clean hands to prevent bacteria, stopping bleeding, and dressing the wound in sterile gauze or foil just like for the chest. The most important thing is to keep the victim calm and avoid infection of the wound.
If there are stranger objects in the chest, what should we do?
If there are strange things, do not arbitrarily remove them at this time because it may make the injury worse. You should tell the condition of your companion to the doctors to be saved.
Is it necessary to change the patient's bandages regularly?
Remove the patch if the victim displays any of the following symptoms of tension pneumothorax, or a buildup of air in the chest: severe shortness of breath, unequal chest size, bulging neck veins, or blue lips, neck, or fingers.
What should you do before performing first aid when a companion has a deep chest injury?
- Let the victim lie in a well-ventilated area
- If the victim has difficulty breathing when lying down, position the victim in the most comfortable position such as half-lying, half-sitting
- Loosen clothes, remove belts.
- The victim should be placed on his or her side if this does not make breathing difficult (the left side is recommended).
- Then perform the first aid procedures as above
Are there any potentially fatal complications?
- Pneumothorax strain
- Loss of oxygen in the blood
- Loss of blood or oxygen
- The accumulation of fluid in the chest cavity
- Injury to vital organs such as heart, lungs
The deep open wound in the chest is almost the most serious. Any injury, whether major or minor, is dangerous and carries a high risk of death (possibly hours or even minutes after the injury).
Through this article, you have gained for yourself the necessary knowledge as well as basic skills on first aid for how to help a hunting companion with a deep open chest wound in the worst-case scenario.
Despite our information above, don’t forget that the best way is to transport the victim to a medical facility for the best guidance and treatment by doctors and other professionals.
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