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Practicing to Pack a Gunshot Wound

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Packing a wound means putting clean gauze or gauze impregnated with a hemostatic agent down into a wound, particularly a gunshot wound, in the training environment or the real-world self-defense environment.

Practice Techniques

Have you ever practiced packing a wound? It’s something you should try, and there’s an easy way to do it with a clenched fist. The demonstration uses sterile wound dressing.

When packing a wound, get as much gauze into the wound as possible and make it as hard inside for blood to get out as possible. When the gauze catches the blood, especially if there’s a hemostatic agent in the gauze, it will promote clotting and give you more pressure inside the wound to keep blood from leaking out of whatever vessel(s) it’s coming from.

Packing a Wound

Clench your first and use the gauze to forcibly create an opening where your index finger curls. Use your opposite index finger or thumb to stuff the gauze into the opening. Pack in all directions, not just straight down. Push gauze down into every nook and cranny while keeping your fist tightly clenched. Create space by hitting different angles — push in using a star or circular pattern. The goal is to create as much pressure inside so the blood cannot come out.

When it starts to get hard at the top — keep packing! Get as much material inside the wound as you can. When you unclench your fist, a few feet of gauze should fall out.

Packing a wound does not mean covering the top of a wound with gauze and wrapping it once or twice. Stuff as much material down into the wound as you can, to keep the blood from flowing out. And consider this type of emergency medicine an important part of your self-defense training.

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