How to survive being shot

How to survive being shot

The hope is that most of us are not going to be involved in any type of violence that results in gunfire. Be that as it may, the world we live in is changing every day and there are situations beyond our control that may thrust us into a violent confrontation. The result of this confrontation may be a wound from a gunshot. Keep in mind that violent confrontations are not the only way to be injured by gunfire.

A simple home gun-cleaning mistake or hunting accident may result in one of the most mentally shocking wounds in the world. Our minds are often brought to a standstill when we hear that someone has been shot. It is important to note, however, that being shot does not have to equal being killed.

There are as many different types of gunshot wounds as there are weapons in the world. Some cause catastrophic injuries and instant loss of life. It all depends on the type of weapon firing the round bullet, and the type of round or bullet being fired.

The type to be discussed here is those of the smaller caliber guns and the types of wounds that are going to have a higher survival rate. These are the type that most common individuals are most likely to face if they are ever involved in a shooting situation.

Surviving a gunshot wound is more mental than physical. There is little the layperson can do about the internal damage caused by such an event, but the same person still has total control over their mental faculties and their own survival instinct. Military and police personnel refer to this mental state as the survival mindset .

The initial shock of being shot has to be overcome by the will to live . Without this mindset, a person can receive a minor, typically non-life-threatening wound and allow themselves to die because they instantly gave up the will to live  after realizing they had suffered a gunshot. This type of person will simply bleed out from a minor wound that could have been treated.

Developing a survival mindset is imperative in such a situation. While applying logic to this type of event is difficult, it is not impossible. A mental commitment to ones own life and their family, a strong mental demeanor, willingness to take immediate medical action, and a fighting spirit make such an event much more survivable.

Most small-caliber gunshot wounds are not dramatic on the surface. Like many knife wounds, they have a tendency to close  themselves after the event. What this means is that the surface wound is tiny as compared to what can be extensive internal damage. Due to the flexibility of the skin, the wound will appear to be very small and may actually bleed very little.

Small caliber bullets also have a tendency to ricochet off the bone and become lodged in an area of the body unrelated to the entry wound. Sometimes they will exit the body entirely. This small wound, and unknown internal damage, makes treating a gunshot wound all but impossible for the victim. Treating is one thing. We are discussing survival, which is a whole different matter.

The location of the gunshot wound also impacts the likelihood of survival. A headshot, which is not always fatal, is most likely to cause death or serious brain damage. The torso, housing all the body’s vital organs, is the next least survivable location to suffer such a wound. Finally, the extremities such as the arms and legs are the most survivable location to be shot unless a major artery is severed or damaged.

Severing such an artery (on the inside of the legs near the groin or under the bicep on the arms) can actually lead to an extremely quick demise. To put this in perspective, such arteries have been accidentally cut on the operating table and bled out too fast for surgeons to repair.

Again, once past the initial shock of the incident, and precluding location, surviving a gunshot wound is almost totally mental. One has to say to him or herself, Never give up .

As Winston Churchill said, Never, never, never quit . It is a case of mind over matter in the extreme. Staying focused on what it is going to take to live will keep the spirit alive and postpone what may have been immanent death.

As Winston Churchill said

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