Skip to main content

How to Survive a Gunshot Wound

Getting shot is a situation you will hopefully never have to be in. If you do find yourself facing that emergency, here’s what you need to do to survive a gunshot wound.


  • Step 1: While you wait for help to arrive, stay as still as possible and don’t eat or drink anything. Good luck!
  • FACT: Approximately 800 Americans are killed each year in accidental shootings.
  • : A tourniquet may cause permanent damage to your limb or result in amputation, and should only be used as a last resort. Never leave a tourniquet in place for more than a few minutes.
  • Step 2: If the bullet has hit an arm or leg, blood is gushing from the wound and cannot be controlled by direct pressure, and medical help is more than an hour away, consider wrapping a belt or narrow piece of cloth several inches above the injury site as a tourniquet.
  • Step 3: If the wound is bleeding, use whatever cloth is on hand to apply steady, direct pressure for a full 15 minutes or until help arrives, before checking to see whether the bleeding has stopped. If blood soaks through the cloth, apply another one on top of it without removing the original covering. If there is an object in the wound, apply pressure around the object, not on top of it. If the bleeding doesn’t stop, repeat for another 15 minutes.
  • TIP: If possible, elevate the wound above the heart.
  • Step 4: If possible, call 911 for emergency help before you do anything else.

Popular Categories