First Aid: How to Help Someone with Stab Wounds

Although stab wounds usually cause a small opening in the skin, they sometimes go very deep, causing serious damage to the body

For emergencies involving stab wounds, stepping up and providing care could save someone’s life

First aid is vital in these situations as a stabbing casualty could have their life at risk.


What are Stab Wounds?

Stab wounds can be one of the most dangerous and painful types of external injuries.

Depending on the location and the depth of the damage, it could be fatal.

There is also the risk of infection from the cause – whether it is rusty, full of bacteria, or other factors.

While some may also experience long-lasting traumatic stress from the injury, impacting mental health.

A stabbing injury is a specific form of penetrating trauma to the skin, usually from a knife or a similarly pointed object such as broken bottles, nails, ice picks, etc.

Many of these incidents are often due though self-infliction or intentional violence.

First aid treatment for stab wounds will depend on many factors, such as the location and severity of the injury

Even though these types of damages are inflicted at a much greater rate than gunshot wounds, the rate is still high – 156 people per 100,00 of the population.

Painful and potentially fatal stab wounds require immediate first aid treatment to control the bleeding and stabilise the victim until medical services arrive.

Attending to these injuries will need quick actions and a level head to effectively provide the necessary care to prevent deterioration and save someone’s life.


How to Treat Stab Wounds

It is important to know what to do in stabbing emergencies. In this way, you can respond calmly and effectively.

  • Survey the area

Stabbing wounds often occur during a volatile incident, and the assailant may still be in the area, which could be dangerous for you, the victim, and other people.

Avoid putting yourself at risk by intervening or going near the assailant.

Only approach the scene and evaluate the victim once it is safe to do so.

  • Call for emergency help immediately

After the stabbing incident, it is critical to call triple zero (000) as soon as possible.

If there are no other people around, prioritise calling emergency service.

If you do not have a phone with you, try to find a bystander nearby.

  • Lay the person down

Help the person lie on the ground, preferably on the floor.

This position will make it easier to stabilise the casualty, particularly if they are experiencing signs of dizziness or near-fainting.

  • Determine the extent of the injury

Carefully assess the victim and identify all wounds before starting first aid.

Look for any wounds that need urgent treatment and attend to that one immediately.

A severe wound is usually one that is bleeding profusely or spurting too much blood.

Spurting blood is a sign that the stab wound has hit an artery.

  • Check the victim’s ABCs (Airway, Breathing, and Circulation)

Ensure that the casualty’s airway remains unobstructed by listening to the sound of breathing and watching for any chest movement.

Check their pulse to ensure the heart is still beating. If the casualty stops breathing, begin to administer CPR.

  • Stop the bleeding

Apply enough pressure on the wound site using a clean and absorbent material, such as sterile gauze, a shirt, or a clean towel.

If the object is still embedded in the wound, do not try to remove it on your own.

Press firmly around the wound to help slow down the blood flow while going to the nearest emergency care.

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