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How To Actually Survive Getting Shot

How To Actually Survive Getting Shot


We’ve all seen the Hollywood movies where
the good guy has an epic shootout with a thousand bad guys, and after gunning them all down,
the lead bad guy fires off one bullet and hits our hero in the shoulder, or maybe the
leg- somewhere painful but, you know, not lethal. Then the bad guy goes down in a hail of gunfire
as the hero wins the day through superior firepower. What’s not shown in these hollywood movies
though is just how dangerous it is to get shot- yes, even a quote- flesh wound- end
quote. Today though, we’re gonna explore what happens
to your body when you get shot and how to survive a gunshot wound. Obviously nobody thinks a gunshot to the head
is a great idea, but surely getting shot in the shoulder or the leg will make you look
pretty heroic and maybe hurt real bad, but not be life threatening? Sadly, it’s time to toss all of those myths
out the window, because yes, even a shot to the shoulder and especially the leg can be
fatal. Bullets travel fast, that’s why Superman is
famously portrayed as ‘faster than a speeding bullet’. What you may not realize though is just how
fast they travel. A nine millimeter bullet of the same caliber
used by most police officers, travels at a whopping 900 mile an hour (1,448 kph), while
a 5.56mm round of the type used by American combat carbines typically travels at around
2,045 miles per hour (3291 kph). A 7.62mm round of the type used by heavy American
machine guns and the AK family of Russian combat rifles travels on average at about
1,841 miles per hour (2,963 kph). Those incredible speeds means that they contain
an incredible amount of kinetic energy. Bullets however are very small things, most
are under an inch- but what they lack in mass, they more than make up for in acceleration,
and remember that in Newton’s Second Law of Motion the relationship between speed and
kinetic energy is not additive, it’s quadratic. With such incredible velocities, even small
rounds can deliver a truly terrifying amount of energy. Take for example the humble 9mm bullet, even
with its small size it can still deliver on average 542 Joules of energy, while the 5.56mm
round packs around 1763 Joules, and the 7.62 round around 3525 Joules. When a bullet enters the body all of that
energy it’s carrying has to go somewhere, and that’s going to be your soft, fleshy body
tissues. As the bullet enters, the shockwave of the
impact causes your flesh to expand and creates a large cavity, which then very quickly falls
back in on itself. This huge shock through your body’s tissues
can severely damage internal organs, even if the bullet didn’t actually pierce any of
them. Next is damage that bullets cause once they’re
inside your body. In the movies the good guy gets shot in the
arm or leg and the bullet is fished out and the wound cauterized and bam, just like that
the hero is ready to go back to chewing bubblegum and kicking ass. In real life things tend to get messy, specially
if the bullet’s final stop is somewhere nice and bony like a shoulder. That’s because bullets are very prone to fragmenting
once hitting something solid like bone due to their incredible velocities, and the fact
that bullets tend to be made up of layers of different materials. Striking a bone, or sometimes even just the
extreme stresses of rapid deceleration inside the human body, can be enough to fragment
a bullet into many pieces, and this can make things really messy. Fragments of the bullet will explode outwards
in different directions, causing even more damage to surrounding tissues and organs. Bullets that retain most of their mass are
even prone to bouncing around inside the body cavity if they happen to strike bone, and
needless to say having a piece of very sharp, deformed metal bouncing around inside you
like a pinball machine is not great for your health. The body is notoriously allergic to being
shot at, and it tends to react to bullet wounds by trying to pump as much of the blood you
have inside you into your immediate vicinity. This rapid and extreme blood loss is what
makes bullets so potentially fatal, as even severe organ and tissue damage can be repaired,
or survived, given a fast enough medical response. With all of your red, red kroovy leaking out
of you at an alarming rate though, death is just minutes or even seconds away. Top scientists have labored for decades and
have at last determined that the best way to survive getting shot at is to try and keep
as much of your blood inside your body where it belongs. So our survival tip number one for surviving
a gunshot wound is to apply immediate pressure to the wound site. You want to try and wrap bandages of some
sort, even dirty t-shirts would do, around the wound itself and maintain constant pressure
in order to slow the blood loss. If shot on a limb, elevate it above the heart
to minimize blood loss and keep that pressure on. You should very quickly be on your way to
the hospital, but if you happen to be on a solo Rambo-eseque mission in the middle of
the jungle against evil drug lords, then the important thing is to maintain pressure and
never, ever remove the bandage- no matter how bloody they get. Removing a bandage on a wound can actually
tear open the wound again after your body has worked very hard to seal it up through
coagulation. Of course you could try the popular Hollywood
method of cauterization, which is a very good way of stopping blood flow- if you know what
you’re doing. Only certain types of wounds can be successfully
cauterized without submitting large parts of your body to terrible third degree burns-
and even worse, without very prompt medical attention those third degree burns could pose
an even greater risk of deadly infection than your single bullet wound. If blood loss can’t be stopped or slowed down
significantly and the wound is on a limb, it’s time to take drastic measures. You’re going to want to get your hands on
a stick and tear up your shirt into a long strip. Tie the shirt above your wound but before
the torso, and then wrap the ends of the shirt around the stick and start turning the stick
in circles like a crank. This will tighten the shirt around your limb
to painful levels- but you need to keep going. You need to tighten your makeshift bandage
so tight that it cuts off all blood flow to your wound, and yes, this does mean that if
you don’t get very prompt medical attention, you will end up losing the limb. Without blood flow, the limb’s tissues will
die off, but your life will be saved by preventing you from bleeding out. Tourniquets, as these makeshift devices are
known, can be life savers, and are a last-ditch measure to save someone’s life. In the end the best way to survive a gunshot
wound is to not get shot in the first place, but if you do get shot you need to remember
to keep constant pressure on the wound, and as a last resort, create a makeshift tourniquet
and tie off the affected limb. Better to lose an arm or a leg than to bleed
out and die. With modern medicine even the most grievous
gunshot wounds can be very survival, and doctors often talk about the ‘golden hour’, where
if a trauma victim can be on a surgical table within an hour, that person’s life can likely
be saved. What other tips for surviving a gunshot wound
do you know of? Let us know in the comments! And as always if you enjoyed this video don’t
forget to Like, Share, and Subscribe for more great content!

94 thoughts on “How To Actually Survive Getting Shot”

  1. meanwhile in gta v you shoot an npc in chest and yet they still get up and continiue running

  2. I know someone who is a marine and he got shot in the gut but it bounced off of a building and he said he didn’t even know he was shot till he started bleeding

  3. 12 year old kids: shoots 5 headshots with tactical shotgun on fortnite and dies 13 damage
    Them after watching this : The Ants 😡 🐜

  4. I just got shot in the leg and I think the bone is broken I wish there was more serious videos on how to fix this I can't afford to go to the hospital

  5. We have a mail man in our area who has one arm. He was in a war. I asked him how he lost his arm and he told me “ I was hiding behind a cover and as soon as I came out to shoot my first shot I felt a very hard force and passed out. His friend told him his arm just detached and flew away”

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