Volume 11, Issue 1: Knife and Gunshot WoundsAuthor: Melinda (Dolly) McPherson
Knife and Gunshot Wounds – no time to linger
You are working as a solo responder on a very busy twilight shift when the radio blares with a group message. “If there are any crews or cars available to provide P1 back-up please radio control.” You hit ‘clear’ and the radio tells you that you are backing up another solo responder to a patient who has attempted suicide using both a rifle and a knife – are you ready for this?
Knife and gun crime have the potential to affect all demographics and age groups. These incidents can range from small scale individual situations such as suicide and self-harm, domestic violence, accidental injury and occupational injury to larger scale gang warfare and terrorist incidents.
This article examines the mechanism of injury for both gunshot and knife wounds and highlights important considerations when diagnosing and assessing such injuries. It also gives practical management advice based on the key principles of applying good trauma care. This will enable you to improve both patient outcomes and ongoing investigation and management.