Treating a Gunshot Wound


Zachary Lutsky
Zachary Lutsky

Dr. Zachary Lutsky worked at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, California, a level 1 trauma Center, where he was an attending physician. In this role, Dr. Zachary Lutsky handled all manner of emergency medical issues, including the treatment of gunshot wounds.

Due to its unusual and unpredictable nature, a gunshot wound requires significant care in treatment, and no two are ever quite alike. They can change significantly due to location, projectile size, and projectile speed. Initial care for gunshot wounds, before surgical options begin, must pay attention to these issues.

Positioning the patient appropriately can help save a life. If the gunshot wound is above the waist but not in the arm, the patient’s legs should not be elevated, as this can increase bleeding. Patients should be in a comfortable position if conscious or be placed in the recovery position if unconscious or unresponsive. They should also avoid eating or drinking once injured.

At the hospital, gunshot wounds will generally be treated like other puncture wounds, barring complications from related injuries such as broken bones or bullet fragments. The patient should be in an ambulance or at a medical facility within 10 minutes of the injury.