Since its inception in 2013, the Mass Shootings Tracker website reports that there have been more than 1000 cases reported all over the USA. Mass shootings have become more and more common in the last decade and are becoming a major concern for the people of the USA.
However it is evident that once a mass shooting occurs, the law enforcement agency is supposed to apprehend and arrest the perpetrator of the crime. Only when the area is secure or is deemed secure by the law enforcement agency available at the time will there be any medical aid given to the victim. Emergency doctors and nurses can potentially help these victims but civilians standing nearby and even people who are affected by the event can help those in need at that time without prior medical training.
How Bystanders Can Help
Bleeding is the one of the most profound ways to die in a mass shooting event. Bleeding out at a mass shooting event usually takes about 6 to 8 minutes and therefore medical aid at that time is very crucial for the survival of the victim. According to Jeffrey Kerby, a surgeon at the University of Alabama, emergency medical services may be a bit too late to help the people involved and therefore bystanders support is very crucial in helping those at the scene.
Life threatening bleeding involves pulling out of blood from a wound, bleeding from an unconscious person, partial or total loss of a limb, etc. If no other medical supplies are available, cover the wound with cloth, and if that does not seem to work, add more layers to pack the wound. If a trauma kit is available, try to tie a tourniquet over the wound. This can potentially help the person from losing a limb. Sometimes, it can be very painful to the person but it is essential that you try to do so anyway because it is very useful for the patient.
How EMS Can Help
Emergency medical services have different protocols on what is to be done based on the severity of the situation. Most of the EMS crews respond with START (Simple Triage and Rapid Treatment) while some others respond with SALT (Sort, Assess, Lifesaving Intervention, Treatment/Transport). However even though there are so many protocols for helping the victims it becomes apparent that the timely response of an EMS team is most crucial in any mass shooting event and is more effective than any number of late triage operations.