View Full Version : Gunshot Wound Treatment

04-08-2012, 21:35
First post - No medical experience. I've been wondering about this for a while, thought I'd ask the Docs.

My father works in Law Enforcement and a while back he shot himself in the leg doing a qualification exercise. He was focused on the target, went to holster the gun and BAM!

The bullet glanced off of his pager, entered a few inches below his hip and exited 3 or 4 inches above his knee.

I figured he'd get stitches n such all throughout the wound. But he didn't get any. They cleaned it up, wrapped it up, and let it heal itself. Apparently this is a "new" treatment method, letting the wound heal from the inside out. Stitches obviously close the wound up and any infection is trapped inside, whereas this lets the healing process push any harmful crap out.

I'm just wondering how "new" this is. Do y'all do this in the military with similar gunshot wounds? (it just hit meat, no arteries or major organs) He drove the box in Houston for a few years before he moved to the fire station, and even he was surprised by the treatment method.

Thanks for any feedback.

04-08-2012, 22:02
Gunshot wounds are inherently dirty, and the wound is considered contaminated. You do NOT suture gunshot wounds. Typically you irrigate it, bandage the wound and keep an eye on it. It everything is going well a week or two later you can close the wound...its called delayed primary closure. If they don't have a warm and fuzzy they can keep it clean and let it close on its own.

Not new, nothing controversial.

04-08-2012, 22:49
Very very rarely close wounds like that. Almost always let them heal like your father's, which is called "secondary intent".

04-09-2012, 00:11
Glad I asked, I had no idea. Thanks guys.