During hunting, accidents can occur. Even though arrow wounds are not as serious as bullet wounds, they can still be lethal if they hit the major organs or nerves, particularly in the throat or chest. The moment an arrow wound is sustained, it is important to seek emergency care as soon as possible by bringing him/her to the emergency department at the nearest hospital. Take note that there are various ways in order to minimize the damage to the wound as well as ensure safety before the arrow is removed by a healthcare professional.
First aid care for a wound caused by an arrow
The following steps on basic first aid must be observed if an individual sustains an arrow wound. By observing these steps, it will ensure that the wound will not cause further damage to the interior tissues and organs.
- You should not pull out the arrow. Leave the arrow in place if it is still attached. Take note that attempting to pull out the arrow before bringing the individual to the hospital or before medical care can be provided can potentially damage the internal organs and cause more bleeding. Even if you have seen an arrow being pulled out in the movies, it is not a good move at all.
- Stabilize the arrow by applying an adhesive tape or any type of stabilizer to the base of the shaft in order to keep the arrow immobile as well as minimize movement that can cause more damage to the affected area.
- Using a gauze or clean towel, wrap it around the base of the shaft and apply direct pressure on the bleeding wound. In case the gauze or cloth became soiled with blood, simply apply another one over the first instead of removing the soiled layers.
- Once shock develops, it must be treated by covering the individual with a blanket if he/she is cold or utilize cold compress on his/her stomach and forehead if he/she is hot.
- Bring the individual to the hospital. While moving the individual, do not move or bump the arrow since this can cause damage to the internal organs.
- If possible, provide a duplicate arrow that you have to show to the healthcare professional once at the hospital. The duplicate arrow can be used by the healthcare professionals to determine the size and shape of the arrow and if they were able to retrieve all the pieces of the arrow from the individual.
Always bear in mind that sustaining an arrow wound not only occurs during hunting, but also during sports events. This is why it is important to be careful if you are staying in an area where archery is being performed. As much as possible, always stay in a safe area at all times.