Part of the NRAAM that I’d been most looking forward to was Kelly Grayson’s “Shooter Self Care” class. He’d put a post up on his blog, A Day In the Life of An Ambulance Driver, one morning, saying that he’d be willing to teach a 4-hour class on shooter self-care and first aid. He wanted to limit it to 25 or so. Within 24 hours, he had an overflowing class at 32.
Kelly is a fantastic teacher, and I was delighted to finally be able to attend one of his classes. Although I may be an ER physician, when I’m dealing with gunshot wounds and other emergencies, I do it with the backing of a full trauma center surrounding me. It’s not often that I get a chance for an update on the newest theories and practices of how to handle pre-hospital emergencies.
Medicine is an art as much as anything, so the practice changes over time.
— Tourniquets used to be last-ditch and a “never!” sort of implement; now they’re just about first-line, especially given the advances in vascular surgery and limb repair.
— Basic CPR has changed. There used to be all sorts of ratios between breaths and compressions for 1 and 2 rescuers. Now it’s all compressions, all the time. 100 beats per minute. Hard, fast, and deep. (And if you can’t figure out what 100 beats per minute is, sing “Staying Alive” in your head. Or “Another One Bites the Dust”. They both fit the rhythm.)
— Electricity is key. AEDs are cheap and plentiful and found in many (?most) public places now. And they’re easy to work. I’ve had to use one on a plane before, and THEY WORK.
I think everyone (save one) really enjoyed the class and got a lot out of it. Kelly doesn’t drone on and on as so many lecturers can (and so often do). His slides are well-organized and neat. His pictures were well-chosen and very representative of the injuries that he needed for us to see in order to be able to recognize what may be there out in the real world, should someone be injured by a gunshot at a range. As someone who sees the gunshot wounds that come to the ER, his pictures were hardly over the top in terms of blood and guts, nor were they examples of the worst that can happen out there. He would have done us all a great disservice had he not had the pictures in his lecture, especially when he was trying to demonstrate the differences between “looks ugly but won’t kill you NOW” and “will kill you RIGHT NOW” injuries.
And to the person in the front row who kept interrupting the class by squealing every time a new picture came up on the screen… Erin, put on your big girl panties. You carry a Glock. You run a prepping blog. You own a rifle and write about knives. What good do you think squealing and hiding your face is going to do when that Glock goes off and someone gets hit? What did you think you were going to see in a class titled “Shooter Self Care and First Aid”? Flowers and ponies? Get real. Life is, and it’s not going to stop for you and your precious sensibilities.
P.S. A huge thank you to Larry Weeks and Brownell’s for the snacks and goodies that kept us going during class!