There is surprisingly little information on this topic available, considering that gunshot wounds to the abdomen are as almost as common as to the chest. I had read somewhere that applying an Israeli bandage is the best way to increase survival chances, however, given the complexity of such injuries, I doubt that is nearly enough.

How do I treat a gunshot wound to the stomach or lower?

  • 2
    The point is that this question covers numerous cases. Is the victim conscious, or not conscious? Do you see one wound or two wounds at opposite sides of the trunk? Does the victim bleed by the mouth or the anus? And many other points. I'll try to answer as soon as possible though.
    – Shlublu
    Nov 22, 2015 at 19:54
  • @Shlublu What I meant was general first aid procedure, including checking for exit wounds, consciousness, and oral/anal bleeding, altering the treatment in response to these, but i understand that this might be too complex an injury to compile a procedure for.
    – Kravaros
    Nov 29, 2015 at 14:19

1 Answer 1


What is shown continuously on television and movies is that they either die fairly quickly, or, if you apply pressure, then get the bullet out, the patient will recover.

That's not the case.

The single best way to treat a gunshot wound to the abdomen is to get the person to a hospital as soon as possible.

Even if you have IV fluids at your disposal, there is debate among trauma surgeons about giving fluids to a patient with abdominal trauma showing signs of blood loss. Some say raising a low blood pressure promotes bleeding from injury sites; others argue that hypotension compromises adequate perfusion.

In olden days, Military Anit-Shock Trousers were applied. They fell out of favor some decades ago.

Since its first use in frontline emergency care, the Military Anti-Shock Trousers (MAST) has become one of the most widely studied and debated medical devices in pre hospital care. It has enjoyed both widespread support as well as harsh criticisms. Few medical devices have engendered such divergent opinion.

If you're on the street, call 911. If you're an EMT, follow your guidelines. If you're a doctor, do the usual trauma assessment and treat as you go. If you're a trauma surgeon, you kind of know what to do.

Abdominal Trauma Evaluation of Penetrating Abdominal Trauma
Penetrating Abdominal Trauma
Initial Evaluation of the Trauma Patient
Military anti-shock garment: Historical relic or a device with unrealized potential?

  • Thank you for your answer, tho honestly, I was especially concerned with situations where EMT is not available (for example, hunting accidents, which often happen far from civilization). I suppose, tho, that there isn't much one can do, in such a situation.
    – Kravaros
    Nov 29, 2015 at 14:10
  • The first and most important thing to do is to call 911. If the gunshot wound is fatal, there won't be anything that can be done about it. If it's not an immediately or imminently fatal wound, time matters, but he'll probably live with timely intervention. If you're looking for a magic solution à la TV, there are a few things that might help, like don't make overexert himself, but common sense must prevail. Nov 29, 2015 at 22:23

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