Survival myths, a.k.a. urban (wilderness) legends are popular beliefs shared with friends that are usually very wrong. Let’s continue with myths 67-69
Myth 67: If You’re Impaled By a Knife Or Other Object, Pull It Out.
Indiana Jones, James Bond, John Locke from Lost…are some of the “heroes” who did not hesitate for a second in pulling out a knife or any other object that was stuck inside of them. These guys usually got out of the situation with the very brave action of pulling it out as if it was something they did regularly every morning after breakfast. They made it seem clean, fast, effective and most of all: safe. However, this is a very bad idea. When you are bleeding, the worst thing you can do is to pull out the object that is causing the bleeding. By doing this, the most likely thing to happen is that you will go to the other side in no more than 20-30 minutes. You would bleed to death. Pulling out a knife, or other object is not something easy to do and should only be carried out by professionals who have done it a hundred times before. Hence, the advice here would be to keep the object stable and wait for help. No matter what you do, do not pull it out.
Myth 68: Use a Tourniquet If You’re Bleeding
A tourniquet is a constricting band placed around an arm or leg to control bleeding of a severe wound. Tourniquets are commonly used techniques in TV shows and Hollywood films: as soon as someone is bleeding, another person is already performing a clean and perfect tourniquet. This seems easy to do and one is left with the feeling that it is the best solution to control bleeding and that everyone can perform it. The only problem is that it’s pretty dangerous if not done correctly. When an inexperienced person performs a tourniquet, there is a risk of around 55% of losing that body part. A tourniquet can easily lead to gangrene (the death of the tissue) of the limb. Without proper blood flow, tissues die quickly. Tourniquets should only be used in extreme cases in which the bleeding could lead to an instant death of the person.
Myth 69: Gunshot? Just put a bandage on it and walk it off!
This is another myth coming from movies. Rambo or Terminator makes it look so easy when they get shot. After being shot, these heroes tend to solve the problem easily and fast. They usually put a bandage on and keep walking and doing their activities like nothing happened. After all, it was just a bullet! While this might seem easy, we will never ever know how it feels to suffer from a gunshot until we get shot (hopefully never). But the odds are we might not react as well as the mentioned movie stars. There are big chances that after a gunshot, you might faint or get into shock and so on. Consequences depend on a lot of variables, which are hard to predict. What is for sure is that a gunshot hurts, and it is not easy to go through it. Putting just a bandage will partially solve the problem but it will not go away that easily. What to do then? Look for a hospital nearby or for a place in which they can provide you with medical assistance and get yourself properly healed before it is too late.
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