First aid following shark attack

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Sharks are born killers, and if you find yourself in their natural habitat, it becomes very important to know the techniques for first aid in the event of a shark attack. Sharks may attack with or without provocation, and the ideal thing is to know when to act. so, what is the first step that you take once you realize that someone has been bitten by a shark? Follow the steps below to identify the correct course of action to take.

  • The first thing that you must do after a shark attack is to get out of the water. Avoid staying in the water as it is very likely that the shark will not swim away. If you were engaging in water activities as a group, two of you may help the injured person out of the water. Use floating equipment if available, and try as much as you can to stay away from the shark.
  • Check to see whether the injured patient is breathing. This may seem rather obvious, but shark bites, no matter how small, may cause difficulty in breathing. This occurs due to the shock that the victim gets. Ensure that the victim’s airways are not blocked in any way.
  • As with all bites, a shark attack creates bleeding wounds, and it is important to try and stop the bleeding as this could lead to death. To do this, apply pressure on the wound in a direct forward manner. If you have a compression band with you, this will certainly work better.
  • Once bleeding has stopped, and you have cleaned the wound well, dress the wound. Sometimes bleeding is too heavy and if it does not cease, keep creating pressure on the wound and place a compression bandage on it. Always make sure that anything you put to the wound is aseptic to prevent the introduction of infections to the wound. If there is nothing at hand, work with your clothing as it becomes very crucial to stop the bleeding.
  • It is important that after a shark attack, you should NOT attempt to remove pieces of clothing that have been engrained in the wound as this could cause more damage. If you must, use a pair of scissors to get the job done.
  • Check to see whether the bleeding after a shark attack is venous in nature or is arterial as this will determine the progress that you make. As a general guide, the difference between the two is that in arterial bleeding, the blood spurts out with more pressure and is brightly colored while venous blood tends to flow relatively slowly and is dark red in color.

It is extremely important to remember that while the symptoms of shark attack may be dealt with immediately, it is imperative to get professional medical help as there could be more severe internal damage. In some cases, secondary symptoms occur even after a long time.

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