NEWYou can now listen to Fox News articles!
Chance encounters with sharks tend to increase as the onset of summer brings more people into the water.
In the event of such an attack, experts have some very helpful recommendations on how bystanders can stabilize a shark attack victim.
“In terms of treatment, we treat shark bite injuries like we would any other trauma with hemorrhage,” said Gavin Naylor, director of the Florida Program for Shark Research at the Florida Museum of Natural History.
“Pressure, tourniquet, minimization of blood loss [and] treat for shock,” he added. “Speed is essential. Secondary concerns are infection.”
SHARK ATTACK IN FLORIDA LEAVES TEEN WITH ‘SERIOUS INJURIES’
Many shark attacks occur near the shore as the sharks tend to feed on seals, which are found near the shallows.
Sometimes it’s just mistaken identity when a shark bites a human, experts also note.
Apply pressure to a wound
“For life-threatening injuries, call 911,” said Nancy Strand, MPH, RN, senior manager of surgical patient education at the American College of Surgeons Division of Education in the Greater Chicago Area. .
“Then applying pressure to a wound is effective in slowing and stopping bleeding, just like dressing a deeper wound,” she added. “For severe limb wounds, an effective way to stop bleeding is to apply a tourniquet.”
If the victim is still in the water, notify the beach patrol or lifeguard immediately, said Bernard J. Fisher II, director of health and safety at the American Lifeguard Association.
SWIMMING POOLS CLOSING AS SHORTAGE OF LIFEGUARDS HIT US CITIES THIS SUMMER
“Use a boat or other craft to approach [victims] is the best,” he said. do not enter the water unless you are a qualified lifeguard and have the proper equipment. to help,” he also said.
Dr Lenworth Jacobs, professor of surgery at the University of Connecticut and someone who has treated shark attack patients, said that in the event of a shark bite, “the first thing to do is Stop [the] bleeding.”
Applying firm pressure to the bleeding vessel should be done by crossing the hands and straightening the elbows – but this should be done for at least five minutes.
If gloves aren’t available, Jacobs recommended using your hands — and removing any clothing to apply to the bleeding site.
Jacobs said applying firm pressure to the bleeding vessel should be done by interlacing your hands and straightening your elbows – but it must be done for at least five minutes.
Many lifeguards have bleeding control kits that contain gloves, a tourniquet and a haemostatic dressing – which is 10 times more effective than a gauze dressing, explained Jacobs, who is also director of the Stop The Bleed program for the ‘American College of Surgeons.
“A person can die from blood loss in five minutes. Often it’s the closest bystander who has the best chance of saving that person’s life,” according to information from the University of California, San Diego. Health.
SHARK ATTACKS HAVE DOUBLE IN 20 YEARS IN HIGHLY POPULATED AREAS, STUDY SAYS
Jacobs also warned that the biggest problem is that people often stop applying pressure to examine the wound before the full five minutes are up. That’s why he recommends counting to 500 before releasing the pressure if a watch isn’t available.
Jacobs said a tourniquet should only be placed for up to an hour.
A tourniquet, however, is ideal for stopping bleeding as it frees up the hands to help the patient out of the water – but this may not be possible when resources are limited.
He said a tourniquet should only be placed for up to an hour. Any period of time longer than this can result in a complete lack of blood flow to the tissues, making limb loss more likely.
Get the person out of the water
The second important step when caring for a shark bite victim is to get the person out of the water as soon as possible.
“You don’t want continuous bleeding in the water, [as] this will attract other sharks. You want the patient out of the water as soon as possible,” Jacobs said.
He compared someone bleeding to a garden hose spraying water everywhere.
To stop the water immediately, first bend the hose, then later close the main tap.
JUVENILE WHITE SHARKS IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA ‘GO OUT’ NEAR BEACHES BUT ARE NOT CONCERNED ABOUT HUMANS: STUDY
“Stop the bleeding first, keep the blood inside the body, and get the patient to the hospital as quickly as possible,” Jacobs advised.
Protect the victim from the cold
Once out of the water, try not to move the victim unless necessary — but remember to protect the victim from the cold by wrapping them in a blanket to limit heat loss, Fisher advised.
“Stay with the victim, continue to control the bleeding, monitor vital signs and wait for emergency medical services. [team] takes over,” Fisher added.
What to do if you have a chance encounter with a shark?
“If you see a shark, stay calm, keep the shark in sight as much as possible, and get out of the water slowly,” Fisher warned.
But if you are attacked, do not “play” dead.
Fight with whatever is available, such as a paddle, boogie board, surfboard, scuba gear or fishing gear, Fisher said.
Fight with whatever is available, such as a paddle, boogie board, surfboard, scuba gear or fishing gear, Fisher said — and try not to use your hands to attack the shark, a he added.
He said it’s wise to pay close attention to attacking the shark’s eyes, nostrils and gills.
After an attack, try to stop the bleeding before getting out of the water by applying direct pressure to the wound while leaving the water as quickly and calmly as possible, Fisher added.
SHORTAGE OF US LIFEGUARDS WILL BE A “TOTAL DISASTER” IN AUGUST
“Remember, you’re more likely to die from lightning than from a shark attack,” Fisher said.
“That said, always be aware of the weather and your surroundings at the beach.”
CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP
“Always swim with a lifeguard and check local weather and water conditions before heading out,” he said.
“Also, before you go, make sure your beach destination has a beach patrol and hours of operation.”