How to Treat a Knife or Stab Wound in the Wilderness

Knife wounds are among the most common backcountry injuries; there is also the risk of stab wounds. You can’t always call 911.

So, whether you are a prepper, outdoors person, or homesteader, if you believe in being self-reliant, you’ll want to know how to treat a knife wound.

Have the Victim Lie Down

The crazy thing about knife wounds is that, because of adrenaline and extreme stress, knife victims don’t always notice their injuries until later. As the person administering first aid, you want to take advantage of this initial shock period and get the victim to lie down.

Remove Clothing Around Area

It is good to have scissors in your wilderness first aid kit. Or, use your survival knife for this (carefully).

Put On Gloves or Wash Hands

It is easy to want to skip this step during an emergency. However, if you don’t take the 20 seconds required to put on gloves, you could infect the wound with your dirty hands.

Get Bleeding Under Control

The human body has approximately 10 to 12 pints of blood. The body can usually lose 1 pint of blood without severe effects. – A loss of 2 pints of blood will lead to shock. – A loss of 5 to 6 pints of blood will cause death.

Decide Whether to Remove the Knife

Is the knife still in the wound? Under normal circumstances, you should never remove the blade. But, as JEMS talks about, you might need to remove it if no help is available.

Clean the Knife Wound

Once the bleeding has stopped, you’ve got to clean the wound to prevent infection. Cleaning an injury is always an essential part of first aid, but it is vital when you are far away from professional medical help.