Study of Wounds In Civilian Mass Shooting Fatalities


This is pretty interesting article in the Truth About Guns...on a study done by the EMS MEd Blog. They took a look at 12 mass public shooting events and analyzed the various wounds. Their conclusion was that few could have been saved had they received immediate medical attention and none died from a wound to the extremities that a TQ would have prevented.

The upshot: only 7% of fatalities could have been saved with prompt medical intervention. And for everyone who carries a tourniquet every day, according to the National EMS study, none of the fatalities died of blood loss from the extremities.
I'm still in the camp of carrying a TQ as, "it's better to have one and not need it..." But the thing that this really does solidify is that a good guy with a gun is the most important tool to have.

Study of Wounds in Civilian Mass Shooting Fatalities: Few Who Die Could Have Been Saved - The Truth About Guns

Additional findings...

In total, based on responses from medical examiners, a total of 12 mass public shooting events were analyzed in the study. A total of 139 fatalities with 371 total wounds were examined by the investigators. The key results from the study were as follows:

  • There was an average of 2.7 wounds associated within the group of fatalities
    The case fatality rate for civilian mass shootings was 44.6% (compared to approximately 10% during Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom as reported in other studies).
  • 58% of all victims (with fatal and non-fatal wounds) had at least one wound to head or chest/upper back
  • 20% (28/139) of all wounds were to the extremity, of which none were deemed to be fatal
  • 77% of all fatal wounds were identified in the head or chest/upper back.
    In total, only 9 of the 125 fatalities or roughly 7% (14 excluded given absence of autopsy data) were determined to be potentially survivable
  • The most common survivable injury was a wound to the chest (89% of all survivable injuries) without obvious evidence of vascular or cardiac injury
  • There was 100% agreement between the reviewers of the study regarding potential survivability of injuries

The Heretic

In military conflicts they often wear armor, at least a helmet, so I would assume that would account for a lower percentage of head and thoracic area wound fatalities from gunshots. In a military theater, a TQ would be used a lot more due to explosives/artillery?

TQs would be good in civilian life for car accidents, but the typical civilian doesn't encounter either gunshot or serious accident trauma that often, if at all. I don't have a TQ in my FAK, but it wouldn't hurt to have one in my vehicle JIC.


One trainer insists it's important to wear a first aid kid with TQ, if not for himself then to help others.

RE: the study... It seems that they are studying gang banger attacks... The reason I think that is because of the multiple wounds. AFAIK the victims of mass public shooters and school shootings rarely had more than one wound. The casualty rate of 44%... does that seem right for school or church shootings, etc? IDK.
I am thinking that this study may have included a certain school we the people are not allowed any "Access" to any details of, so its hard to say for sure how they arrive at the conclusions with out knowing, and knowing which shootings they are referencing!
Could they some how included the Vegas shooting? Or the Church in Texas? I wouldnt think so, but dont know that!
The point im making here is:
Each of the shootings has its own set of factors that may influence the why and how certain fatalities were more or less prevalent!
I think the comparisons between combat and civilian are so flawed as to be nearly worthless. Military members in combat wear bullet resistant protective gear over much of the vitals, and they tend to move and take cover and concealment so as to not expose themselves more than necessary. They are returning fire, and probably at longer ranges, maybe thru light concealment, which tends to reduce both number of hits and the accuracy of the enemy. (I.e. members pops up from cover to fire a few rounds. Enemy is moving and ducking and pops off a round that his member in shoulder). They are also a "tougher" class of person, mentally and physically, with drive and desire to live, and an ability to treat oneself or an injured buddy with immediate IFAK med supplies. Some treatment will likely occur immediately, and surgery within 15-60 minutes. I've seen those medics, PJs, etc. scoop up folks and have them in combat hospital surgery in 30 minutes. Therefore, wounds to military will tend to be either so bad they are immediately fatal, or very survivable. Not common to have "bleed outs" or "too complicated to save." If you're not instantly killed, your survival is almost assured (hence the 10% rate quoted).

Considering the typical civilian, they aren't wearing any ballistic armor, not expecting to be shot, don't have any/much medical training or hardware, shock sets in, probably aren't as mentally or physically "tough."
Not returning fire, and shots at closer ranges such as point blank and multiple shots. And treatment might not arrive for hours. Some mass shootings have taken hours to retrieve the injured. So all of vitals are exposed, no med training or equipment, and a long time until rescue.

All that is to say I think everyone should have and know how to use first aid gear. I'm not good at carrying it on my person but have it in home and vehicle and on my body armor.


I carry TQ and clotting sponges in both vehicles and my hunting pack.

Hunting pack is a must with all the yahoos in the woods.
I even carry one in my range bag when I go shooting.

Usually a TQ is a last resort though.


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