IMPD officers use quick, simple method to help save store clerk shot in chest

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – As IMPD officers continue to search for the gunman who shot a teenage store clerk during an armed robbery, they are also being credited with saving that clerk’s life.

Police say the clerk was shot during a struggle over the thief’s gun inside the Family Dollar on Arlington Ave. Monday night.

“One of the officers recognized that the person had what is known as a sucking chest wound,” said Cpt. Turner.

Two IMPD officers helped apply pressure to the clerk’s wounds, then another officer used a sucking chest wound kit to seal the gunshot wound on his chest before EMT’s arrived.

ER Physician Kyla Pyko of St. Vincent Emergency Physicians tells us every second counts when dealing with a hole in the chest.

“What happens with a sucking chest wound is that air goes into the chest but does not come back out,” said Pyko.

Health experts say sucking chest wounds can lead to a collapsed lung.

“They cannot breathe. It feels terrible. It feels like they are suffocating,” said Pyko.

The wound needs to be properly dressed and first responders must cover three areas of the wound so the victim can breathe.

“You just pick a side based on where the wound is, where the bleeding is and where you can get the tape to stick. Then when they take a breath in, the chest cover is going to suck down to the wound and when they breathe out, the three-sided bandage lets the air escape,” said Pyko.

It’s a simple life-saving tool that an IMPD officer actually bought with his own money, making all of the difference for the teen fighting for his life.

Health professionals say there are many ways to quickly cover a bullet or stab wound in the field, including the three-sided gauze and tape method or using a chest seal.

IMPD tells us they are looking into equipping their officers with a similar lifesaving patch.

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