A Simple Life-Saving Technique For Shark Bites On The Legs - Stab Mag

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A Simple Life-Saving Technique For Shark Bites On The Legs

“Make a fist and push hard between the hips and the bits.” – Dr Nicholas Taylor.

elsewhere // Sep 26, 2021
Words by Ethan Davis
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Dr Nicholas Taylor is the Associate Dean of the ANU Medical School, an emergency physician, and a lifelong surfer.

Associate Dean of the ANU Medical School, Dr Nicholas Taylor.

His new life-saving technique is what you should do in the event of a shark bite to a leg. It’s very simple. 

The method involves a bystander using their own bodyweight to make a fist and “push hard between the hips and the bits”. The method reliably stops or reduces blood loss by using immediately available resources to treat lower limb haemorrhage.  

“If someone has been bitten on their leg, you only need to find the middle point between the hip and the genitals, make a fist and push as hard as you can.”

“We found people can do this for a long period of time and making a fist covers the area you need. It’s not hard to find. In shark attacks, most people don’t actually get bitten twice and they can make it back to the shore. I thought, if you make it to the beach with a friend and they’re bleeding from the leg, what would be the best thing you could do? I knew from my background in emergency medicine if people have massive bleeding from their leg, you can push very hard on the femoral artery and you can pretty much cut the entire blood flow of the leg that way.”

Dean of the ANU College of Health and Medicine, Professor Russell Gruen, a trauma surgeon who has worked in Australia’s largest trauma centres said: “Saving lives is often about stopping the bleeding in time, and when every second counts, simple measures that anyone should be able to do at the scene can be the difference between life and death.”

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