First Aid Basics: Life Saving Procedures

Bleeding

Zero creatives / Getty Images

The bleeding is usually quite obvious, especially if it is severe. While it is important to stop the bleeding, remember the alphabet and check first for anything more serious.

Regardless of the severity, almost all bleeding can be controlled, so don't feel like you can't help someone who is bleeding heavily. If severe bleeding is allowed to continue, it can lead to shock and ultimately death.

It's easy to overestimate the amount of blood loss you are witnessing. To accurately determine the type of bleeding, look at its color and how it exits the body.

  • Capillaries – Bleeding from capillaries , which are the smallest blood vessels, looks like a drip and usually stops on its own.
  • Veins – Constant blood flow and dark red blood likely come from veins. This can result in rapid, mild to severe bleeding.
  • Arteries : Arteries are the largest blood vessels that are under pressure, which is why blood leaves the wound. It is also bright red in color as it carries more oxygen. Blood can be lost more quickly due to arterial bleeding, and this is always considered an emergency.

Call 911 or take the person to the hospital if you suspect arterial bleeding, blood seeping through the bandages, or the bleeding does not stop. Make sure someone can continue to treat the person during the trip or while waiting for an ambulance.

Whenever possible, wash your hands when handling a wound to prevent infection. Wear latex or nitrile gloves, if available. This can protect you from infections in the victim's blood, including viral hepatitis or HIV / AIDS .

First aid for bleeding

If you have bleeding:

  1. If possible, wash the wound with water.
  2. Cover the wound with gauze or a tissue (towel, blanket, clothing, whatever).
  3. Apply direct pressure to stop blood flow and stimulate blood clotting.
  4. If possible, raise the bleeding part of the body above the heart.
  5. Do not remove the fabric if it gets wet, but add several coats if necessary. Removing the first layer will interfere with the clotting process and cause further blood loss.
  6. Apply a clean bandage as soon as the bleeding stops.

Seek medical attention when the wound:

  • Deep
  • Has widely spaced sides
  • Bleeding after applying pressure
  • From a bite (human or animal)
  • Puncture, burn or electric shock

Should you use a tourniquet?

The use of a tourniquet is controversial, except in emergencies where a person's life may be at stake. Some argue that tourniquets can do more harm than good, leading to amputation of a limb due to tissue damage.

A 2018 review of published studies found that some injuries to arteries and extremities were reported, but infrequently. However, there were many shortcomings and inconsistencies in the studies they studied. Researchers have asked for a standardized data collection on limb injuries and tourniquet use to determine their safety and efficacy.

The value of using elevation or pressure points (pressure in an artery to decrease blood flow) is debated, and some experts and organizations talk about their use. and others who did not include these steps in the first aid instructions.

Related Articles