When attending to a bleeding person, there are five major things you can do to prevent major complications with severe bleeding! Always call 911 in cases of emergencies and follow their instructions. For a short video on bleeding management, click here.
1. Move clothing and major debris from the wound
Don’t attempt to clean the wound or take out large objects, but try to move clothing out of the way to prevent pieces of clothing being embedded in the wound.
2. Stop the bleeding!
After applying gloves, place a clean cloth on the wound and apply pressure. If you see blood squirt, DO NOT take off pressure. Signs of squirting blood can mean an artery was cut and removing pressure can quickly lead to death.
3. Do not remove the clean cloth/bandage!
If blood starts to come through the cloth you have applied, add more cloth and hold pressure. Do not attempt to remove the cloth. Removing the cloth can cause more bleeding.
4. Apply a tourniquet if the wound is on a limb
If the bleeding is on an arm or leg, and you know how to apply a tourniquet, applying a tourniquet can help stop the bleeding. A belt may be handy and can be applied about two inches above the bleeding bound and tightened until blood flow stops.
5. Keep the injured body part still
Try to keep the injured person from moving as much as possible. Keeping the injured body area still and above the heart can help decrease blood loss.
Seeing blood, especially large quantities of blood, can cause the fight/flight/freeze reaction in many people. Some people may not be able to help for a period of time due to their reaction. Other people may feel like running away. It can be the difference between life and death to get treatment from bystanders in an emergency! To sign up for a First Aid/CPR AED course, click here.