The sight of blood is alarming for most people. In fact, many people will even faint or become sick at the sight of blood. Even if it doesn’t make you queasy, wanting to quickly treat the wound and stop the blood is a natural reaction for most people. This is why detailed steps on how to stop bleeding are a mandatory feature of all our First Aid courses.
Firstly, ensure you have completed the DRSABCD steps. If a casualty is unconscious and not breathing, you should attend to their immediate need for air and circulation. If their heart is not beating blood around the body, they will usually die within just minutes. It is rare that any form of bleeding will completely drain the body of blood in the time it takes to complete DRSABCD.
Once DRSABCD is complete, you can proceed to treating the bleeding wound and minimising blood loss.
Follow our complete guide below on how to stop bleeding, including dealing with amputations, internal bleeding and infected wounds.
Do’s of How to Stop Bleeding
1. Always wear gloves when treating a wound.
2. Apply pressure to the wound using a clean pad or bandage; ask the casualty to do this themselves if possible.
3. Raise the injured part and restrict movement to slow down blood loss.
4. Clean the wound with sterile saline or clean water before applying the dressing.
5. Use a sterile, non-adherent dressing that extends about 2cm past the edges of the wound.
6. Secure the pad to the wound with a bandage.
7. Replace the dressing at least once a day if it becomes wet or soiled with blood or pus.
8. If bleeding is severe or persistent, call 000 for an ambulance.
Don’ts of How to Stop Bleeding
1. Don't use home remedies like chilli powder, cinnamon powder, vinegar, etc.
2. Don’t use a tourniquet unless the wound is large and severe (e.g. amputation) as it can lead to tissue death.
3. Don't try and remove an embedded object like a knife or branch, as it could be plugging the wound from bleeding out.
4. Don't try and pick out foreign material that may be embedded in a deep wound.
6. Don’t apply the bandage too tightly – fingers and toes should not be pale, blue or cold.
7. Don't replace the bottom pad if the wound bleeds through; instead add another on top of the existing pad. If that one bleeds through, replace the top pad only.
8. Don't cough, sneeze or talk while managing the wound if possible.
9. Don't touch the dressing surface that will be in contact the wound.
Once bleeding has been controlled and the dressing has been applied, you should continue monitoring the wound to ensure it is improving in condition. A wound that has not begun to heal within two days may be infected and this can spread throughout the body and become life threatening. If this is the case, seek medical attention.
The skin, as our largest organ, is intact for a reason. Protection from infection, a shield against internal injury and maintaining body temperature are just a few of its vital functions. When the skin begins bleeding from a wound, First Aid is vital, with further medical follow up if necessary for more severe cases.
While we trust this guide is helpful, nothing can take the place of our formal training. Practical wound treatment is a fundamental element of our First Aid Training Courses.
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