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Control of Bleeding

By Justin Haagen on Jun 28, 2016 in Managing Medical Emergencies, Simple Life-Saving Skills

Bleeding Occurs When Tissues Are Damaged

Blood vessels are present throughout the body. Heavy bleeding is likely if a major blood vessel is damaged. Bleeding reduces the oxygen-carrying capacity of blood. Heavy or uncontrolled bleeding can quickly become life threatening. Arterial bleeding is bright red and will often spurt from a wound. It can be difficult to control due to the pressure created by heart contractions. If dark red and flowing steadily, blood is likely coming from a damaged vein. Bleeding from a vein can be heavy.

Regardless of the source, all heavy bleeding must be controlled as soon as possible

Clot-forming fibers naturally collect at a wound site to create a patch to stop bleeding. Severe bleeding can overwhelm this process and prevent clotting from occurring.

Bleeding exposes the provider to potentially infectious body fluids. Always use protective barriers, such as disposable gloves, to protect both you and the injured person. Continuous firm and direct pressure applied to a wound is the best method for controlling external bleeding.

First Aid for Bleeding

Apply a Pressure Bandage. Wrap a roller gauze or elastic bandage around limb and over injury to provide continuous pressure to the wound. Include enough pressure to control bleeding. Avoid wrapping so tight that skin beyond bandage becomes cool to touch, bluish, or numb. Make sure a finger can be slipped under bandage once applied

If bleeding continues and if blood soaks through pad, apply another pad, leaving initial pad in place. Apply more pressure with palm of hand.

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