Bleeding – how to help


Knowing how to help somebody who is wounded and bleeding is a vital first aid skill.  You might find yourself dealing with this sort of situation at work or at home, or even when you are out and about with friends and family.  We have put together a quick 8-step guide to dealing with severe bleeding, so should the worse happen you’ll know what to do :

1. Expose the wound – move or cut the casualty’s clothing so that you can see the wound clearly. You might need to use scissors to do this, but remember to keep the casualty informed about what you are doing.

2. Press onto the wound – if there is no object stuck in the wound then apply direct pressure to the wound.  You could do this with you hand or even get the casualty to do this with their own hand.  Keep the pressure on, even though this might be uncomfortable for the casualty.

3. Keep them still – keep the casualty still and avoid moving them.  If the casualty starts walking or moving then bleeding might increase as the heart rate increases.

4.  Raise the wound – if possible raise the wound.  By raising the wound above the casualty’s heart you will reduce the blood flow to the wound.

5. Keep pressing onto the wound – you can do this with a dressing from your first aid kit. Open the dressing from its sterile packet and place the pad over the wound, then wrap the bandage round the casualty’s limb so that the pad is pressed onto the wound tightly.

If blood soaks through then apply another dressing over the top of the first one.  If you haven’t got a first aid kit then you can improvise with clean, non fluffy material such as a t-shirt, shirt or sheet.

6. No food or drink – don’t give the casualty anything to eat or drink, even if they are thirsty. Food or drink can cause complications if the person needs an anesthetic later, as well as causing a choking hazard.

7. Call the experts -send for an ambulance or other medical help.  Anybody with severe bleeding needs urgent medical assistance.

8. Stay with them – keep looking after the casualty while you are awaiting help. Wrap them up with a blanket or coat etc. to keep them warm.

Remember nothing can replace going on a course and having a hands-on practice under the guidance of a professional instructor. All our first aid courses cover how to deal with serious bleeding.

 

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