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August 6, 2018

Save a Life: Learn How to Stop Bleeding

Save a Life: Learn How to Stop Bleeding

According to experts at FrontLine ER every person should know what to do for someone who is severely bleeding. Knowing a few simple procedures, the same way people are taught CPR could save someone’s life until help arrives.

In this article, FrontLine emergency doctors enlighten you on how to recognise and respond to severe bleeding.

Most bleeding control methods are usually taught as part of first aid. However, some more innovative techniques such as tourniquets, are often used as the very last option or by medical professionals.

What Can Cause Severe Bleeding?

Hemorrhaging occurs where blood leaks from the regular circulatory system.  A situation which may arise due to a traumatic injury, an underlying medical condition, or a combination of both.

Traumatic injuries may include;

  • Concussions, skull fractures, and  scalp wounds
  • Gunshot wounds
  • Motor Vehicle Accidents
  • Industrial Injuries
  • Physical Assaults
  • Sports-related accidents

Medical Conditions such as;

  • Intravascular changes of the blood within vessels like blood pressure and clotting factors
  • Intramural differences that arise within the walls of blood vessels for instance aneurysms, dissections or, vasculitides
  • Extravascular changes that occur outside the blood vessels such as brain abscess or a brain tumour
  • Menstrual Problems
  • Threatened Abortion /Miscarriage

What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Bleeding?

To control severe bleeding, one must be able to recognise what severe bleeding looks like; this is according to FrontLine ER.  Internal injuries may be unidentified. However, some of the symptoms to look out for include;

  • Confusion, dizziness, or lightheadedness
  • Pain at the injured area
  • Rapid Pulse, increased heart rate and shortness of breath
  • Swollen and tight abdomen
  • Nausea and vomiting

Other external signs to look for are;

  • Blood gushing very quickly out of a wound
  • Clothing  heavily soaked through with blood
  • A large pool of blood spreading on the ground
  • Unusually heavy bleeding in pregnant women that is accompanied by  severe abdominal pain

What to Do In a Bleeding Emergency

Bleeding control are actions taken to control bleeding from a patient who has suffered a traumatic injury or is experiencing a medical condition that’s causing illness. It is essential first to identify the type of wound and the blood vessels affected to handle the situation with ease.

Wounds can be described according to size, thickness, how visible they are and whether they are chronic or acute. Lacerations, incisions, puncture, abrasion, avulsions, and amputations; involve sharp objects which penetrate the epidermis and damage the internal organs.

Blood vessels affected can originate from the arteries, veins, and capillaries. Damaged vessels cause a change in blood colour from red to blackish or yellowish due to high oxygenation.

  1. First, check for any surrounding danger before approaching the patient. Meanwhile, call an ambulance or send someone else to make the call. Lie the victim down and elevate their legs above the heart level. This is to control further haemorrhage.
  2. Next, put your hands on the wound and apply pressure.  Putting on a pair of nitrile or latex gloves would be ideal at this point. However, if there aren’t any available, try using a clean cloth as a barrier to eliminate the possibility of an infection. Apply pressure vigorously and continuously on the source of the bleeding, even if it means kneeling on the wound with your knee.
  3. For the head, neck, or large wounds, pack the wound with sterile gauze.  This means merely stuffing sterilised gauze or a clean cloth into the injury.  By adding more pressure, blood clots more quickly.
  4. If an object is stuck in the wound, do not attempt to remove it. Using a triangular bandage or a rolled cloth, apply pressure around the object without pushing it further.
  5. If the first dressing gets soaked up, do not remove, continue adding new padding over the top and secure with a bandage.
  6. Use tourniquet as a last resort.  A Tourniquet is a band that is tied tightly around a limb to restrict blood flow.  Their use in emergencies is mostly restricted and limited to professionals such as physicians and paramedics; except the military who carry a tourniquet as part of their first aid kit.  Problems are likely to arise during the ongoing treatment of the patient because improper use of tourniquets can fail to achieve enough force to compress the arteries of the limb adequately.  It could even end up increasing the bleeding by impairing blood circulation.

Bleeding is a primary cause of death and according to a survey, at least more than 35 per cent of patients who experience severe bleeding die before they get to the hospital.  Always remember, first aid cannot effectively manage or treat any internal or severe external bleeding. Seeking emergency medical help is vital. If you are in Richmond, TX or Dallas TX, please visit FrontLine ER for immediate and professional emergency care 24/7 or call our hotline at (281) 766-3811.

Emergency Care