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Steps To Take If Someone Is Severely Bleeding
When someone is bleeding severely, it can be distressing and traumatic to others at the scene, but it is essential that proper steps are taken in order to stem the flow of blood and to make the person more comfortable and stable. If proper steps are not taken, the person can lose a drastic amount of blood in a short time, which may in turn lead them to become unresponsive or develop symptoms of shock, which is a life-threatening condition.
1. Wash your hands if possible
This may well not be the first thing on your mind, but it is absolutely essential before dealing with open wounds or other injuries with a high risk of infection. Washing your hands thoroughly will avoid any pathogens passing between either you or the injured person.
2. Call for help when face the bleeding
If there are other people around you, call them over for assistance and immediately dial for medical help because you’ll need this as soon as possible.
3. Evaluate the person using ABCDE
- Airways: Is there anything obstructing the persons airways? Are they bleeding from their nose or mouth?
- Breathing: Are they breathing properly? Is their chest rising and falling at a normal rate? Do they require oxygen?
- Circulation: Check the person’s pulse, do they have proper circulation?
- Disability: Check for signs of brain trauma, are their pupils dilated? Are they conscious?
- Environment/exposure: Do they have other injuries or is the environment that they are in putting them at further risk? Are they protected from extremes of heat and cold? Are their clothes restricting them?
4. Keep the injured person safe
You shouldn’t attempt to move the person unless absolutely necessary and, if so, the injured part of the body must remain immobile. If you’re in a road, try making a barrier with your body and direct traffic around them so the person is not in any danger.
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5. Clean the wound
If possible, remove any dirt or debris from the site of the wound in order to prevent infection. Do not remove larger foreign objects that may be embedded in the wound as this can make the bleeding worse. Also do not attempt to push on anything embedded in the wound either.
5. Apply pressure to the wound
Using a sterile cloth or bandage when possible, press onto the wound directly at the site of the bleeding. If you have nothing sterile in the vicinity, then use your hands. Keep the pressure maintained without removing it to check on the bleeding as this can disrupt the formation of blood clots which will stop the bleeding.
6. Cover the wound
Using the bandage or other material you have on hand, cover the wound using anything you can to secure it in place. However, be sure not to tie or attach anything too tightly as this in turn could cut off the circulation. The bandage should only be tight enough to stay in place and apply some pressure to the wound.
7. Elevate the wound
Any bleeding wound, as long as it does not appear to be broken, should be raised so that it is above the heart. This will stop blood rushing to it so intensely, slowing down the bleeding. A good option is to use a chair or another large, stable object if one is not available.
8. Keep the person comfortable until help arrives
Once you’ve followed all the above steps, your task is to keep the person as comfortable as possible until medical assistance arrives. Ensure they are not too hot or too cold, apply more dressing to the wound if necessary (do not remove any blood-soaked dressing as this can make the bleeding worse, simply apply more layers if necessary), if they are able to, keep the person talking, and ask them about any medication they take or medical conditions they have in case you need to relay this information to the medics once they arrive.
Above all, when treating a person with severe bleeding you must remain calm and logical following these steps wherever you can. It can be an extremely distressing situation, but by focusing on stopping the bleeding, you’re doing the best you can until medical help arrives.