What to do if someone is bleeding severely
Injuries that cause severe bleeding can ultimately result in death if left untreated. But, as A&E doctor Saleyha Ahsan shows, if you just know a few simple steps, you can save someone’s life.
If you discover someone bleeding severely the first thing you should do is call for help. Then, you need to stop the bleeding, by following these simple steps.
- Apply direct pressure to the wound. Protect yourself by wearing disposable gloves if you can, and covering any wounds on your hands. Use a pad such as a clean cloth, t-shirt or a bandage to apply pressure to the wound. If you don’t have anything absorbent, just use your fingers. If there is a large object in the wound then don’t remove it. Apply pressure either side and then follow the steps below, taking care not to bandage too tightly.
- Raise the injured limb to help reduce the blood flow. Take extra care if you suspect it may be broken. Keep applying pressure to slow the blood flow.
- Bandage the wound with anything you have available. Keep tying the cloth around the wound until blood stops showing through. Be fairly firm but don’t tie it too tightly - you should be able to get a finger between the skin and the bandage.
- Lie the patient down to treat for shock. Blood loss can result in shock- a very dangerous medical condition caused by a lack of blood to the major organs. If the patient is suffering from shock they may become dizzy and faint or appear pale and sweaty. Their breathing may become shallow and fast. If you can, raise their legs to help the blood flow to the brain and heart. Keep them warm.