When in an emergency, quick thinking and properknowledge can make a tremendous amount of difference in the outcome.
If the bleeding is severe, it can cause blood loss sufficient enough to cause death in less than five minutes. Uncontrollable bleeding is the most common cause of preventable death from trauma. Knowing how to stop bleeding can help you save a life.
Ensure your safety
The first step is to always ensure your safety before proceeding to help the victim. After observing the scene, if it is safe, provide care to the injured person. If your safety is compromisedat any point, attempt to remove yourself from the scene and if possible, try to remove the injured person from danger to a safer area. If available, protect yourself from blood-borne infections with the help of gloves. Try to avoid direct contact with the patient’s blood or other bodily fluids.
Notify emergency services
Call 9-1-1 yourself or ask someone to do it. Make sure that you notify the emergency medical responders, sothat arrive as soon as possible for the well-being of the patient.
Identify any life-threatening bleed
First localize the site of bleeding, identify the part from which it is bleeding. If necessary, remove clothing from that area to better visualize the bleed. By removing the clothing,any hidden or covered injuries or bleeding will be revealed. Try to observe the nature of bleeding and identify any life-threatening injury. If an artery is injured, blood spurts out from the vessels, andif it is a venous blood vessel, it generally trickles or oozes out from the site, pooling around the person.
Clues to identify the life-threatening bleed:
Blood that is spurting out of the wound, possibly an arterial blood
Bleeding heavy enough to soak the clothes and bandages
Blood loss severe enough to cause dizziness or loss of consciousness
Blood pooling around the victim
Bleeding from an amputated limb
Apply direct pressure to the wound
Apply firm pressure over the wound. If a trauma first-aid kit is not available, cover the wound with a clean cloth and apply pressure over it. If the bleeding is severe, it is not prudent to waste precious time looking for a suitable cloth. Be ready to use your hand to apply pressure over the wound directly.
Trauma first-aid kits contain the necessary equipment and products to control bleeding and achieve homeostasis effectively. Its contents include a marker, two pairs of gloves, a tourniquet, an emergency bandage, a pair of trauma shears and two rolls of gauze primed with clotting agents and instructions on usage.
If a trauma kit is available and in case of a life-threatening injury of arm or leg, the tourniquet is applied about two inches above the site of active bleeding. A tourniquetcauses compression of the blood vessel and a decrease in pressure of blood flowing through the vessel, thereby stopping the bleed.
In case of bleeding arising from areas other than the arm or leg where the applicationof a tourniquet is not possible, a sterile gauze dressing or a gauze primed with medicine can be used to cover the wound. Then pressure is applied over the wound. If the wound is large and deep, gauze can be stuffed into the wound and pressure is applied with both hands directly over it. It won't be possible for the blood to form a clot while it is actively bleeding. Make sure to apply pressure for a duration long enough to allow blood to form a clot to stop the bleeding.
Elevate the injured area
Raise the injured part, preferably above the level of the heart to decrease blood flow to the injured area.
Do not remove any embedded foreign body
If an object is embedded in the tissues, trying to remove it may cause more bleeding or damage to nearby vessels. In such a case, apply the dressing in a fashion to provide support, avoiding pressure on the foreign body, holding it firmly in place.
Provide complete rest
Even if only a part of the body is injured, immobilize the patient completely and provide complete rest to provide a chance for the blood to clot and control bleeding.
Blood leaks through the bandage
In case there is blood leaking through the bandage or dressing, remove the old bandage and apply a new one using a fresh and bulky material like a tea towel for dressing. Continuous bleeding may be due to slipping of the first bandage, leading to insufficient pressure.
Other home remedies
Ice: It is a well-known fact that ice helps to reduce bleeding. Ice helps to reduce any dental bleeding or bleeding from injuries. Wrap ice cubes in gauzeor clothand apply firmly over the bleeding site.
Tea: Tannins in caffeinated tea also help to stop bleeding. Decaffeinated tea or herbaltea is not helpful for this purpose. You can press a tea bag against the bleeding site to help stop the bleeding.
Turmeric powder: This is a great herbal remedy that has antibiotic properties and also the ability to stop bleeding. It has to be directly appliedover the injury site. Although it is exceptional in reducing bleeding, it may cause a burning sensation when applied directly to the site of bleeding.
Vitamin C powder with zinc lozenges: sprinkling vitamin C powder on the bleeding site and sucking on the Zinc lozenges also help to stop bleeding.