Bleeding can occur in all kinds of injuries. Whether it’s playing some kind of sport, in the kitchen cooking, a child playing or one of many other scenarios, accidents happen all the time. When one does occur we want to be prepared, we want to ensure that we know all there is to know about caring for the patient and treating the injury in the right manner. There are all kinds of external bleeding for instance a nose bleed, a cut from a kitchen knife, a cut or graze to the head as a result of a sports injury, or a more serious kind.
There are three types of external bleeding: Arterial, Venous, Capillary. Below is a guide that will help you to identify between them.
Arterial – This is a rapid bright red flow that may spurt, the cause of this is a very deep cut, laceration or puncture to the artery.
Venous – This is a rapid dark blood flow. The cause is a deep incision, avulsion or puncture of a vein.
Capillary – This is a slow, oozing blood flow. The cause is a light skin injury such as an abrasion or laceration.
How to treat an external bleed can be vital to the patience’s survival if the injury is a very serious one. Below is a step by step guide on what to look for, and how to treat an external bleed.
In the case of a severe bleed the correct procedure to follow is
1. Apply pressure to the bleed preferably over a pad and squeeze the edges of the wound together. Pressure should be firm and may cause slight discomfort to the patient. This will help to stem the flow and will help the blood to clot.
2. Raise and support the injured limb, again this will help to slow the flow of blood.
3. Lay the injured person down as this will help reduce the blood flow to the site and will also help to minimise shock.
4. Place a sterile dressing over the pad and bandage securely, too tight however can cause a problem with normal circulation.
5. If the bleed continues apply another bandage to the existing one.
6. Treat the injured person for shock.
7. In the case of a serious bleed get the injured person to a hospital
– Never attempt to pull out an object that has become embedded
– Never remove blood soaked bandages from a wound. Doing this may cause the bleeding to start up again
– Never give aspirin to someone with a severe bleed as this can cause increased bleeding
– Never apply a tourniquet. This can make bleeding worse and may even lead to tissue damage
No household, car, school, work place, sports club, gym or anywhere else for that matter, should be without a sports bag containing first aid kit equipment, as this is vital to help keep not only your patient safe but also yourself. All basic first aid kits should contain as a bare minimum
o Sterile swabs
o Nitrile or latex gloves
o Instant cold pack
o Crepe bandage
o Sterile dressing
o Triangular bandage
o Foil heat blanket
o Wound cleansing wipes.
So be prepared and make sure you are covered for every eventuality.