The loss of blood from the blood vessels is bleeding. Minor bleeding is not dangerous but severe or continued bleeding may lead to collapse and death. It is important to know the first aid steps to control severe bleeding.
Scientists believe that the total quantity of blood in the human body varies according to size. However, an adult can lose 500 ml of blood without any harm, but the loss of 300 ml might cause death in an infant.
Types of Bleeding
Bleeding may be:
- Internal or inside the body
- External or outside the body
The bleeding is said to be an internal one or inside the body bleeding, making the blood to come out from blood vessels or organs while the bleeding outside the body occurs when blood flows through vagina, mouth, or rectum or through an injury in the skin.
- The blood coming from an open wound
- Shock, which may cause any of the following symptoms:
- Confusion or decreasing alertness
- Clammy skin
- Dizziness or light-headedness after an injury
- Low blood pressure
- Paleness (pallor)
- Rapid pulse, increased heart rate
- Shortness of breath
- Symptoms of internal bleeding may also include:
- Abdominal pain and swelling
- Chest pain
- External bleeding through a natural opening
- Blood in the stool (appears black, maroon, or bright red)
- When you see blood in the urine (appears red, pink, or tea-colored)
- When you see blood in the vomit. The vomit appears bright red, or brown like coffee-grounds.
- Vaginal bleeding (heavier than usual or after menopause)
- Skin color changes that occur several days after an injury (skin may black, blue, purple, yellowish green)
First Aid Tips
- Seek emergency medical help for severe bleeding. It is important if the case is internal bleeding as bleeding in the interior body organs can be life-threatening and if immediate medical care is not given, there may be a repercussion.
- You need to understand that injuries that appear serious may not cause heavy bleeding but comparatively minor injuries as in the case of scalp wound can bleed a lot.
- However, in the cases of taking blood-thinning medication or having a bleeding disorder such as hemophilia, bleeding needs to be taken seriously and such people requires immediate medical attention.
- The first and foremost thing to do during external bleeding is to apply direct pressure that will mostly stop external bleeding.
- Be extra careful as the germs may infect your hands while giving first aid so ensure to wash your hands before and after giving first aid to someone who is bleeding to help prevent infection.
- Latex gloves may come handy and should be an essential when treating someone who is bleeding. For people who are allergic to latex can use a non-latex glove as a substitute. Remember that infected blood can cause viral hepatitis and even there is a risk of HIV if infected blood gets into an open wound, even a small one.
- Puncture wounds usually don't cause much bleeding but they carry a high risk of infection. So it is advisable to seek medical care to avert tetanus or other infection.
- Never take lightly the wounds on the abdominal and chest as these can be very serious, involving the possibility of severe internal bleeding. It is advisable to seek immediate medical care for any abdominal or chest wound.
- If your organs are visible through the wound, avoid to push them back into place. The first thing to do is to wrap or cover the injury with a moistened cloth or bandage.In order to stop bleeding, you need to apply very gentle pressure.
- You may see a change in skin color turning it black and blue (bruised) that is due to the blood loss. Use some cool compress to the injured area to reduce swelling. Take some ice wrapped in a towel and cover the injury with the towel instead of placing the ice directly on the skin.
- Though there may be many reasons, bleeding may be spontaneous can be caused by injuries. The type of spontaneous bleeding is most commonly linked to problems of joints, gastrointestinal or urogenital tracts.
- Ensure appropriate first aid for external bleeding. In case of Severe bleeding or internal bleeding or the condition when the person is in shock, get emergency help.Try to calm and reassure the person as some people may be frightened by the sight of blood.
- Always wash the wound with soap and warm water for the wounds that appear on the top layers of skin (superficial). The slow bleeding from these superficial wounds or scrapes is known as "oozing,"
- Next step is to lay the person down to reduce the chances of fainting and lying down helps to increase the blood flow to the brain. While doing this, raise up the part of the body that is bleeding.
- If you see any loose debris or dirt on the wound, remove it with a clean damp cloth.
- Avoid removing an object such as a knife, stick, or arrow that may be stuck in the body. In doing so you may inflict more damage and bleeding. Instead, place pads and bandages around the object and remember to cover the object in place.
- Direct pressure is the best option for external bleeding. Use sterile bandage, clean cloth, or even a piece of clothing to apply pressure directly on the outer wound.
- You may also do this directly with your hand if no other cloth is available. Use hands to maintain pressure until the bleeding stops. Wrap the wound with a piece of clothing or tape after the bleeding stops. Apply a cold pack over the dressing.Never peek inside to see if the bleeding has stopped.
- However, if the bleeding doesn't stop and seeps the cloth that is wrapped around the wound, then place another cloth over the first one and ask for medical help.
- In case of severe bleeding, seek medical help and ensure to take steps to prevent shock. Ensure to keep the injured body part still without moving it.
- Lay the person flat, raise the feet about 12 inches, and cover the person with a coat or blanket. DO NOT move the person if there has been a head, neck, back, or leg injury, as doing so may make the injury worse. Get medical help as soon as possible.