Do you know how to stop bleeding when you or someone accidentally gets cut or wounded? Learning emergency treatment measures is crucial as various incidents can happen that may cause injuries resulting in bleeding.
To learn first aid treatment, one doesn’t need to be a nurse or a doctor. Everyone must have basic knowledge and skill in stopping bleeding from cuts and wounds. You’ll never know when someone needs your help, especially your family and friends.
However, keep in mind that before administering any emergency treatments, it’s crucial to know how to identify its severity because, in some situations, it may be best to avoid administering first aid on your own. In these cases, immediately call your local emergency hotlines. This includes instances where you suspect internal bleeding, severe bleeding, or if blood spurts out of the wound.
Nevertheless, you must know first aid treatments because some situations may require you to provide first aid care while waiting for the emergency services to arrive. It allows you to provide assistance and prevent the situation from becoming worse.
This article provides helpful tips on stopping bleeding from some cuts and wounds. Read on.
Apply Direct Pressure
Applying direct pressure can help stop bleeding on cuts or wounds. Use a clean cloth, gauze, or tissue until the bleeding stops. You can use hemostatic gauze. This gauze has a medication that can help form blood clots quickly to prevent bleeding. Use hemostatic gauze to pack deep cuts on the torso or neck areas.
Don’t remove the materials when it gets soaked with blood. Otherwise, the bleeding will continue. Instead, apply more cloth, gauze, or tissues on top and continue applying direct pressure.
Use A Tourniquet If Direct Pressure Is Ineffective
If the bleeding doesn’t stop after applying direct pressure or if for some reason, you are unable to provide direct pressure to stop the bleeding, use a tourniquet. A tourniquet is a tight band used to stop the bleeding of a cut or wound, which is a must-have in first aid kits. First aid responders use tourniquets to control bleeding after a limb injury to prevent excessive blood loss. Emergency scenarios, such as deep cuts, gunshot wounds, and automobile accidents, necessitate tourniquets.
If you don’t have access to medical tourniquets, you can improvise during emergencies. One can assemble an improvised tourniquet using a triangular bandage and a windlass. You can also use belts, towels, shirts, and other tie-able items.
However, standard tourniquets aren’t always applicable in certain body areas. Hence, specially designed tourniquets for massive bleeding and fractures are necessary. For instance, a junctional tourniquet is designed to control bleeding in the axilla directly (under the shoulder joint) and inguinal (groin) areas. You should apply a junctional tourniquet for less than 25 seconds to help control bleeding and immobilize pelvic fractures. Look these up to find out more about junctional tourniquets.
Elevate The Wounded Area
If the wound or cut is on the arms or legs, elevate the limb above heart level. This can help reduce blood flow to the cut or wound. In addition, elevating the wounded body part can help fluid and blood flow away to reduce swelling, inflammation, and pain.
Make sure to continue applying direct pressure on the affected area if the blood continues to come out, and grab a clean cloth or gauze to help stop the bleeding. But remember that you must avoid raising the wounded body part for too long or too high. Doing so can intervene in the natural wound healing process.
Ice application on the cut or wound can help reduce blood flow. The ice’s low temperature can cause vasoconstriction or constriction of the blood vessels. When blood vessels constrict, blood clots form quickly, preventing bleeding.
You can wrap crushed ice or ice cubes in a clean, dry cloth. Place it on the cut or wound. However, you must only apply ice to an injury for 10-20 minutes at a time. Otherwise, tissue damage may occur due to prolonged ice application.
Apply Petroleum Jelly
One common home remedy to stop bleeding from minor cuts and wounds is applying petroleum jelly. Many skin products, including lip balms, contain petroleum jelly, a mix of waxes and oils to help protect the skin.
Boxing fans know that coaches apply petroleum jelly to open cuts to stop bleeding for the player to resume the fight quickly. Remember that petroleum jelly can only stop bleeding from shallow wounds and cuts. Make sure to wipe the skin dry and clean the cut or wound to remove any remaining petroleum jelly after stopping the bleeding.
Aside from halting bleeding of shallow wounds and cuts, petroleum jelly can help in proper wound care. Petroleum jelly can help with the faster recovery of injured skin. It keeps the wound moist and prevents drying and scab formation.
When To Call A Doctor
Aside from circumstances where you would need immediate assistance from emergency services, there will be instances where the injury and bleeding are manageable but still need a doctor’s checkup. That said, call a doctor when:
- There is numbness and redness around the deep cuts or wounds
- There is an indication of infection, such as swelling, purulent discharge, or fever
- The wound or cut bleeding is on the patient’s face
- The wound or cut is caused by an animal bite
Remember that the ultimate goal is to prevent further blood loss and other complications by applying direct pressure, raising the affected body part, or applying ice or a tourniquet. Hence, be careful when choosing the proper method and ensure you have basic first aid knowledge and skills before performing any emergency medical procedure. Otherwise, you can put a person’s life in more danger.