If you ever find yourself in a situation where severe or life-threatening bleeding is occurring, the first and most important thing to do is seek medical assistance. If the bleeding is life-threatening, contact 000. Here at First Aid Accident & Emergency, we regularly teach our first aid students about the most accurate and up-to-date ways to deal with a wide range of emergency medical scenarios. One of these scenarios is how to best manage severe and life-threatening bleeding.
To properly learn the best techniques to handle severe bleeding, we recommend you consider booking yourself in for one of our many first aid and CPR courses. To help you in the meantime, our team of first aid specialists have put together a simple summary of some things to remember when managing severe and life-threatening bleeding.
What to do if there’s severe bleeding:
Whenever you’re managing bleeding (minor or severe) you should always ensure that you’re first wearing gloves. This is for the safety of both you and the patient. The word to remember when managing any kind of bleeding is pressure. Applying pressure to the wound by using a clean bandage or pad is essential. Another important tip is to raise the injured part of the patient’s body and try to restrict movement—this will help to slow down the blood loss.
Next will come time to clean the wound and apply the dressing and bandage. Always ensure you clean the wound with sterile saline or rinse with clean water before applying the dressing. It’s recommended that you use a clean and non-adherent dressing that extends roughly 2cm past the edges of the wound. Finally, secure the dressing with a bandage.
In the event that the severe bleeding is life-threatening, for example, if a limb has been amputated or the patient has been attacked by a shark, the use of a tourniquet could be very useful. The purpose of the tourniquet is to minimise the flow of blood to the wound so that the patient doesn’t start losing too much blood.
What NOT to do if there’s severe bleeding:
When it comes to the management of severe bleeding, some things that you should avoid doing include:
- Don’t remove a foreign object from the patient (such as a knife) because this could be plugging the wound and preventing even more bleeding from occurring.
- Only use a tourniquet in situations where there is life-threatening bleeding, such as a limb amputation.
- Avoid using any kind of “home remedies” like vinegar or cinnamon.
- Don’t touch the dressing surface that will be applied to the wound. Always try to keep everything as clean and sterile as possible to prevent infection.
Want to learn more about the management of severe bleeding?
Contact the specialists at First Aid Accident & Emergency for more information or book in for one of our first aid and CPR courses today. Our fully qualified team provides highly informative and fun training sessions. We even come to workplaces across the Gold Coast and Brisbane for onsite first aid training.
If you really want to ensure you’re prepared for a medical emergency—we also recommend you consider purchasing a defibrillator. Check out our online shop today that’s stocked with a wide range of defibrillators and defibrillator packs.
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