Getting injured in course of day to day life is more or less, inevitable. Sometimes, while working or playing , we often see ourselves and others getting injured resulting in bleeding. Knowing first aid such as how to control external bleeding is very important and everybody must know about this basic care. Read on to know more, who knows by staying aware, someday, you might be able to help somebody in need and might even pay a crucial part in saving somebody’s life. Remember, in emergency and accidental cases, every drop counts because, the more blood volume a person loses, the greater are the chances of him sinking or suffering from multiple organ damage due to a state of shock as a result of lesser blood in circulation.
First of all, let us get to know that bleeding is of basically three types, those being: arterial bleed, venous bleed and capillary bleed. Arterial bleed is Bright Red in colour and gushes out in spurts with each heartbeat. It is often the most difficult to-control, out of the lot. Venous bleeding occurs more slowly and is Dark Red in to Bluish colour and is more or less continuous in nature. It is relatively easy to control. Capillary bleeding oozes out and is easiest to control out of the three.
Also, it is worth mentioning that it might be a challenge for a lay man to control external bleeding in a high blood pressure patient or heart patients who are taking blood thinner pills.
- The first and the most commonly used way of controlling external bleeding is to apply pressure over the bleeding spot and applying firm pressure for five to ten minutes, continuously. This alone usually does the job. If the first pressure pack soaks up in blood, you may put an additional one over it and even tie a band-aid over the dressing. You should not remove the pack to check for bleeding repeatedly. The more undisturbed the wound remains, the better the chance of the bleeding to be stopped. This is to be done after you wash the hands and if situations and surroundings allow then wear Latex gloves. This is to make sure than there is no transfer of infection from one person to the other.
- In addition to the pressure pack, you may use certain agents that control bleeding effectively. These agents are known as styptics, the most commonly used ones are Povidone Iodine, fibrin packs and Tranexaemic Acid. These are readily available on drug stores.
- Tie a tight bandage over the bleeding part. Also, you can apply a tight bandage over the main artery or feeder vessel of the concerned region. As in, on wrist or elbow of the arm or near groin on the leg.
- Cold compress or applying Ice pack over the bleeding part after applying pressure pack further causes the bleeding vessels to constrict and further reduces bleeding.
- If the bleeding area is small then applying a substance called adrenaline locally also causes vasoconstriction and controls bleeding. If possible, raise the bleeding part above the heart level to decrease bleeding.
- Bleeding from mouth can be controlled with pressure packs as described above. In addition, one has to avoid hot and warm foods and avoid spitting and rinsing for 24 hours.
- In case of stab wound or the injuries inflicted by embedded objects, it is better not to try to remove the embedded over as it might do more harm than good and cause internal damage. Just apply pressure around the object and let an expert take care of the situation.
- Last but not the least, if bleeding is occurring from oral cavity or nasal cavity. Allow the patient to turn his head sideways, if he or she is lying, to allow the secretions to drain. This allows the airway to stay patent and proper breathing to take place.
There are additional methods like tying a Torniquet, suturing or stitching the wound and arterial clipping that are best taken up by a trained medical practitioner. The above described methods should control bleeding in most cases, if not seek medical help as soon as possible.