Bleeding occurs when blood escapes the vessels. Blood provides nutrients and oxygen for different parts of our body, so naturally, if severe bleeding continues, we would not be able to live. In this section, we will discuss various methods by which you can control bleeding effectively.
Types of hemorrhage:
1. External bleeding
All of us have experienced external bleeding in our lives. External bleeding usually occurs as a result of damage to the skin. In this case, blood exits from the vessels and leaves the body through the wounds.
2. Internal bleeding
The second type is internal bleeding in which blood enters into the body cavity. Internal bleeding is more dangerous than external bleeding because it is more difficult to identify.
For example, people who do not have any apparent damage after an accident, usually do not seek medical attention. So, it is possible that an apparently healthy individual dies suddenly due to internal bleeding. For this reason, it is necessary that all individuals who have been in a car accident, seek medical evaluation as soon as possible.
Signs of internal bleeding
Vomiting blood or blood in spit, bleeding from a bodily orifice (such as mouth, nose, ears, and rectum), appearance of bruising, abdominal pain or swelling, cold and pale skin, excessive thirst, too much sweating, shallow breathing, and loss of consciousness.
Blood may contain different kinds of infections, which can be transmitted when you want to help someone else. So, you should always avoid contact with the victim’s blood and other body fluids. When contact is necessary, you should wear protective gloves before giving first aid. If gloves are not available, put your hands inside plastic bags, instead.
Additionally, washing your hands with soap and water can effectively reduce the risk of transmission of infection.
How to stop a small cut from bleeding?
In order to stop bleeding, the best way is to apply direct pressure to the wound. Besides, smearing a thin layer of Vaseline can quickly stop bleeding in minor cuts. White vinegar can be used to disinfect wounds and stop bleeding, too.
Urinating on the wound is an old method for cleaning the wound and bleeding control. Though, it increases the risk of infection and should be avoided.
How to treat a deep cut?
Sometimes, large cuts result from the penetration of an object into the body. When you want to control the bleeding of huge cuts, you should first clean the wound from sand, foreign objects or any other dirt. Though, if an object is penetrated inside the wound, you should never try to remove it, as it makes bleeding worst. In this case, you should put some streel gauzes around the wound, and be careful that no pressure is on the object and does not push it further inside, then move the victim to the hospital.
As we mentioned above, the best way to control bleeding is to insert direct pressure on the wound. When there are large cuts, you should bandage the wound to provide sufficient pressure. If the victim has a sense of coldness, itching or tingling, or if the nail bed’s color does not return after pressure is removed, the bandage is too tight.
If it is not possible to bandage the wound, press the sterilized gauze by hand over the wound. But you should not exert any pressure on injured head or eye. Never lift sterile gauze to see whether bleeding has stopped, as this disturbs blood clots. If bleeding continues and soaks the gauze, don’t take it off but put more gauze pads on top of it.
Do not move the injured person until bleeding is controlled. If it is absolutely necessary to move the victim, stabilize the damaged area first.
How to stop heavy bleeding?
Blood flows inside the vessels because the heart pumps blood into the vessels. If we raise a limb above the heart level, blood flows with lower pressure into that limb. So, if bleeding continues despite all of your efforts, you should raise the injured limb above heart levels. However, you should only use this technique when you are sure there is no fracture in the limb.
What is a tourniquet?
The tourniquet is a medical device that can stop blood flow to the limb. Some people believe that you should tie the tourniquet above the wound to completely stop blood flow. If you stop the blood circulation for long periods of time, it may lead to permanent damage to the limb. So, the use of the tourniquet is not recommended if you have not received specialized training. However, if you cannot stop bleeding by applying direct pressure or raising the limb and there is a possibility of death due to severe bleeding, you can use a tourniquet as the last option.
How to stop a nosebleed?
To stop a nosebleed, pinch your nose for 10 minutes. It is better to sit down and lean forward a little. This position prevents blood from entering the stomach that may lead to vomiting. This position also reduces blood pressure in the nose and helps stop the bleeding.
Additionally, as a natural remedy, lemon juice is very effective to stop nose bleeding. Trickle few drops of lemon juice on a clean tissue paper and put it inside your nose. When bleeding has stopped, you should not blow your nose too hard for a few days.
When to see a doctor for bleeding?
In many cases, bleeding can be controlled by the above-mentioned methods and you do not need to see a doctor. However, in the following cases, it is necessary to visit a doctor:
• If the wound shows a sign of infection such as redness, severe pain, and watery discharge
• If the wound is dirty and more than five years have passed since your last tetanus shot
• The wound on vital body parts such as head and face
• If it is a very deep and wide wound
• Wounds from animal bites
• If the foreign body gets stuck in a wound
• Numbness around the wound
• Failure to control bleeding in 15 minutes
Management of amputation
If a limb has been cut off, wrap the severed part in a clean, damp gauze, place it in a plastic bag, seal the bag, place it in ice-cold water and get the limb to the hospital with the patient. There should be a little air inside the plastic to protect the limb against pressures.