It is not the same to face a small injury, than to observe that a person is losing a significant amount of blood due to having suffered a serious injury of any kind
A superficial laceration will only require, in most cases, a series of hygienic measures, which avoid the risk of infection, and a cure that includes the application of the corresponding antiseptic. Very different is the situation of seeing a deep cut that causes heavy bleeding. Placing the injured person in the correct position and trying to stop the bleeding, without causing major damage, should be the objective of this first aid while the necessary help arrives if the case requires it.
Assess the seriousness of the situation
A hemorrhage occurs when a blood vessel breaks for some reason. The bleeding can be visible, that is, it can go outside, or it can take place inside the body itself, known as internal bleeding. In any case, it is a medical emergency, but in the face of which it is important to maintain serenity, thus helping to reassure the person who is suffering.
Sometimes it can be difficult to know how serious the situation is. In this sense, SAMUR Civil Protection (@SAMUR_PC) indicates, in its First Aid Guide, that in the face of blood loss it is important to make a first assessment general state of the accident and quickly call 112 if you notice any of the following symptoms:
- Pale skin and mucous membranes of the mouth or nose.
- Anxiety, rapid and rapid breathing
- Weak pulse
It will also be necessary to take into account any other possible abnormal symptoms indicating severity such as loss of consciousness or respiratory distress.
How to try to stop the bleeding
In the most serious cases, it is important to act quickly, putting some measures into practice. Stopping the bleeding is the priority objective, but unless you are a healthcare professional and know how to do it correctly, you should discard the idea of making a tourniquet, because far from helping, it could be dangerous. If a person is injured, first help them lie down or remain seated to avoid a possible fall.
Once this first safety measure is taken, to stop the outflow of blood, it is necessary to apply gauze, dressings, cloth handkerchiefs, as aseptic as possible, on the wound, pressing with fingers, hand and fist according to the type of injury. If those first cloths get soaked, a second layer must be applied, without removing the first, while still exerting enough pressure with the intention of plugging the blood outlet. Extreme hygiene during the maneuver is essential.
Whenever possible it is convenient elevate the affected limb to counteract the effect of gravity itself and also to help the blood stream continue to reach vital organs, especially the heart and brain. If the bleeding does not stop, a compression bandage, but in this case you must carefully observe the color of the skin that is just below it. Faced with a bluish or purple tone and also if there is a tingling sensation, it will be essential to loosen it.
If the victim is unconscious, you will need to call for urgent help and place her in security position, that is, lying on the side with one leg bent.
What you should not do, in any case, is to try to elevate a limb that presents deformity or a lot of pain when performing this movement. In addition, you will also have to adjust pressure on the wound to the intensity of pain manifested by the person who has suffered the accident. Finally, you have to remember that it is not advisable to give him food or drink some at those times.
It may happen that as a result of a blow or an acute process of an internal pathology, we observe that the blood flows to the outside, for example through the mouth, ears or nose. Unless you have medical knowledge, you will not be able to assess the damage that is occurring inside the body, so urgent healthcare is required. Even so, in these cases there are some first measures you can take, especially regarding what is the safest position to be adopted by those who suffer it. As examples, the SAMUR indicates the following:
- Nasal bleeding. It is advisable to remain seated, with the head slightly tilted forward and directly exerting pressure on the sides of the nose.
- Bleeding through the ear. It may indicate some type of injury to the head or the ear canal itself. In this case, do not plug the wound but to rest the head in a lateral position on the bleeding ear, monitoring the level of consciousness.
- Bleeding from the mouth. It can indicate ailments of different severity, from a small wound in the oral cavity, to hemorrhages of pulmonary or digestive origin in which urgent medical intervention is always necessary. In the first case, it will be necessary to try to stop the bleeding by applying dressings inside the mouth, remaining seated, in the same way as in the case of bleeding from the nose.