When it comes to an open wound with mild bleeding, the initial first aid measure aims to stop the bleeding. Majority of bleeding can be easily controlled with the application of direct pressure over the wound and elevation.
Steps to follow in order to control mild bleeding
Primarily, wash your hands thoroughly before performing the appropriate first aid measures. Wear latex gloves before touching the injured individual. In case the blood is spurting, you have to use a mask and protective glasses to prevent any contact.
Apply pressure and elevate
Once you have worn gloves and additional protective gear, you have to apply sterile gauze on the opening of the wound if it is wide and large. Apply direct pressure on the wound by pressing it with your hand. In case gauze is not available, you can use any clean fabric available.
Always maintain steady pressure on the wound for 5 minutes and then release the pressure slowly and check for bleeding. In most cases, the bleeding will stop within 2-5 minutes. The affected limb must be elevated above the level of the heart while applying pressure on the wound. Just make sure that there is no fracture.
Apply another layer of sterile bandages over the blood-soaked bandages. Do not remove the gauze that is already in place since it might interfere with the clotting process. In case the bleeding continues after 15-20 minutes of applying direct pressure, you have to apply pressure on the pressure points.
Once the bleeding has been controlled, you have to immobilize the affected limb with a splint. This is applicable for severe bleeding in order to prevent the bleeding from recurring. Clean and dress the wound to prevent infection from developing.
Important considerations when treating bleeding
- The best way to prevent the spread of infectious diseases is to apply direct pressure on the wound if possible.
- Always remember that infectious diseases such as hepatitis and AIDS can be easily transmitted through the exchange of bodily fluids. It is important to protect yourself while performing first aid measures by using gloves and a mask. If the blood is spurting, wear protective glasses or goggles. In case gloves, goggles or a mask is not available, you can improvise by covering your hand in a plastic bag while covering your mouth with a handkerchief and use sunglasses.
- Make sure that you will stop the bleeding right away since it can be fatal in just a few minutes even, especially in wounds that bleed profusely.
- The individual must be evacuated right away if the bleeding could not be controlled, wound is wide and large, a tourniquet is applied, wound that involves the face, hand, foot or a joint, wound involves an embedded object and if the skin or body parts are partially or completely injured or severed.