Serious Bleeding and Bandaging

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Controlling Bleeding: First Aid Guidance

Understanding Bleeding

Bleeding Sources: Injuries can lead to bleeding from various body parts, posing a life-threatening and distressing situation for both the patient and the first aider.

Staying Calm and Taking Action

Maintain Composure: When faced with bleeding, remain calm and rely on your training, as it may appear worse than it is.

First Step: Ensure you are wearing gloves, as with all first aid procedures.

Controlling Serious Bleeding

Direct Pressure: The initial approach to control serious bleeding is applying direct pressure. This can be done by the patient or with your gloved hand, which aids in blood clotting.

Pressure Bandage: For cuts, consider using a sterile pressure bandage. Check the dressing's expiry date and, if expired, use it only if no other option is available.

Opening the Dressing: Tear open the packet to access the bandage with a gauze pad. Avoid removing embedded objects from the wound.

Applying the Dressing

Immediate Action: If possible, ask the patient to apply direct pressure with a sterile gauze pad while you put on gloves.

Patient Position: Seat or lay the patient down, minimizing the risk of injury in case of fainting.

Calling for Help: If the bleeding is severe, instruct a bystander to call for an ambulance. If alone, make the call after dressing application.

Proper Dressing Application: Apply the dressing distally (away from the heart) towards the body, maintaining enough pressure to stop bleeding without obstructing circulation.

Leakage: If blood seeps through the first dressing, remove it, assess the wound, and apply a fresh dressing. This indicates a serious bleed requiring immediate medical assistance.

Arm Sling: Once bleeding is stable, immobilize the arm using a sling if applicable.

Circulation Check

Monitoring: After dressing application, check circulation by testing for capillary refill, especially if the dressing is on an arm.

General Bleeding Cases

Body Cuts: Similar procedures apply to any other type of cut. Use a dressing pad for direct pressure or secure it with a bandage if possible.

Addressing Shock

Shock Concern: In cases of serious bleeding, watch for signs of shock. If shock occurs, lay the patient down and elevate their legs if feasible.