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Simple First Aid for Bleeding

Bleeding can take many forms and be anything from simple to being extremely serious and life-threatening, and the treatment for bleeding will depend on what is bleeding and how much bleeding is happening. First aid also depends on personal factors, especially medications the bleeder is taking. A first aid kit should be in every home and car for emergency situations. If the wound is severe, the person should be taken to the hospital for further care, but until then, there are some simple first aid steps that should be taken. Antiseptics are important cleaning tools that reduce the risk of infections in open wounds. Small bandages for minor cuts and long rolls should also be available in all first aid kits to close the wound immediately and protect it. Gloves, aspirin and scissors are other tools that may be used when in need of first aid.



Bleeding from a Minor Cut

These kinds of incidents are easily treatable with a first aid kit. Wash your hands, wear disposable gloves and then clean the wound with water, and make a clean sterile dressing, applying enough pressure to stop the bleeding. Hydrogen peroxide can be used initially to clean the wound of debris but after the initial cleaning, avoid hydrogen peroxide. Antibiotic ointments can be used if desired. If simple direct pressure fails to stop the bleeding, make an additional dressing over the one currently on the cut (never remove a dressing from a bleeding wound), and seek medical treatment.

Bleeding from a Major Wound

Apply direct pressure with a large clean dressing to prevent blood loss, and make the person bleeding raise the site over the level of the heart if possible, but do not apply a tourniquet. Do not remove any foreign objects from the wound if it is bleeding severely; also take care not to further imbed the object with over-vigorous direct pressure. Apply a second layer of bandage if the bleeding continues and seeps through the first layer of dressing. Apply pressure on the affected area, but not so much that the blood is unable to circulate. Seek medical help without delay.


A nosebleed can be mild or severe, and treatment depends on the cause of the nosebleed. If mild and non-traumatic (not struck with an object or fist in the face), pinch the nose just below the bony bridge and hold pressure has hard as you can for at least ten minutes. Also an ice pack to the nose may help, but do not lean back, that does not help the bleeding and may induce gagging, nausea, or vomiting. If after ten minutes, the bleeding does not stop, repeat the process and then seek medical attention if the nose is still bleeding. Do not put anything into the nose to stop the bleeding and after the bleeding is controlled, avoid blowing nose, sneezing, or picking nose.

If the nosebleed is caused from trauma, more manipulation can cause more damage and severe permanent injury, or in severe cases even death. Instead apply ice to the bridge of the nose, place a gauze dressing under the nose to catch the bleeding, and if severe, seek medical attention.

If the bleeding is coming from an orifice, vomiting blood, coughing blood, rectal bleeding, severe vaginal bleeding, then seek medical attention immediately; people do die from bleeding of this nature. Also, if the bleeder is on medications that can increase bleeding (Aspirin, Coumadin (warfarin), Plavix (clopidogrel) are the most common), seek medical treatment.

Bleeding cannot be avoided as someone goes through life, but it is not always bad, and can be managed, and frequently easily.

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