Cuts and Bleeding Control

Video 21 of 36
4 min 55 sec
Want to watch this video? Sign up for the course or enter your email below to watch one free video.

Unlock This Video Now for FREE

This video is normally available to paying customers.
You may unlock this video for FREE. Enter your email address for instant access AND to receive ongoing updates and special discounts related to this topic.

Before we look at cuts, it's worth just mentioning how blood is passing through your body. Your heart is beating. Now, your heart beats and pumps blood into the lungs and then it comes back from the lungs into the heart and then it's pumped out through your arteries. When it goes out through the arteries, the blood is under pressure. It's also a bright red, because it's oxygen rich. If you cut an artery, the blood would generally spurt or pulse and also it's very bright red. From there it will go through your body's organs and your body's tissues and capillaries. And a capillary cut would just be the sort of cut where if you look at it, it will bleed and it will stop on its own usually. It usually requires very little effort, so this blood just oozes out. Once it's gone through the organs and the capillaries, it's coming back into the heart. Oxygen has been taken out of the blood, so this blood is not under pressure and pulsing with the heartbeat as it's going back into the heart, so here we've got blood which is a darker red and also more of a steady flow.

Now, as far as the seriousness of these cuts, if you cut the capillaries, this is probably the least serious. With this, we can sometimes just put a plaster on, clean the wound up, or in some cases it's best just to leave it open. The more serious cuts are the artery and the venous. And with these we are dealing with a pressure dressing.

Okay, keep pressure on that. Keep it up. Above your head. That's it. Can you get the first aid kit for me, please?

To start with, we need to approach, we need to make sure we keep the scene safe. We don't want to get hurt by what's hurt the person. We need to make sure our gloves are on. We've got our first aid kit.

Putting some gloves on. Are you alright?


What was you doing?

I was just putting some rubbish in the bin. There must have been some broken glass in there. I was pushing it in.


So, what we are going to start with is have a look at the wound to make sure there's nothing actually stuck in there. Because what we don't want to do is put a dressing on and force something in.

Can't see any glass, so put pressure back on for me, please. Just keep it above your head.

If there is something in there we would leave it there and pad either side. Now, in this example we've just got someone with a serious cut, so what we need to do is look at it and the first thing we can get them to do is apply direct pressure. If you apply direct pressure, you will reduce the amount of blood coming out. And the next thing is to elevate the wound. By elevating, it cuts down the pressure, so direct pressure and elevating will reduce blood flow very, very quickly. The next thing is to apply the dressing. With your gloves on, take the pad, pop it over the wound, you can always get the patient to help you with this as well, and we are applying the dressing on what's called distally, which is furthest away from the heart. By applying it towards the fingers and then going up towards the elbow, then we are not going to trap any blood in the hands. You need to apply the dressing firmly, because we want to apply pressure, but we don't want it so tight it cuts off circulation. Once you've put the dressing on, you need to tie the bandage together, and do this away from the cut. If you push down a knot on top of the cut, all that's going to do is just open the wound up. Now, have a look at it once you've put it on. If blood is still coming through this dressing, then you're going to need to put another one on top and you put that on in exactly the same way.

If blood comes through the second dressing, then you need to make a decision. If it's just a small amount of blood, then that's going to be fine, it's not a problem. But if it's still coming through under pressure, then it may be that these dressings are not on tight enough, so what we need to do then is cut it away and start again. Now, if a bit of time's passed then we want to leave that first pad on, if possible. If it falls off, then it doesn't matter. Put a new one on. But if healing has already happened between that first pad and the wound, it may be best to leave that on. But all we can really say with this is use your judgment. Once you've got the dressing on there, we can leave the hand elevated. We've got pressure on this so you can just elevate it, or you can hold their hand up or just pop it in the sling. We pop the hand onto the shoulder and then we can apply the sling, which will hold the arm there comfortably.

The whole time we are doing this and we've got the dressing on, just doing what's called a capillary refill check. This is just where you squeeze your nail for round about five seconds, and when you let go within a couple of seconds you will find that the blood will circulate back. it will go white and then it will go back to its normal colour. This would indicate that there is blood flowing on that point and we haven't got the dressing too tight. Once you've got the person dressed up with the and protected, then we need to get them to the emergency services, or if it's a serious bleed, we may well need to call the emergency services. One thing that can happen with someone with any bleed is they can start feeling sick or dizzy. These can be indications of shock. Shock is a problem and it can be life-threatening. If you do have someone in shock, you need to lay them down, elevate their legs, keep them warm, and call the emergency services.