Cuts and Bleeding Control

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Managing Cuts and Serious Bleeding: First Aid Guide

Understanding Types of Bleeding

Before addressing cuts, it's important to understand how blood circulates through the body. This includes differentiating between arterial and capillary bleeding.

Arterial Bleeding

If an artery is cut, blood spurts or pulses and is bright red due to high oxygen content.

Capillary Bleeding

Capillary cuts result in oozing blood, often with a darker colour, as blood returns to the heart without pulsation.

Dealing with Serious Bleeding

When faced with a serious cut or bleeding, immediate action is crucial.

Initial Steps

  • Assess the Scene: Ensure safety for both yourself and the injured person.
  • Prepare: Wear gloves and retrieve your first aid kit.

Applying Pressure Dressing

  • Direct Pressure: Press firmly on the wound to reduce blood flow.
  • Elevate the Wound: Raise the affected area to reduce blood pressure.
  • Apply Dressing: Place a sterile pad over the wound, wrapping towards the heart to avoid trapping blood in the extremities.
  • Secure: Tie the bandage away from the wound site, ensuring it's firm but not constricting circulation.

Monitoring and Reassessment

Check the dressing for any signs of continued bleeding. If bleeding persists, apply additional dressings.

Signs of Shock

Watch for symptoms such as nausea, dizziness, or weakness, which could indicate shock. If present, take immediate action:

  • Lay the person down
  • Elevate their legs
  • Keep them warm
  • Call emergency services

Perform a capillary refill check to ensure circulation is not compromised.

When to Seek Medical Assistance

If bleeding is severe or persists despite first aid, seek immediate medical attention.