This newsletter continues a review of circulatory first aid
care. Last month I covered first aid for fainting. This month
I will cover first aid for bleeding. When anyone who is not a
trained medical individual helps someone there is no
liability involved. So please help one another as God
Remember that the first thing to do is assess the situation for
safety to you and the victim. Ask the victim if you can help.
Then protect yourself with gloves, which are available in all
first aid kits. Have the victim tell you what happened. Help
the victim to sit down or recline if he or she is willing. If
you assess that you cannot control the bleeding, call 911 or
ask someone else to do so while you care for the victim.
Look at the person who is bleeding. Assess how the
bleeding started. If there is broken glass or a knife in the
area, move the cause of the problem to a safe place. If the
cut was caused by a machine, turn the machine off.
A superficial wound with a small amount of bleeding can be
cleaned with soap and water and bandaged. Bandages are in
all the first aid kits. Look for clearly marked signs to direct
you to the kits. If the bleeding is profuse, apply pressure to
the wound with gauze from the first aid kit or any clean
material available. Elevating the wound above the heart will
help to stop the bleeding. When bleeding is very great, you
have to continuously apply pressure to the wound until
EMT’s (emergency medical technitions) arrive. Sometimes
an object is embedded in the wounded area, never apply
pressure or remove the object causing the bleeding, simply
place a sterile dressing around the wound and call 911.
If the victim had only a minor cut or abrasion, returning to
normal activities is allowed after assessing that safety is
guaranteed. It may be helpful to apply a pressure dressing to
the wound. This is a dressing that has a wad of gauze fixed
over the wound with tape holding it in place. The victim
could need stitches or further medical care when the cut
seems to hang open or if the bleeding won’t stop.
When 911 is called, wait for the emergency personnel to
take over care. Stay with the victim until a person who is
trained in emergency care takes over. If there is a blood
spill, clean it up with a chlorine bleach and water solution. It
is normal to be nervous in emergency situations but try to
reassure the victim and get help.