Get emergency medical help for severe bleeding. This is very important if you think there is internal bleeding. Internal bleeding can very quickly become life threatening. Immediate medical care is needed.
Serious injuries don't cause heavy bleeding. Sometimes, relatively minor injuries can bleed a lot. An example is a scalp wound.
You may bleed a lot if you take blood-thinning medication or have a bleeding disorder such as hemophilia. Bleeding in such people requires immediate medical attention.
The most important step for external bleeding is to apply direct pressure. This will stop most external bleeding.
Always wash your hands before (if possible) and after giving first aid to someone who is bleeding. This helps prevent infection.
Try to use latex gloves when treating someone who is bleeding. Latex gloves should be in every first aid kit. People allergic to latex can use a nonlatex glove. You can catch viral hepatitis if you touch infected blood. HIV can be spread if infected blood gets into an open wound, even a small one.
Although puncture wounds usually don't bleed very much, they carry a high risk of infection. Seek medical care to prevent tetanus or other infection.
Abdominal and chest wounds can be very serious because of the possibility of severe internal bleeding. They may not look very serious, but can result in shock.
- Seek immediate medical care for any abdominal or chest wound.
- If organs are showing through the wound, do not try to push them back into place.
- Cover the injury with a moistened cloth or bandage.
- Apply only very gentle pressure to stop the bleeding.
Blood loss can cause blood to collect under the skin, turning it black and blue (bruised). Apply a cool compress to the area as soon as possible to reduce swelling. Wrap the ice in a towel and place the towel over the injury. Do not place ice directly on the skin.