Blood carries vital oxygen to organs throughout the body. An injury to an artery or a vein can cause severe blood loss that can have life-threatening consequences. Make sure that you know how to treat severe bleeding and that you have necessary supplies on hand.
Effects of Severe Blood Loss
The human body can lose a small amount of blood without suffering ill effects, but losing a large quantity of blood can lead to shock. A person who is in shock may experience an altered state of consciousness and may be confused or dizzy. The victim may have a fast and weak pulse and skin that is pale or bluish, cold, and clammy. The patient may be sleepy, restless, or irritable and may experience excessive thirst, nausea, or vomiting.
What to Do If Someone Suffers Severe Bleeding
- Remove clothing if necessary so you can examine the wound. If you see an object, such as broken glass, in the wound, don’t try to remove it. That could cause more damage and make the bleeding even worse. It’s critical to take action as quickly as possible to minimize the loss of blood.
2. If you have a first aid kit, place a bandage over the wound and tape it in place or hold it by applying pressure with the palm of your hand. If there is an object in the wound, be careful not to press on it. If the bandage gets soaked in blood, put a second bandage on top. If you don’t have access to a first aid kit, use a towel or an article of clothing to control the bleeding. When dealing with an open wound, the key is to apply direct pressure.
3. Wear gloves if you have them. If not, find another way to create a barrier so you don’t get exposed to the victim’s blood. You may be able to wrap your hands in towels or plastic bags, for example.
4. If a limb is injured, raise it above the level of the victim’s heart. If you have reason to believe that the person is in shock, lay the individual down and elevate the legs to promote blood flow to vital organs. A tourniquet can also control severe bleeding and save a life. You should only apply a tourniquet if you have been trained in how to do so.
5. Have someone call an ambulance.
Continue to apply direct pressure to the wound until first responders arrive. Tell emergency personnel what happened, how long the victim has been bleeding, and how long a tourniquet has been in place, if you used one. Keep blood-soaked bandages and towels so first responders can estimate how much blood the victim has lost.
Be Prepared for an Emergency
You never know when an injury, such as a severe cut, may occur. That’s why it’s important to be prepared. If you don’t already have a first aid kit with bandages, gloves, and other essential supplies at your home or business, order one today from 1st Aid Supplies.