(MENAFN - Arab News) External bleeding refers to cases where blood can be seen coming from an open wound. Most minor injuries can bleed extensively but are not life threatening. The sight of blood can create an increased emotional response from people, but with a few simple steps external bleeding can be controlled.
External bleeding refers to cases where blood can be seen coming from an open wound. Most minor injuries can bleed extensively but are not life threatening. The sight of blood can create an increased emotional response from people, but with a few simple steps external bleeding can be controlled.
External bleeding can be categorized into three types: Arterial, venous and capillary.
Arterial bleeding is the most severe, as it is blood coming from the high-pressure side of the heart. Arterial bleeding can be recognized by its spurting action each time the heart contracts. This makes it very difficult to control, and a large amount of blood can be lost in a short amount of time.
Venous bleeding flows steadily and is not affected by the pulsation of the heart. As it is on the return side of the heart, it is under less pressure. Venous bleeding is generally easier to control and usually less life threatening then arterial.
Capillary bleeding oozes from a wound steadily but slowly. It is the most common type of bleeding and the easiest to control. It is not life threatening.
The steps for bleeding control are the same, no matter which condition you are treating. Follow these simple guidelines for each condition:
1. Protect yourself from disease by wearing latex gloves. If gloves are not available, any material such as a zip lock bag or plastic wrap can be used to create a barrier between you and the victim's blood;
2. Expose the wound by removing or cutting away clothing;
3. Place a dressing such as a sterile gauze pad or a clean piece of cloth over the wound and apply direct pressure;
4. If the victim is bleeding from an arm or leg, elevate the injured area above the heart level to reduce blood flow to the area;
5. Wrap the dressing with a roller bandage or tie a piece of cloth over the dressing and tighten securely over the injury. Be careful not to tighten too much and restrict blood flow to the extremity;
6. If blood soaks through the dressing, do not remove it. Place another dressing over the site and repeat the steps.
Dealing with a bleeding patient can be stressful. Remember that if you follow a systematic approach to bleeding control, you will generally be successful in helping the victim. Remember to call 997 if the bleeding is arterial in nature or extensive.
Kenneth D'Alessandro is EMS Program Adviser at the office of the Director General of EMS Administration, Saudi Red Crescent Authority.