What to Do in a Medical Emergency (Profuse Bleeding)

17 Aug

When someone has a severe wound, you should find out exactly where the blood is coming from and assess how badly the cut is bleeding. “You may have to remove clothing if there’s a lot of blood, in order to see the source,” Ganti says.

It’s no longer recommended you elevate the bleeding limb. It’s more important to put firm, direct pressure on the wound (which is hard to do if it’s raised). If possible, put the person (or injured area)  on a hard surface and use the palm of your hand to apply heavy, direct pressure to the wound. If you’re concerned about infection and don’t have gloves handy, Singletary recommends placing a plastic bag or layer of plastic wrap between your hand and the cut.

If pressure does not help stem the flow of blood, you may need a tourniquet. “If you don’t have a first aid kit with a tourniquet, you can improvise,” says Ganti. “A leather belt, a scarf, a bungee cord-anything you can wrap around the limb and tighten.” Place it 2 inches above the cut and tighten it until it compresses the artery and stops the bleeding.

Source: Consumer Reports on Health August 2018  Latha Ganti, M.D., a processor of emergency medicine and neurology at the University of Central Florida College of Medicine in Orlando, Florida. and Eunice Singletary, M.D.,  a member of the American Red Cross Scientific Advisory Council and a clinical associate professor of emergency medicine at the University of Virginia Health System in Charlottesville, Va.

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