Techniques to Stop Severe Bleeding
Severe bleeding of an open wound can usually be controlled by pressing with the palm of one hand to compress of cloth over the entire area of the wound. A thick pad of sterile gauzes is preferable, but any soft clean cloth can be used in an emergency. Ever unclean material can be used, but only if nothing better is immediately available.
In an emergency in the absence of compresses, the bare hand or fingers may be used; but only until a compress can be applied. Don’t disturb the blood clots that from in the cloth. If blood soaks through the entire compress, do not remove it; add thicker layer of cloth and continue direct pressure.
The reason for applying hand pressure directly is to prevent loss of blood from the body without interfering with normal-blood circulation. The first-aider is handicapped in carrying out other emergency care, and if such care is necessary, the compress should be secured in place by a pressure bandage.
Unless there is evidence of a fracture, or severely bleeding open wound of the head, neck, arm, or leg should be elevated – that is raised above the level of the victim’s heart. Elevation uses the force of gravity to help reduce the blood pressure in the injured area and thus aids in slowing down the loss of blood through the wound opening. However, direct pressure on a thick pad over the wound must be continued.
Pressure on the Supplying Artery
If direct pressure and elevation do not stop severe bleeding from an open wound of the arm or leg, the pressure point technique may be required. This technique involves applying pressure at a specific point on the arm or leg to temporarily compress the main artery supplying blood to the affected limb. There is one recommended pressure point on each arm and leg.
The use of pressure point not only stops blood circulation to the injured limb. Therefore pressure points should not be used unless the technique is absolutely necessary to help stop severe bleeding. The brachial artery in the biceps and triceps is pressured when the wound is no the arm, while the femoral artery just in front of the thigh just below the middle of the crease of the groin where the wound is located in the lower extremities.
Is only used when all the other methods failed in stopping the severe bleeding. Do not use a narrow band, rope, or wire. Application of a tourniquet can control severe bleeding from an open wound of the arm or leg but is rarely needed and should not be used except-in critical emergency where direct pressure on the appropriate pressure point fails to stop bleeding. The uses of tourniquets are dangerous. Properly applied, it will stop all blood circulation to a limb beyond the point of application. But if is left in place for an extended period of time, uninjured tissues may die from lack of blood and oxygen. Releasing the tourniquet tends to increase the danger of shock, and bleeding may resume. If a tourniquet is applied improperly (too loosely), it will not sop arterial blood flow to the affected limb, but will only slow or sop venous blood flow from the limb. The result is increased bleeding, instead of the controlled bleeding from the wound.