There are three types of external bleeding arterial, Venous, Capillary. Below is a guide that will help you to identify between them
Arterial - This is a rapid bright red flow that may spurt, the cause of this is a very deep cut, laceration or puncture to the artery.
Venous - This is a rapid dark blood flow the cause is a deep incision, avulsion or puncture of a vein.
Capillary - This is a slow, oozing blood flow this is a light skin injury such as an abrasion or laceration.
How to treat an external bleed can be vital to the patience's survival if the injury is a very serious one. Below is a step by step guide on what to look for, and how to treat an external bleed.
In the case of a severe bleed the correct procedure to follow is:
1. Apply pressure to the bleed preferably over a pad and squeeze the edges of the wound together, pressure should be firm and may cause slight discomfort to the patient. This will help to stem the flow and will help the blood to clot.
2. Raise and support the injured limb, again this will help to slow the flow of blood.
3. Lay the injured person down, this will help reduce the blood flow to the site and will also help to minimize shock.
4. Place a sterile dressing over the pad and bandage securely, to tight however can cause a problem with normal circulation.
5. If the bleed continues apply another bandage to the existing one.
6. Treat the injured person for shock.
7. In the case of a serious bleed get the injured person to a hospital
- Never attempt to pull out an object that has become embedded
- Never remove blood soaked bandages from a wound doing this may cause the bleeding to start up again
- Never give aspirin to someone with a severe bleed as this can cause increased bleeding
- Never apply a tourniquet this can make bleeding worse and may even lead to tissue damage
No household, car, school, work place, sports club, gym or anywhere else for that matter, should be without a sports bag containing first aid kit equipment, as this is vital to help keep not only your patient safe but also yourself. All basic first aid kits should contain as a bare minimum:
• Sterile swabs
• Nitrile or latex gloves
• Instant cold pack
• Crepe bandage
• Sterile dressing
• Triangular bandage
• Foil heat blanket
• Wound cleansing wipes.
So be prepared and make sure you are covered for every eventuality.
Lucy Falle is Marketing Manager of First Aid 4 Sport, an online supplier of first aid, rehabilitation products and physiotherapy products. Lucy has previous experience as a sports instructor. For more information about sports injuries and first aid in particular bandages and you can also find more information about Dressings.