When faced with an emergency situation, most people’s initial instinct is to figure out a way to call 911 as soon as possible. This is an important step that should never be ignored! But until help arrives, are you prepared to provide emergency first aid? Knowing some basic first aid can be the difference between life and death in an emergency situation. In some cases, you may be the only one who can help an injured person until paramedics arrive.
Every second counts when it comes to emergency care. That’s why it’s so important to know the procedures of first aid care and CPR or cardiopulmonary resuscitation. CPR and first aid training are essential for everyone because you never know when you will be faced with an emergency situation. From in-person training to an online first aid course, there are numerous ways to earn a certificate. Knowing how to stop severe bleeding before professional medical help arrives could significantly help someone’s ability to recover fully and, in some circumstances, could even save their life. Let’s take a look at some first aid tips to stop bleeding.
Assess the situation and injury.
The first step to being able to help anyone in an emergency is recognizing someone who needs help, to begin with. If you see someone who looks like they are in need of help, don’t be afraid to step in and offer assistance. Many people are hesitant to help in an emergency because they don’t know what to do or are afraid of getting injured. However, by simply being aware of the situation and knowing how to provide basic first aid, you can make a big difference in someone’s life.
Before you administer first aid, it’s important to make sure that you’re safe first. Next, you want to try to move the injured person to a safe, level surface. For example, if they’re on a hill, try to carefully help or carry them down to a sidewalk or other surface. If the person is in the middle of a crowd, carry them to an uncrowded space.
When you have the person stable, you can begin to check out the wound. If you’re unsure where the blood is coming from, try to expose the bleeding wound by removing clothing or other items. It is important that you don’t try to remove anything from the wound or force anything out of the wound that is difficult to get out or that is stuck.
Apply direct pressure.
When someone is bleeding, the objective is to stop it as quickly as possible. This can be done by applying pressure to the wound using a heavy gauze pad, towel, shirt, or other folded cloth. If the blood soaks through the first layer of cloth or gauze, you’ll want to add another over the first layer. You shouldn’t remove the first layer or relieve any pressure. You may need to continue adding a new cloth every few minutes until the bleeding stops or until help arrives.
If the bleeding appears to have slowed or stopped, you can tie up the cloth or gauze firmly in place with anything that you can find, such as a shoestring, belt, or t-shirt. You’ll want to tie with enough pressure to prevent the wound from actively bleeding. However, your tie must be only as tight as needed to stop the bleeding as you risk cutting off blood flow to the rest of the limb if you create a tourniquet.
A tourniquet should only be used in severe situations where there is uncontrolled bleeding and only if no other method is working. People typically have to use a tourniquet in emergencies where there are gunshot wounds, deep cuts, or crushed limbs. Applying a tourniquet is dangerous, and ideally, a first responder should be the only one to administer an emergency tourniquet. However, an emergency tourniquet might be required to save someone’s life in some situations.
Elevate the wound.
When an individual suffers a wound, the body’s natural response is to start bleeding. If you can elevate the wound, it will be easier to control the bleeding. This can be done by placing the injured body part above the level of the heart. For example, if someone has a cut on their leg, you would try to elevate the leg higher than their head. Doing this will help slow down and stop the bleeding by causing less blood flow to the area.
With some basic first aid training, you can learn the critical skills necessary to save someone’s life in a medical emergency. Becoming first aid certified and knowing the proper first aid tips will allow you the ability to step in during an emergency and offer valuable assistance.