Stopping Severe Bleeding
To stop serious bleeding, follow these steps:
- Lay the affected person down. If possible, the person's head should be slightly lower than the trunk of his or her body or the legs should be elevated. This position increases blood flow to the brain. Elevate the site of bleeding, if possible, to reduce the blood flow.
- Do not attempt to clean the wound.
- Apply steady, firm pressure directly to the wound using a sterile bandage, a clean cloth, or your hand. Maintain pressure until the bleeding stops, then wrap the wound with a tight dressing and secure it with adhesive tape. Most bleeding can be controlled this way. Call for emergency help immediately.
- If the bleeding continues and seeps through the bandage, add more absorbent material. Do not remove the first bandage.
- If the bleeding does not stop, apply pressure to the major artery that delivers blood to the area of the injury (see Major Arterial Pressure Points).
- When the bleeding has stopped, immobilize the injured portion of the body. You can use another part of the body, such as a leg or torso, to immobilize the area. Leave the bandages in place and take the person for immediate medical attention or call for emergency help.