Stop the Bleed

Bleeding Emergencies

ABC’s to stop bleeding:

  1. Alert – call 9-1-1, or call for help
  2. Bleeding – find the bleeding injury
  3. Compress – apply pressure
  • Cover wound with dressing or clean cloth and apply pressure pushing directly with both hands
  • Use a tourniquet
  • Pack the wound with gauze or clean cloth and then apply pressure

Tourniquets

If someone is bleeding, or has an injury that is pulsating, apply a tourniquet. If a tourniquet is unavailable, common items that may be used instead include:

  • Belt
  • Strap
  • Rope
  • Necktie
  • A torn piece of cloth
  • Part of a seatbelt
  • Anything you can tie tightly and secure
  • Apply the tourniquet as high on the bleeding/injured extremity as possible. Don’t place the tourniquet directly on the knee or elbow. Make it tight- if it isn’t painful for injured person, then its likely not tight enough. Tighten until you are no longer able to feel a pulse in the wounded extremity, or until the bleeding stops.
  • Don’t remove the tourniquet for any reason – wait for emergency personnel. It is better to risk damage to the arm or leg than to have a victim bleed to death.

Pressure Dressing

If someone is bleeding, or has an injury that is pulsating, apply direct pressure. Cover the wound with dressing or clean cloth, and apply pressure by pushing directly on the wound with both hands.

  • If the wound is large and deep, try to “pack” it. Pack the wound with gauze or clean cloth and then apply pressure.
  • You may need both hands. Apply firm, continuous pressure- don’t check to see if the bleeding has stopped, or to check the wound.
  • It is most effective to have the victim on a firm surface.