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clotted blood

  • Bleeding and Soft Tissue Injury Treatment

    Image of cut on back of legSevere bleeding is a Medical Emergency. Controlling severe bleeding is an important part of first aid.


    • Call 9-1-1 or EMS if bleeding is severe and difficult to stop.
    • Have the casualty lie down, if possible.
    • Place a clean, sterile, cloth directly over the bleeding site. If available, the rescuer should wear gloves to protect from Bloodborne Pathogens.
    • Firmly apply pressure to the wound using one or both hands.
    • Apply a bandage to hold the first dressing in place. Apply additional cloths or pads if bleeding continues. Do not remove the initial dressing as this will tear away the clotted blood and cause bleeding to start over.
    • Elevate the bleeding site above the heart level if bleeding is difficult to control with firm, direct pressure. Do not elevate the limb if you suspect the possibility of broken bones or head, neck, or spinal injury.
    • Continue to apply direct, firm pressure to control bleeding until Emergency Medical Personnel arrive.
    • A tourniquet should be used only as a last resort and is not recommended unless the responder has specific training on how to use a tourniquet safety.
    • Do not give the casualty alcohol, caffeinated beverages, or aspirin.
    • Once the bleeding has been controlled:
      1. Continue to apply firm pressure to the injury site.
      2. Keep the casualty warm by covering him/her with coats or blankets.
      3. Do not move the casualty unless necessary.
      4. If the casualty is conscious and asks for water, moisten her/his lips with a small amount of water. Do not give water to an unconscious casualty or if abdominal injury is suspected.

    Also read: Treatment for Cuts and Abrasions & Shock First Aid Treatment

    Content excerpted from the Urgent First Aid Guide used by permission Copyright 2013
    All Rights Reserved. Get a full copy of the First Aid Guide for under $1!

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