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First Aid: Bleeding

By: Clare Birtles - Updated: 4 May 2011 | comments*Discuss
 
First Aid Bleeding Minor Cuts Scratches

Children are accident prone so the sight of blood can be commonplace for most parents. Therefore, it's important to know what First Aid treatment to apply to bleeds, from minor cuts to severe bleeding, and what to do if an object is embedded in a wound:

Treating Minor Cuts, Scratches and Grazes

  • Wash and dry your own hands.
  • Cover any cuts on your own hands and put on disposable gloves.
  • Clean the cut, if dirty, under running water. Pat dry with a sterile dressing or clean lint-free material.
  • Cover the cut temporarily while you clean the surrounding skin with soap and water, and pat the surrounding skin dry.
  • Make sure the cut is covered completely by a plaster or sterile dressing.

Treating Severe Bleeding

  • Wear disposable gloves
  • Apply pressure directly to the wound with a pad, such as a clean towel or cloth. If this is not readily available, use your fingers until a sterile dressing has been found.
  • Raise and support the injured limb. Take particular care if you suspect a Bone Has Been Broken.
  • Lay the child down to treat for shock.
  • Put a bandage or dressing firmly over the wound to control the bleeding, but ensure that it is not too tight as this can stop the circulation to fingers or toes. If bleeding begins to show through the bandage, put a second bandage over it. If bleeding continues to seep through this bandage, it is best to remove the whole thing and reapply it.
  • Treat the person for shock
  • Call for an ambulance by dialling 999.
Remember: It is important to protect yourself from infection, so you should ensure you are wearing disposable gloves and cover up any wounds on your hands.

If blood comes through the dressing, DO NOT remove it. Instead, place another bandage over the original.

If the blood continues to seep through both dressings, take both layers off and put on a fresh dressing, making sure you apply pressure over the site of bleeding.

Objects in Wounds

Where possible, swab or wash small objects out of the wound with clean water. If there is a large object embedded:

  • Leave it in place.
  • Apply firm pressure on either side of the object.
  • Raise and support the wounded limb or part.
  • Lay the child down to treat for shock.
  • Gently cover the wound and object with a sterile dressing.
  • Build up padding around the wound until the padding is higher than the object, then bandage over the object without pressing on it.
  • Depending on the severity of the bleeding, dial 999 for an ambulance or take the child to hospital.

Our thanks to St John Ambulance for providing this information.

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