to Treat Different Types of Bleeding
Dr. Ben Kim
a child, I was fascinated with the world of ninjas. Naturally, I spent lots of
time practicing various martial arts and tumbling maneuvers in and around our
home. One night, I ended a particularly aggressive tumbling maneuver with a sweeping
roundhouse kick that ended with my right foot accidentally shattering a glass
sisters and I were a bit shocked at the amount of blood that came shooting out
of my foot. We had all experienced cuts and scrapes before, but nothing that involved
a steady stream of blood with no tapering off in sight. All that I could think
of doing was to use tissue after tissue to soak up the blood around the cut and
prevent the blood from staining our light yellow carpet.
fortunately for me, my parents returned home just a few minutes after the accident,
and the minute my mom saw my foot, she grabbed a large towel and put direct pressure
on my still-bleeding wound.
foot ended up being sore for about a month, and I was somewhat pale and weak for
a good week or two after the accident from the amount of blood that I lost, but
thankfully, everything turned out okay.
didn't realize it then, but I had severed a relatively large vein in my foot.
And as a ten-year old, my instincts did not tell me to put direct pressure on
that area. In fact, I distinctly remember being scared to touch the area that
the blood was flowing from; I thought that by touching that area, I would cause
in point: One of the most important first aid lessons we can teach our children
is to apply direct pressure to any cut, especially if there is significant blood
Main Types of Bleeding
preparing yourself to identify and treat different types of bleeding, you must
first have a good understanding of the three distinct types of bleeding that a
person can experience.
are the smallest blood vessels in your body; they are about as thin as the hairs
on your head.
a minor scrape or cut opens some capillaries, the bleeding is almost always very
slow and small in quantity. Your body's natural clotting mechanism is able to
stop most cases of capillary bleeding within seconds to minutes.
cuts have the potential to cut open veins. A cut vein typically results in a steady
but relatively slow flow of dark red blood.
best way to stop most cases of venous bleeding is to put direct pressure on the
is the least common and most dangerous type of bleeding. It involves bright red
blood that comes out in large volume, and in spurts that correspond with each
beat of your heart.
most cases of arterial bleeding, direct and extremely firm pressure on the wound
is the best way of stopping it. If direct pressure is not applied, a severe arterial
wound can cause you to bleed to death within a few minutes.
to Address Severe Bleeding
If possible, have the bleeding person lie down and position his or her head so
that it is slightly lower than the trunk. Also, try to elevate his or her legs.
Taking these measures will help to increase blood flow to the brain, which will
decrease the chance of fainting.
If possible, elevate the body part that is bleeding. Doing so will reduce blood
loss because the heart will have to work against gravity to pump blood to the
Remove large chunks of dirt and other debris from the wound, but if there is an
impaled object, do not touch it.
Apply firm and direct pressure to the wound. In order of preference, use a sterile
bandage, a clean cloth, clothing, or your hand to apply pressure.
Do not stop applying firm and direct pressure to the wound until the bleeding
stops. When it does stop, use adhesive tape or clothing to secure the dressing
(whatever you used) in place against the wound.
If the bleeding does stop and starts to seep through whatever you are using to
apply pressure to it, do not remove whatever you are using. Rather, apply new
absorbent material on top of it.
Once the bleeding has stopped, do your best to immobilize the injured area and
leave everything as it is until professional treatment becomes available.
First Aid Notes for Bleeding
The best treatment for a minor cut or scrape is to wash it thoroughly with water
and plain soap. If possible, apply aloe or an antibiotic ointment onto the wound,
and then cover with a bandage to keep it clean.
If a cut does not stop on its own with direct pressure for a few minutes, or it
is clear that it is more serious than a minor cut or scrape, be sure to have a
doctor look at it as soon as possible. Don't forget to do your best to stop the
bleeding before you do anything else.
In the case of a puncture wound, stop the bleeding, if necessary, and visit your
doctor or the hospital right away. Even if a puncture wound doesn't appear to
be serious, it is important to take preventive measures to reduce your chance
of experiencing an infection.
In the case of a blow to the head, especially either side of the head in the temple
region, even if there is no bleeding, it is important to seek medical care immediately
and to let the attending physician know where you were hit. Internal bleeding
in the head region can be asymptomatic for the first several hours, and in some
cases, can lead to death in just a day or two. All blunt injuries to the
head require a thorough medical evaluation as soon as possible.
The vast majority of nosebleeds occur from blood vessels that line the cartilaginous
septum that separates the right and left nasal chambers. To stop nosebleeds of
this nature, sit or stand upright, then pinch your nose with your thumb and index
finger for 5 to 10 minutes or less until the bleeding has stopped. Breathe through
your mouth as you wait. If the bleeding does not stop within a reasonable time
frame, it is best to seek medical care.
summary, the most important first aid guidelines for bleeding are:
1. The number
one goal should be to stop the bleeding.
Never remove an impaled object - let a doctor do this.
Whenever bleeding cannot be stopped with direct pressure in a reasonable amount
of time, seek medical care as soon as possible.
If you experience blunt trauma to your head, chest, abdomen, or pelvis, go for
a thorough medical evaluation as soon as you can to make sure that you are not
experiencing internal bleeding. This is especially important if you get hit on
either side of your head in the temple region.
Health With Our Free E-mail Newsletter
Join thousands of people from all over the world who receive
our natural health newsletter.
free. You can unsubscribe anytime.
spam. We respect and protect your privacy at all times.
information that you can use to improve the quality of your health and life.
Just a note to let you know how much I appreciate your
newsletter. As a fellow health care provider (optometrist) and medical researcher,
I find your distillation of the literature into lay terms to be accurate and very
understandable. I really enjoyed your contribution regarding macular degeneration.
Keep up the good work. - Kristine Erickson, OD, PhD,
I get a lot of e-mailed newsletters and yours is the only one
I read thoroughly from top to bottom. Your advice is enlightening, educational,
easy to follow and it works! Thank you so much for all that you offer. -
Thanks for your excellent health newsletter. I look
forward to it every week. Thanks for providing the best online health resource
I have found. - Moorea Maguire
I'm sure as a doctor you hear
your share of complaints. I just thought you'd like to know that there's at least
one person in your "e-audience" that appreciates the time and effort you put into
sending the emails. I really look forward to them. - Linda H., Raleigh, North
Many of my adult ESL students are Korean, and enjoy bits
and pieces from your newsletter that I have shared with them. In addition to your
logical approach to health, I enjoy sharing your newsletter because your English
is unfailingly correct as well as easily understood. Thank you for your beautiful
approach to life. - J. Zetterstrom
I thank you and your staff
for such a great website. I am former National Level Bodybuilder so I know a thing
or two about health and fitness. Your site is very valuable and I do my best to
pass it on to friends and people I train. It is also a helpful resource in my
career as a human service provider working with clients who need to recover from
substance abuse. I believe a major part of recovery is getting your body and mind
feeling healthy and strong. Thank you again! Great Website! - Michael Christopher,
I truly appreciate your wonderful newsletter - your balanced
and professional way of looking at issues is so helpful! - Erica H.
Throughout this website, statements are made pertaining to the properties
and/or functions of food and/or nutritional products. These statements
have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and
these materials and products are not intended to diagnose, treat,
cure or prevent any disease.