If someone is bleeding the priority is to stop the blood coming out! It is never a priority to wash an injury – it will be cleaned in hospital.
Sit or lie the person down – to manage shock and prevent them from feeling dizzy and faint
Examine the area to see if there is anything stuck in the wound – if there is do not remove it
Elevate the bleeding area above the level of the heart to slow down the bleeding
Pressure – apply direct pressure on the wound to stop the blood coming out
Keep them warm and get emergency help.If the person is pale, cold, clammy and showing signs of shock, or if there is a lot of blood – help their circulation by lying them down and raising their legs. Elevate the bleeding wound and apply direct pressure to control the bleeding.
Shock is ‘a lack of oxygen to the tissues of the body, usually caused by a fall in blood volume or blood pressure.’
Shock occurs as a result of the body’s circulatory system failing to work properly, which means that the tissues of the body, including the heart and the brain, struggle to get sufficient oxygen. The body’s response to this is to shut down the circulation to the skin – causing it to become pale, cold and clammy. The heart speeds up as it struggles to get sufficient blood supply and oxygen and to draw the blood away from the gut, causing the casualty to feel sick and thirsty. They may also feel anxious, dizzy and a bit confused as their brain suffers from the lack of oxygenated blood too.
SYMPTOMS OF SHOCK
Pale, cold and clammy
As shock develops:
Grey-blue skin colour and blue tinge to the lips – cyanosed
Weak and dizzy
Nausea and vomiting
Shallow, rapid breathing
As the brain is struggling for oxygen:
May become restless and possibly aggressive – a sense of ’impending doom’
Yawning and gasping for air
Eventually they will lose consciousness and become unresponsive and they may stop breathing
How much blood can you afford to lose?
Children have far less blood than adults.
A person has approximately 0.5 litres of blood per 7kgs of body weight or one pint of blood per stone (although this does not increase if someone is over weight). An ‘average’ adult has roughly 10 pints / 6 litres of blood – if they lose about a 5th of their blood volume it can cause the body to shut down and go into shock.
The loss of a tea cup full of blood could be fatal for a baby – however please note that head and facial injuries often lose a lot of blood and can look far more scary than they are – a tea cup full of blood would make a major mess!
Apply pressure to the wound and get them to lie down.
Elevate the legs to use gravity to help improve the circulation to the vital organs.
Cover them to keep them warm.
Shock is made worse when someone is cold, anxious and in pain – reasssuring them and keeping them warm can make a real difference.
Moisten their lips if they are complaining of thirst – do not give them a drink, as they may need an operation and it is safer to give someone a general anaesthetic when they have an empty stomach.