First Aid for Severe Bleeding
- Have someone call 911 for medical assistance.
- Apply pressure directly to the wound site, preferably with a clean piece of gauze between your hand and the wound. Gloves are recommended any time you are dealing with another person’s body fluids. Do not remove foreign objects (unless they are just on the surface) as their removal may increase bleeding. Try to apply pressure in such a way that wound edges are pushed together and the wound can seal.
- If the bleeding continues to be heavy after some minutes of steady pressure, apply pressure to the nearest artery to slow down blood flow to the wound. Arterial pressure is typically limited to 10 minutes to reduce undesirable side effects. (Review pressure points)
- Tourniquets usually fail to provide adequate pressure to the specific points where pressure is needed and are not generally recommended.
- Hemostatic powders, such as Quick Clot, will help blood to coagulate quickly, but are difficult to clean out when medical assistance is obtained and may lead to additional damage. The newer sponges are a better alternative.
- Information on using herbs to stop bleeding.