The first thing you should do in any emergency situation is to call the emergency services, but once you’ve done that there are a number of things you can do to help the person until the EMS arrive.
If it’s possible to do so, you should always wash your hands and put on gloves before you try to stop the bleeding, this will help to avoid infecting the wound. If the wound is an abdominal wound with organs displaced, it’s important that you do not try to put them back into place, just cover the wound with a dressing.
For other instances of heavy bleeding, you should:
- Get the casualty to lay down and cover them with a blanket or thermal blanket to stop their body heat decreasing. If it’s possible to do so then you should elevate the site of bleeding.
- Clear any obvious debris or dirt from the wound, but don’t try to remove any embedded objects – your primary concern is to stop the bleeding.
- Apply pressure on the wound until the bleeding stops. You should apply pressure for at least 20 minutes before checking to see if the bleeding has stopped. You can use a bandage or clean cloth and adhesive tape to tightly bind the wound and maintain constant pressure. If you don’t have a bandage or clean cloth available, then use your hands – you can also use a clean plastic bag for protection.
- Don’t remove the bandage from the wound, and if the bleeding seeps through the bandages you’ve applied to the wound, then add more absorbent material on top.
- Once the bleeding has stopped you need to immobilize the injured body part, leaving the bandages in place. From this point you should get the casualty to the emergency room or wait for the emergency services to arrive.
There is a lot of information to take in here; if you have a smartphone then you can get access to first aid information, advice and procedures through various first aid apps. Most people never leave home without their phone, so by having a first aid app installed, you should always have vital knowledge close-by in times of an emergency.
A few top First Aid apps to check out include the St Johns Ambulance Service First Aid App, The British Red Cross First Aid App, and the Drops First Aid app – they’re all great choices and I recommend you check each one out in the app store and see which one best suits your preferred learning style.
Jason has always had a soft spot for technology and gadgetry. When he is not busy with Aus Wide First Aid, he spends his time giving first aid advice, and sharing his passion for technology with others.