How to stop severe bleeding

Sep 8, 2021

We believe that educating, equipping and empowering people to recognise and stop severe bleeding saves lives.

Here we bring you a full overview and refresher of bleeding control. 

When we discuss severe bleeding, many people will think of assaults and violence, however, it’s more likely you’ll need to apply training in your day-to-day activities, such as work-related injuries, injuries in your home, or even motor vehicle crashes. 

Remember, your safety is paramount. You need an easy way to remember basic principles. We like to use the ABC method:

A – Alert – Call 911 USA or 999 UK. Call for help and be clear as possible about your location.

B – Bleeding – Identify the injury. Look for the sight of life threatening bleeding and remove clothing to see the wound. Determine whether it’s life threatening. 

What is Life Threatening Bleeding?:

Blood that is spurting out of the wound.

Blood that won’t stop coming out of the wound.

Blood that is pooling on the ground.

Bandage or clothing soaked with blood.

Loss of all, or part of, a leg or arm.

Bleeding in a victim who is now confused or unconscious.

C – Compression – Apply pressure to stop further blood loss. Simple, direct pressure is usually effective but wound packing and tourniquets can also be used.

When it comes to severe bleeding, there are various methods of compression that can be used dependent on where the bleeding is occurring on the body. These three areas are: 

Extremities – Arms and Legs.

A bleed here can usually be controlled through direct pressure or through use of a tourniquet. Read our step-by- step instructions on applying a tourniquet here. 

Junctions – Neck, shoulders, arm pits, and groin/buttocks.

 A tourniquet cannot be used on these wounds. Direct pressure and wound packing can be used to stop the bleed here. Read our step-by-step instructions on applying wound packing here. 

TorsoChest, abdomen, back. This area of the body is usually associated with internal bleeding. Unfortunately without indepth training this type of bleeding cannot be controlled outside of the hospital. The most important step you can take is to ensure the emergency responders are on their way.

Be aware that hypothermia is a killer for of trauma patients and must be addressed early on. You might associate hypothermia with the cold of winter, but it’s also a trauma patient’s worse nightmare and it can happen at any time of the year, including in the heat of summer.

Once a bleed has been controlled, always act to prevent the patient from becoming hypothermic. If possible, keep the patient out of the elements. A disrobed patient who is dry is much safer than a clothed patient who is wet because water transfers heat about 32 times faster than air. Cover the patient with dry clothing or a blanket, or even an emergency blanket.

For more information, check out our Education Hub on the link below which features all of our guides that take you through various methods of bleed control. 

Visit TyTek’s Education Hub >

You can also check out our Bleed Control Shop to purchase all the equipment you need to save a life.