First Aid 101: How to Manage Severe Bleeding

Bleeding is a common medical issue that can arise from many different causes. It's important to know how to respond when someone is bleeding, as this can help save a person's life. With the proper first aid measures, you can help stop the bleeding and prevent further damage. Here are some steps you should take if someone experiences severe bleeding:

Check Airway and Breathing

  • Check for signs of breathing. If the person is unresponsive, check for a pulse.
  • If you do not find a pulse, begin CPR immediately by pressing on their chest at least 100 times per minute until help arrives or they regain consciousness and start breathing normally again.
  • Apply pressure to stop bleeding by pressing firmly with sterile gauze or cloth against the wound for 15 minutes without removing any dressings or bandages that might be in place (unless instructed otherwise by a medical professional). Do not remove anything else from around this area unless it's absolutely necessary (e.g. if there are sticks stuck in your friend's leg).
  • Raise her leg above heart level to reduce blood loss until help arrives--you should hold it there until she regains consciousness on her own or until paramedics arrive with more advanced equipment than what you have available at home/work/school/etc., which may mean having someone else come over just so they can take care of things while you focus solely on making sure nothing happens while trying not to worry about whether she'll live long enough before something bad happens again...

Apply Direct Pressure

  • Apply direct pressure to the wound.
  • Use a clean cloth or bandage to apply pressure to the wound, and press firmly on it for at least 10 minutes. Do not remove the pressure until you are sure that the bleeding has stopped. If there is an object in your wound, leave it there until help arrives or you can go to a hospital emergency room (ER).
  • If the bleeding comes from an arm or leg injury, raise that limb above your heart level by sitting down and resting on something sturdy like a chair or bench; place pillows under your legs if necessary so they don't dangle over an edge when sitting upright with them elevated toward the ceiling rather than hanging down toward floor level. Ask someone nearby who knows CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) skills--or at least knows how not to do harm when trying out new ideas--to help keep watch while applying pressure during those critical minutes between when they start bleeding heavily enough when they need immediate medical attention yet before anyone else arrives on the scene with proper equipment/treatment options available."

Elevate the Wound

  • Elevate the wound above the heart. If you're not sure where your pulse is, put two fingers on either side of your neck and feel for it there. This will help ensure that you don't apply pressure to an artery, which can cause more bleeding.
  • If possible, keep the wound above waist level--but don't worry if this isn't possible; just keep applying pressure until help arrives. Don't remove a tourniquet until you get to the hospital. Pay attention to any pulse in injured limbs; if one is present (and especially if it's weak), leave off applying pressure long enough only so that someone else can check for further bleeding by pressing gently against both sides of an open wound area with clean cloths or gauze pads (without touching bone).


A tourniquet is a band that's applied to an arm or leg to stop severe bleeding. Use this method only when direct pressure and elevation do not work. You should be trained in how to use a tourniquet before applying one on yourself or another person.

  • Apply the tourniquet above the wound, not directly on it (this will cause nerve damage).
  • Call 911 if you apply for one!
  • Remove it only when you get to medical help; loosen it only slightly if you must leave your victim temporarily (but do not remove it entirely).

With these steps, you can help to stop bleeding.

  • Check the airway, breathing, and circulation.
  • Apply direct pressure to the wound.
  • Elevate the wound above heart level if possible.
  • Use a tourniquet if needed (see below). If you're not sure how to apply one safely, ask for help from someone who does know how or call 911 immediately for assistance. Do not remove any clothing surrounding an extremity injury unless it's interfering with effective bleeding control measures like applying direct pressure or using tourniquets; if so, cut away only enough fabric that allows access without causing further harm from movement during transport or treatment of other injuries such as fractures or sprains that may have occurred during impact activities such as falling off a bike onto pavement surface area where blood flow is restricted due increased pressure exerted against tissue surfaces resulting in trauma which could lead up into serious medical conditions including death if left untreated long enough period before seeking medical attention due lack knowledge about proper procedure required steps needed perform prior removing clothing item(s) covering injured areas


The first step to helping someone with severe bleeding is to determine how much blood has been lost. This will help you decide whether or not they need emergency care. If they do, call 911 immediately and begin administering first aid while waiting for medical professionals to arrive.


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