How to Stop a Severe Bleed

Courses Covering Bleeding

Basic Life Support (BLS) instructor course online programs cover skills such as CPR/AED and First Aid certification. These skills are valuable to have because you may need them to save a life one day. No one ever plans to be in a medical emergency situation, but knowing what to do and what not to do can be the difference between life and death. BLS recertification for healthcare providers and the general public helps ensure that you always have access to the most up-to-date information and techniques. Of course, if you are in a position where you know you might need knowledge of a severe bleed, then you can take an advanced course like first aid for severe bleeding.

Severe Bleeding

Severe bleeding differs from mild bleeding. Mild bleeding can be stopped by applying direct pressure to the wound area. Severe bleeding will not stop or slow down after applying direct pressure. It may also soak through bandages quickly or pump directly from the wound site. Severe bleeding often requires the use of a tourniquet to stop the blood flow. A tourniquet is a device which is used on an arm or leg to stop the flow of blood from a severe wound. It works by constricting the blood vessels so that blood can no longer be pumped out in that area.  


There are three types of tourniquets which are used for severe bleeding--surgical tourniquets, emergency tourniquets, and rehabilitation tourniquets. Surgical tourniquets are used during surgery to restrict blood flow during operations. This helps keep the operation site clean while doctors are working and prevents the loss of excess blood. Emergency tourniquets can be widely found on online shopping sites and are designed for the general public to be able to use with ease. You can even use one on yourself if needed. Many first responders will keep emergency tourniquets in their medical bag just in case they ever need to help someone in need. Rehabilitation tourniquets are used for blood flow restriction rehabilitation, or BFR. The practice of BFR is a newer way to rehabilitate injured muscles allowing individuals to rebuild muscles without added pressure to the wound area. These types of tourniquets should only be used in a clinical setting with professionals monitoring the blood flow.  

Many individuals are hesitant to use a tourniquet to stop severe bleeding because they are concerned of nerve damage. If the bleeding is severe, it is better to use a tourniquet to save a life than to not use one and increase the risk of loss of life due to blood loss. The tourniquet generally is not left on long enough to cause nerve damage, but should be left on until emergency medical help arrives. They will leave it on until trained medical staff can remove it. Get your First Aid card online with MyCPR NOW today, and learn how to save a life!

First Aid For Severe Bleeding Certification
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