Arterial bleeding, characterized by bright red blood spurting in sync with the heartbeat, is a serious medical emergency that requires immediate attention. While these steps are not a substitute for professional medical care, taking immediate action can help control the bleeding until professional help arrives.
Call for Emergency Assistance
Before attempting any first aid measures, call for emergency medical help. Arterial bleeding is a severe situation that requires prompt professional attention.
Put on gloves or use a clean cloth to protect yourself from exposure to bloodborne pathogens.
Apply Direct Pressure
Locate the bleeding artery and apply firm, direct pressure to the wound with a clean cloth or gauze. Use your hand or fingers to press down on the artery against a bone. This pressure helps slow down the blood flow.
Elevate the Wounded Area
If possible, elevate the injured area above the level of the heart. This can help reduce blood flow to the area, aiding in controlling the bleeding.
Apply Additional Pressure
If direct pressure alone doesn't stop the bleeding, consider applying additional pressure by using a clean cloth or gauze pad on top of the initial dressing.
Use a Tourniquet as a Last Resort
If bleeding persists and is life-threatening, consider using a tourniquet. This should only be used as a last resort when other methods have failed, as it can lead to complications if not applied correctly. Place the tourniquet 2-3 inches above the bleeding site and tighten it until the bleeding stops. Note the time the tourniquet was applied and communicate this to the medical professionals.
Monitor the Victim
Keep a close watch on the victim's condition. Look for signs of shock, such as pale or clammy skin, rapid breathing, or a weak pulse. If signs of shock are present, lay the victim down with their legs elevated (unless this causes further injury) and cover them with a blanket to prevent heat loss.
Do Not Remove Dressings
Once a dressing is in place, do not remove it. Adding more layers of dressing on top, if needed, is a better approach than removing and reapplying.
Seek Professional Help Immediately
Remember, these steps are only temporary measures to control bleeding until professional medical help arrives. Once the bleeding is under control, seek immediate medical attention.
Stay Calm and Reassure the Victim
Remaining calm and providing reassurance to the victim can help reduce anxiety and stress, which can exacerbate the situation.
Stopping arterial bleeding is a critical skill that can save lives. However, it's crucial to remember that these steps are not a substitute for professional medical care. Always seek immediate help from healthcare professionals in cases of arterial bleeding. Your safety and the safety of others should be the top priority.