How to Tell the Difference Between a Venous and Arterial Bleed

The difference between venous and arterial bleeding is where the bleeding is originating from. With venous bleeding, the blood runs out from the wound site at a steady rate. The color of the blood with venous bleeding is dark red to purplish in color. With arterial bleeding, the blood comes from the artery and pumps out with each heartbeat. The blood can also spurt out with arterial bleeding.  The color of the blood with arterial bleeding is bright red due to the higher levels of oxygen in the veins and blood. 

Arterial bleeding is more dangerous than venous bleeding. The arteries carry blood from the body and back into the heart. If the arteries become damaged and start to bleed out, an individual can suffer loss of life within five minutes if the bleeding is severe and if no medical attention is received.  If someone is suffering from severe arterial bleeding, the wound should be packed with gauze or clean cloth and pressure should be firmly applied to slow down the rate of blood loss and possibly stop the bleeding. Pressure should be applied to the wound continuously until emergency medical help arrives. 

Venous bleeding can also be slowed or sometimes stopped by applying direct pressure to the wound. Use of compression wraps can help slow bleeding until emergency medical help arrives. A tourniquet can also be used in many cases to stop severe bleeding.  A significant amount of deep pressure has to be applied to stop severe bleeding. Trying to slow or stop the bleeding until professional medical help arrives can help save a life and improve recovery times for the victim.

First aid online courses can help you learn about the different types of bleeding and how to help someone in a medical emergency situation.  Accredited BLS (basic life support) certification online classes can help you feel more confident and calm so that you will know what to do if you ever find yourself in a situation where somebody needs help. Free first aid courses and online first certification programs can help save lives and teach you everything you need to know about staying safe.

CPR & First Aid Certification
Back to blog