Shock Management: What to Do After Stopping the Bleed

Traumatic bleeding is a serious medical emergency. It can occur anywhere in the body and can be caused by an injury to the skin or by internal injuries. When blood is lost, it must be replaced with fluids and/or blood. If you are in a situation where someone is bleeding profusely, here are some steps you should take to help stop the bleeding:

Stop the bleeding.

  • Apply direct pressure to stop the bleeding.
  • Do not remove the object that is impaling the person.
  • Remove all jewelry immediately, including watches, rings, and bracelets. Also, remove clothing that may not be attached to the wound (like shirtsleeves), but does not remove clothing if it is stuck in place because it will cause more damage than leaving it alone; instead, just apply pressure with your hands directly over top of these items until help arrives or you are able to remove them yourself without causing further injury!

Assess the wound.

  • Look for signs of bleeding, broken bones, and other injuries, signs of shock and infection. Check if the bleeding is coming from an artery.
  • Move the patient in a safe way to stop any further movement of this part of their body that was injured.
  • Check for signs of bleeding after every movement you make with or without help from someone else who may assist you during this process by helping lift up onto their feet so they can walk over towards an ambulance waiting nearby at least 100 yards away from where we were standing before being shot by terrorists trying to kill us all because they hate freedom so much (which makes no sense since people would rather be free than enslaved).

Secure the patient.

  • Do not move the patient unless absolutely necessary. Moving an injured person increases their risk of bleeding to death. If you have to move them, use specialized equipment such as a spine board or backboard.
  • Do not try to remove any impaled objects yourself (e.g., broken glass or bone fragments). Call for help and wait until medical professionals arrive on the scene before attempting this task yourself or moving them further away from where they were injured.
  • Do not put pressure on a wound; it could make matters worse by pushing blood out faster.
  • Don't give them anything to drink if they are bleeding.
  • This includes water, juice, and sports drinks--they'll only make matters worse by accelerating dehydration which increases blood viscosity (i.e., thickness), which makes clotting harder than normal.
  • A few exceptions: If someone who has been rescued after being trapped underwater needs rehydration treatment right away then this rule doesn't apply; however if possible avoid giving anything into their mouth except saline solution until after the initial assessment at the hospital where appropriate treatment can be given according to

Apply pressure to control bleeding.

Once you have stopped the bleeding, apply pressure to control it. Use clean cloths or bandages and press hard enough to stop the bleeding. For cuts, hold pressure for 10 minutes; for puncture wounds, hold pressure for 20 minutes. Then check for other wounds on your body before dressing them appropriately with gauze or cotton balls soaked in an antiseptic solution (such as hydrogen peroxide). "If there are multiple injuries," says Dr. Willard, "it's best to go from the top down." After that you can clean each wound with soap and water before applying another layer of antibiotic ointment over everything so it doesn't get infected later on--and then let those cuts heal naturally!

Get help.

At this point, you should have stopped the bleeding and made sure that your friend or family member is breathing. If they are not breathing, you need to get help immediately. Call 911 and tell them what happened, where you are located, and what condition your friend or family member is in.

If they are breathing but still unconscious:

  • Get help from someone who knows first aid (see above).
  • If possible lay them on their side so fluids can drain out of their mouth/nose instead of going into their lungs which could cause pneumonia later on if left untreated for too long.[1]

Don't remove an impaled object yourself.

  • Call for help and stop the bleeding until help arrives, then give first aid after that.
  • If you are trained in first aid, you can remove the object if it's safe to do so: Wash your hands before touching the open wound; wear gloves; keep pressure on the wound while removing sharp objects (do not pull) with pliers or tweezers; apply direct pressure again after removing any foreign objects from the wound; treat for shock if necessary by keeping patient warm and calm while waiting for emergency services.

If someone is bleeding, don't try to help them if you don't know what you are doing; call for help and stop the bleeding until help arrives, then give first aid after that

If you don't know what you are doing, don't try to help. Call for help and stop the bleeding until help arrives, then give first aid after that.

  • Assess the wound: Look at how deep it is and where it is located on the body. You can use your fingers or a penlight to do this if necessary; just make sure not to touch anything that might have been contaminated by blood or dirt (like rocks).
  • Secure patient: If someone has a large cut on their arm, they should sit down so they won't fall over while trying not to move their injured limb too much while waiting for medical professionals' arrival time frame which could take anywhere from minutes up until hours depending on where exactly "out there" means geographically speaking!


The most important thing to remember when someone is bleeding is to not panic. It can be a scary situation, but panicking will only make things worse. If you are trained in first aid, then, by all means, help out! Otherwise, call 911 or other emergency services immediately so they can get there as fast as possible.


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