While prevention is always the best medicine, it’s important to know what to do when accidents happen. For bleeding cuts or wounds, here are some First Aid tips everyone should know:
1. Stop Bleeding
- Apply direct pressure on the bleeding cut or wound with sterile gauze (if available) or a clean dry cloth, or tissue until bleeding stops. Press the bandage firmly with your palm to control bleeding.
- If the bleeding seeps through the gauze or other cloth on the wound, do not remove it. Put more cloth or gauze on top of it and continue to apply pressure.
- If the bleeding wound involves the arm or leg, raise the limb above the level of the heart, if possible, to help slow bleeding.
- Wash your hands after doing the first aid and before cleaning / dressing the wound.
- Refrain from applying a tourniquet unless the bleeding is severe/life-threatening and not stopped with direct pressure. Apply a tourniquet only if you are trained in how to do so. When medical emergency help arrives, explain how long the tourniquet has been in place.
2. Clean Cut or Wound
- Gently clean with cleanser (e.g. soap) and warm running water. Rinse all soap out of wound to prevent irritation.
- Don’t use hydrogen peroxide which can damage tissue.
- If available, an antiseptic spray, applied at the site of the bleeding cut, can help staunch blood flow and also reduce the risk of a cut becoming infected later on.
3. Protect the Wound
- Apply antibiotic cream (if available) to reduce risk of infection and cover with a sterile bandage.
- In case of small wound and no need for professional medical attention, change the bandage daily to keep the wound clean and dry.
4. When to Seek Medical Help
- The wound is deep or the edges are serrated or gaping open.
- The wound involves the injured person’s face.
- The wound is studded with dirt or debris that won’t come out.
- The wound shows signs of infection, such as redness, tenderness, discharges, or if the injured person has a fever.
- The wound and its surrounding tissue feel numb.
- The person has a puncture wound or deep cut and hasn’t had a booster dose of tetanus shot over the past five years, or any person who hasn’t had a tetanus vaccination before.
- The wound is caused by a fishhook or rusty object or the person has stepped on a nail or other similar object.
Dr. Diethart Bayer
German Medical CenterLeave a reply →