First aid - urgent implementation of complex medical and preventive manipulations. They are necessary in case of accidents, sudden illnesses or exacerbations of an existing disease. First aid is provided before the arrival of medical personnel or before the victim is admitted to a medical facility. One of the possible pathological symptoms that needs first aid is bleeding. What you need to know about blood loss, how to properly stop the bleeding and transport the victim to the hospital?
What should I know about bleeding?
Bleeding is the release of blood outside the vascular bed into the body cavity/lumen of an organ (internal blood loss) or into the environment (external blood loss). After any bleeding, regardless of location and intensity, the amount of circulating blood in the body decreases. As a result, the work of the heart worsens, providing tissues with vital fluid and oxygen. This is especially true of the brain, liver and kidneys. This condition is extremely dangerous for patients of younger and older age categories. Their body adapts worse to changes in the amount of circulating blood, which is fraught with irreversible consequences.
The degree of damage to the body depends on the size of the vessel in which blood loss occurs. For example, if small blood vessels are damaged, the body gives the command to form blood clots. These are blood clots that close the lumen of the wound, stop the flow of blood on their own and help heal the wound. It is impossible to stop the integrity of large vessels on their own. The victim may temporarily cut off blood flow, but not fix the underlying problem. Therein lies the whole danger of the situation. For example, when an artery is injured, the blood flow is so intense that after three minutes it can lead to the death of the victim.
What happens to the body during/after blood loss?
The consequences of bleeding are conditionally divided into two groups - general and local. Let's analyze each of them in more detail. General changes refer to the body's attempts to replace lost blood. The heart begins to contract with minimal activity, edema develops in the lungs, and filtration in the kidneys decreases. Urine stops flowing to the bladder, and necrosis develops in the liver.
What are the local changes? When bleeding from the lung, blood begins to come out of the mouth. It is painted in a scarlet hue and foams intensively. Blood loss from the esophagus is accompanied by similar symptoms. Gastric bleeding makes itself felt with vomiting with a dark brown tint of liquid (due to interaction with hydrochloric acid). Intestinal hemorrhage is characterized by a dark color and a dense tar-like consistency of the stool. With renal blood loss, the victim may observe blood impurities in the urine or its color in scarlet.
With latent internal bleeding, shortness of breath, respiratory failure, abdominal distention, swelling of the joints, redness of the skin are recorded. A cerebral hemorrhage is fraught with disorders of the nervous system, and the ingress of fluid into the pericardial cavity can lead to cardiac arrest. In general, the symptoms depend on the individual characteristics of the body, the location of bleeding and the size of the vessel from which it occurs. In some cases, a person does not even understand what is happening inside, and does not have time to ask for help or get to a medical facility. If you notice a victim with blood loss, call an ambulance as soon as possible and try to stop the bleeding yourself.
How to stop the bleeding?
During the stop of bleeding, it is necessary to act quickly, calmly and purposefully. Only in this way will it be possible to alleviate the condition or even save the life of the victim. Timely first aid will facilitate further wound treatment, shorten the rehabilitation period and minimize complications/injuries/injuries. There are only two ways to stop blood loss - temporary and final. Temporary manipulations help save the life of the victim until the arrival of the ambulance. The final stop is carried out only by a qualified doctor in the operating room.
The first thing a person should do is to analyze the volume/intensity of blood loss and the condition of the victim. Rationally assess your own strengths. In case of intracavitary bleeding or traumatization of the main vessels, it is better to refuse squeezing, bandaging and other manipulations. They can only aggravate the condition of the victim, cause him additional pain and complicate the work of specialists. The only sure option is to call an ambulance or take the person to the hospital as soon as possible.
First aid is given for capillary bleeding, when the loss of blood is relatively small. It can be quickly stopped by applying clean gauze to the bleeding area. Several layers of cotton wool are applied over the gauze, after which the wound is bandaged. If neither gauze nor cotton wool was at hand, you can use a clean handkerchief. Cloth with fluff that can be easily separated should not be used. These villi accumulate a huge amount of bacteria. It is impossible to accurately predict their nature and effects on the body. Some bacteria can cause wound infection and make the situation worse. For the same reason, it is impossible to treat the affected areas with cotton wool or cotton pads.
The principle of first aid:
- compress the wound using a pressure bandage and tight packing;
- selection of the optimal position of the injured limb (elevated and immobile);
- applying a bandage or tourniquet.
First Aid Tips
The first thing to do when stopping bleeding is to apply firm pressure to the wound with your hands. To do this, you need to use the "3D" rule (press / ten / ten). Press on the wound with both hands for 10 minutes. If the intensity of bleeding is insignificant, you can press only a few fingers, but the time (10 minutes) does not change.
Hemostatic preparations are freely available in pharmacies. These are topical substances that can stop blood loss. Medicines can be used for capillary bleeding or blood loss from small vessels. It has been proven that hemostatic drugs can stop up to 80% of even intense hemorrhages, regardless of location. Before using a hemostatic powder / granule or napkin, it is necessary to compress the wound (squeezing time is reduced from 10 to 3 minutes), and then apply a pressure bandage.
A pressure dressing may be applied with or without haemostatic agents. As a bandage, it is permissible to use napkins, a dressing bag, an elastic bandage (subject to tight bandaging). The main thing is that the tissue is dense and does not exfoliate on the wound. A tourniquet is an extreme measure of first aid. Most bleeding can be stopped without the use of a tourniquet. It is applied only for amputations, complete / partial destruction of the limb or gushing bleeding (in case of injury to the artery).
Incorrect tourniquet application in 50% of cases leads to limb amputation. If you do not have a specialized education, try to stop the bleeding by squeezing and bandaging.
The use of ice and cold is one of the most common bleeding myths. With massive blood loss, blood coagulates much faster under the influence of high rather than low temperatures. To help the victim as much as possible, warm the wound rather than applying ice or anything cold to it. To keep the person warm while being transported or waiting for medical staff, use your own clothing or the victim's belongings.
First aid for bleeding can be life-saving or worse. Proceed to manipulation only if you are confident in your own strengths and actions. Rationally evaluate what is happening, call an ambulance and try to maximize the comfort of the victim. With heavy blood loss, it is better to wait for the ambulance to arrive or transport the person to the hospital as soon as possible.