First Aid Managing Bleeds

By steadfast
In May 18, 2018

What is External Bleeding?

External bleeding is when blood is leaving the body through some type of wound. Any incident in which you physically saw blood would be an external bleed. Our circulatory system is made up of our heart pumping blood through arteries to deliver oxygenated blood to tiny capillaries that distribute the blood to all of our tissues. Our veins collect the blood from the capillaries and return the un-oxygenated blood back to our heart.


 Types of Bleeding 

There are three types of external bleeding that are categorized by which blood vessel is damaged.  These include capillary, venous, and arterial bleeding.



The abrasions he obtained to his palms were not deep injuries and only damaged the tiny capillaries in his palms. Capillary bleeding is the most common type of bleeding. It is a minor injury in which the blood vessels are able to clot and stop the bleeding by themselves.

capillary bleed

Venous Bleeding

Venous bleeding occurs when a vein is damaged. In this type of bleeding, the blood flows steadily. If it is a large vein, the bleeding may actually be gushing. When a vein is cut, most veins will collapse, which helps to slow the bleeding. If it is a deep vein such as an iliac vein, the bleed can be just as difficult to control as an arterial bleed. But in most venous bleeding, applying pressure and allowing the body to clot will stop the bleeding.

venous Bleeding

Arterial, venous and capillary bleeding are identifiable by the flow characteristics and, to a lesser extent, coloration. Arterial is the most severe — you may see a rhythmic spurting pattern that coincides with the beating of the heart. Venous bleeding is more of a steady flow. Capillary bleeding is generally minor and appears as a slow, oozing bleed.

Bleeding control is all about pressure: cover the wound (with or without a dressing like a gauze pad or clean cloth) and hold it tightly. If you have a dressing and you can secure it in place with a bandage without restarting the bleed, this makes things easy.



Arterial bleeding

Arterial bleeding may be controlled by applying pressure with the fingers at the nearest pressure point between it and theheart. The artery is located and digital pressure is applied above it until bleeding stops or until the artery is ligated orrepaired. When a pressure point is ineffective in controlling arterial bleeding on an extremity, a tourniquet may be needed.



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