Blood does vital tasks around the clock, circulating around the body as it delivers oxygen, nutrients and vital substances when and where they are needed but as important as this process seems, many people dread the sight of this beautiful substance but are pretty unable to take an action to arrest bleeding when such emergencies arise.
I used to remember those days as a kid when all I had learnt to do either by default or tradition was to suck up my blood anytime I had an injury. This I did because I lacked adequate knowledge that there is a clear-cut difference between the circulatory system and the digestive tract. However, there still exist a massive proportion of adults that are stuck to this ‘childish’mindset of mine
When one’s skin is cut or scraped, it begins to bleed because blood vessels in the area are damaged. Meanwhile, it is good news to know that this process helps to clean out the wound but too much bleeding can cause the body to go into shock and one starts to feel dizzy, weak, breathless,one could have an increased heart rate as well as a cold, clammy and pale skin.
Anxiety and fear is a certain feeling that could accompany the bleeding episode but rather than being agitated, all you need do is to ;
- Assess the situation and know when to call for help*
- Encourage the victim to remain calm
- Lay the victim down and elevate the bleeding site(if it’s a dependent body part-hands, legs) above the heart to slow bleeding
- Remove obvious debris
- If the cut is small, wash it out with soap and clean water(Not kerosene, petrol or methylated spirit)
- Apply firm pressure with a clean cloth for about 10 minutes or until bleeding stops
- Cover with a clean bandage or cloth but hospital care should be sought for an anti-tetanus vaccine or if it’s a massive injury.
*Help is required ;
- When the bleeding is profuse
- When the bleeding is exceeding 15 minutes even without a profuse bleed
Do not forget to protect yourself from having direct contact with a victims blood(Always use gloves)
Do not attempt to remove a blood soaked cloth from a bleeding site, rather you should add another cloth and continue to apply pressure on the cut for another 10 minutes
Do not remove an object if it is embedded in the body
Do not ignore a wound that won’t stop bleeding regardless of its size.
You don’t start healing until you stop bleeding…