The most common and practical First Aid skill to know is ‘how to stop bleeding‘.
Bleeding usually looks worse than it really is. Having said that though, when a large blood vessel is cut or torn, the person can lose a lot of blood within minutes.
Here’s how to stop the bleeding:
You can stop most bleeding with pressure.
Call 911 if…
There is a lot of bleeding
You cannot stop the bleeding
You see signs of shock
You suspect a head, neck, or spine injury
You are not sure what to do
How To Stop The Bleeding
Get the First Aid Kit, or having someone get it.
Put a dressing on the wound (gauze pad or other clean dressing).
Apply direct pressure on the dressing.
Use the flat part of your fingers or the palm of your hand.
If the bleeding does not stop, add more dressings on top of the first and press harder.
Keep pressure on the wound until it stops bleeding.
If you can’t keep pressure on the wound, wrap a bandage firmly over the dressing to hold the dressing in place.
Also very important – do not lift the dressing to see if the bleeding has stopped. This will tear the clotting and start the process over again. Just add on more dressings over the bloody dressing and continue pressure. Leave all dressings on as you add more.
A dressing can be a gauze pad or pads, or any other clean piece of cloth. If you don’t have a dressing, you can use a gloved hand.
If the cut or scrape is minor, wash the area with lots of clean water to get the wound clean before applying the dressings.
Small wounds heal better and with less infection if an antibiotic ointment is used.