How to stop Severe Bleeding

When a person is injured, they can become damaged by severe bleeding.  Bleeding can happen in internally or externally (which is called an Open Wound).  Any bleeding can become life-threatening.  

According to the Mayo Clinic, if you come across an open wound that has severe bleeding, you need to expose the wound and clear all debris from the cut. Then apply pressure with one set of gauze and keep applying bandage until the injury stops bleeding through.  After several layers and the bleeding does not stop you may need to use a tourniquet. 

How to apply a Tourniquet?

Severe bleeding in any extremities merits a tourniquet.  There are commercial tourniquets, and in situations where you may have to improvise a tourniquet, you can do so.  

A tourniquet needs to be placed at least 2 inches above the wound or above first joint nearest to the injury.  A commercial tourniquet is easy to apply by putting the strap around the leg or arm and slide down to secure the strap.  Then the tourniquet will have a dial so you can twist to tighten the belt around the arm until you see the bleeding stop.  After applying the tourniquet, you will need to record on the patient’s body of the time the tourniquet was applied.  The reason is once a tourniquet is used there are approximately 3 hours for the patient is to see medical treatment and can still salvage the extremity.  Longer than 3 hours the tissue can start to die.  

How to apply an improvised tourniquet is similar to the commercial, except you will need some cloth strap and at least a stick as a dial.  First, you want to fold the cloth into a belt being at least 2 inches wide.  Place the tourniquet at least 2 inches above the wound or above the first joint in the limb.  Tie the cloth around the limb with a single knot.  Then place the dial stick in the knot and tie another knot over the rod.  At this point, you need to twist and tighten the strap until the bleeding stops.  The stick will have tension, and you will need to anchor the dial down.  You can do this by applying figure eight knot over the dial.  

How to apply Hemostatic dressing?

There are three types of hemostatic dressings.  They all do the same thing.  They are specially treated gauze that helps in clotting an active bleeding wound.  A hemostatic dressing should be applied in areas where a tourniquet would not be practical.  

How to apply a hemostatic dressing, you need first to expose the wound and then remove the socked gauze and open the hemostatic package. Roll the end of the treated gauze into a small ball and then slide it into the wound.  You will want to pack the wound with as much of the bandage as possible.  You can reference this training through the TCCC video.