Control of Bleeding
There's a crunching sound up ahead of you on the trail. You pull up to see a biker
climbing out of the elderberry bushes with a broken branch sticking out of his upper arm.
"Damn it!" he says, as he pulls the stick out. The stick is followed by a jet of
dark red, like a small garden hose is pumping catsup out of his arm.
The usual reaction to severe bleeding is: everybody nearby faints, throws up, or averts
their eyes while waiting for somebody else to do something. Meantime, the hemorrhaging guy
walks around asking if anybody has a bandaid. So here's your chance to be the hero.
Grab some cloth. Your biking shirt will do, unless you're a lady, in which case you should
take the shirt from the guy with the best-looking pecs. Wad the shirt up and push it
directly over the bleeding. Hold pressure with your palm. If blood soaks through, add
another layer of cloth and keep pushing.
||If blood continues to come around or through the cloth, see if there's a
"pressure point" where you can compress an artery. (It's like "stepping on
the garden hose" upstream from the bleeding.) If the bleeding is in the arm, press
firmly on the inside of the upper arm, directly between the biceps and triceps. While
doing this, keep pressure on the bleeding area.
of the location of the brachial artery in the upper arm.
|For the leg, press over the fold of the leg, slightly towards the inside
from the midline of the leg.
Location of the femoral artery.
Hold pressure for several minutes after the bleeding seems to have stopped. Leave the
cloth in place over the wound. If you must walk or bike out, secure the pressure-dressing
by tying a shirt or bike inner tube around the cloth compress. Be sure it isn't too tight,
so you don't block circulation downstream from the wound.
[First Aid Index Page]