Information - Bleeding

A cut to the hand

A cut to the hand can either go from side to side or from the wrist to the fingers. If the cut goes from side to side, you can ask them to make a fist on a bandage which will apply good pressure and help control the bleeding. If the cut goes from wrist to finger, do not get them to make a fist as it will open up the wound. In this situation, bandage as if you were bandaging an arm.

Watch the video on how to bandage a clenched fist and link with the steps below.

  1. Place a pad over the wound and ask the casualty to close their hand.
  2. Bandage over the closed knuckles twice. The bandage should go from the fingers to the outside of the thumb. This should stop the fingers from opening. Ensure the thumb is free and not bandaged over.
  3. Once the knuckles are covered, change direction, taking the bandage between the finger and thumb. Keep wrapping the bandage around the hand, from small finger to in between the thumb and finger. Use these turns to apply the pressure to the wound.
  4. Finish by tying off over the fingers, to keep the pressure on the wound.

A cut to the head

A lot of blood flows around our head, as it contains our brain which uses a lot of energy and oxygen to function. When we injure our head, it can bleed a lot and make the injury appear worse than it is. We need to get firm pressure on the injury to control the bleeding and get a quick idea of how severe the injury is. When bandaging the head, it is important to catch the bandage low on the back of the head to anchor it in place and will stop it sliding off. We should also avoid covering the eyes or ears and we should not go under the chin.

It is important to monitor a casualty with a cut to the head, to ensure there are no other injuries or internal damage. You should immediately contact the emergency services if your casualty is also complaining of any of the following:

  • neck pain
  • loss of responsiveness for any period of time
  • headache
  • nausea or vomiting
  • blurred vision
  • change in personality
  • you generally concerned

Crush injury

If a casualty is crushed under an object, you will need emergency services to help you. You should follow DRABC (see lesson Information - Initial Assessment) and treat any injuries following these principles:

  • If they are trapped for less than 15 minutes and it is safe to do so, release them from the object that is trapping them.
  • If they are trapped for more than 15 minutes, DO NOT release them, but make them comfortable in the position found.

It is important not to release a casualty trapped for more than 15 minutes as severe shock can occur very quickly and a first aider will not be able to effectively manage this risking the casualties life.

Amputation

If a casualty has cut off a limb it is to follow DRABC, calling for emergency services and providing additional treatment as follows:

  1. Control blood loss by applying direct pressure.
  2. Treat the casualty for shock.
  3. Find the amputated part and wrap in plastic e.g. cling film or plastic bag
  4. Wrap the amputated part in cloth e.g. gauze or tea towel
  5. Place the wrapped amputated part in a bag surrounded by ice.
    Do not let the amputated part directly touch the ice, as the cold will damage the skin.
  6. Label the amputated part with casualties name and the time the accident occurred.
  7. Hand the amputated part over to the ambulance service along with the casualty.

Impalement

People can get injured in many ways, e.g. climbing over railings or getting injured with a javelin. If these items are still impaled in the person, we treat them as we would an embedded object. We do not remove the item and we pad around it. If the injury goes through the limb, we will pad on both sides of the limb.

If our casualty was climbing over railings and has got impaled, we do not lift them off. We would need to find a safe way to support their weight and not leave their weight pushing the implement in deeper. We should not risk our back holding them up, but look for appropriate items like a chair, box or ladder.