Information - Bloodloss

Blood is carried around our bodies through arteries, capillaries and veins. The blood carries nutrients and oxygen to the tissues while carrying poisons away to be processed and expelled. The blood also carries white blood cells and plasma to the
sites of injuries to help us recover and heal. If we were to suffer an injury that caused us to lose a lot of our blood, we would not be able to survive. You can learn more about the importance of blood in the below video from the Learning Junction.

© Learning junction 2019

Types of wounds

WARNING - Contains realistic images of different wounds. May not be appropriate for young children or individuals who do not like blood.

There are a variety of wounds we come across in First Aid, each with their own considerations.

An incised wound to the armIncisionA clean-cut by a sharp item like a knife. It can bleed quite a bit as blood vessels are cleanly cut open.
A laceration to the right handLacerationA tear to the skin caused by a jagged item, e.g. barbed wire.
A graze to the handAbrasionCommonly known as a graze. The surface of the skin is damaged and dirt can be embedded in the wound. This can have a high risk of infection.>
Bruise to left armContusionCommonly known as a bruise and is caused by a blow from an object or person. A bruise is bleeding under the skin. A large bruise could be a warning of large internal bleeding.
A puncture wound to the right handPuncture Wound
An item that has been stabbed into the body. A puncture wound can be small but we cannot see how deep the wound is and if any important organs have been damaged.
 A nail protruding from the arm Embedded object
 An item has got stabbed into the body and remains. We cannot see how deep an embedded object goes or if it plugging the hole from a major bleed.

Treatment

The priorities of treating a bleed are:
  • Pressure
  • Elevation

Wounds without an embed object

To implement the priorities on a wound, we:
  1. If the casualties are not showing signs of shock (covered in our next session), sit them comfortably in a chair.
  2. Without touching the wound, look at it and ensure nothing is embedded.
  3. Ask the casualty to cover the wound with their hand, to press on it and in the case of a limb, elevate it.
  4. Get your first aid items.
  5. Put on your first aid gloves.
  6. Place a sterile non-fluffy dressing over the wound and hold in place.
  7. Bandage the sterile dressing in place, ensuring each end is sealed and there is good pressure to stop the bleeding.
  8. Check the colour of the limb below the bandage to ensure it is not changing colour to white. This would indicate the bandage is too tight and needs loosening.
  9. Depending on the severity of the injury, you may monitor the injury, take them to the hospital or call an ambulance.

Wound with an object embedded

If there is an object embedded in the wound, you must not take it out. You do not know how deep the object has gone in, the damage it has caused or the angle of entry. If you remove the object, you might cause more damage or find it was blocking the
hole and stopping excessive bleeding.

To implement the priorities on a wound with an embedded object, we:

  1. If the casualties are not showing signs of shock (covered in our next session), sit them comfortably in a chair.
  2. Without touching the wound, look to see if an object is embedded.
  3. As there is an object embedded in the wound, ask the casualty to leave it in and where possible, ask them to press either side of the object to reduce blood flow and keep it stable. If the injury is to a limb (e.g. arm or leg), ask them to elevate,
    if it does not disturb the object.
  4. Get your first aid items.
  5. Put on your first aid gloves.
  6. Place 2 sterile non-fluffy bandages either side of the object. If the injury is to a limb, place bandages either side, following the length of the limb.
  7. Bandage the bandages in place, ensuring each bandage is held firmly in place. When bandaging, do not put pressure on the object as you do not want to push it in deeper.
  8. Check the colour of the limb below the bandage to ensure it is not changing colour to white. This would indicate the bandage is too tight and needs loosening.
  9. Depending on the severity of the injury, you may monitor the injury, take them to the hospital or call an ambulance.

Wounds to the arm

If you are dealing with an arm injury and the casualty is seated, you can put the arm in an elevation sling. This will keep the arm elevated even when the casualty arm is getting tired from being held in the air.