Occurs when blood vessels are damaged. External bleeding often looks more dramatic than Internal Bleeding, but the latter can be more serious.
In a minor graze or bruise only the smallest blood vessels, the capillaries, are broken; blood seeps slowly into the surrounding tissues but soon clots, resealing the capillaries and stopping further leakage. If a vein is broken, dark red blood flows steadily from the wound; if the vein is large, blood loss must be stopped as it will not seal itself. If an artery is broken, bright red blood spurts from the wound in time with the pulse; arterial blood is under pressure because it is being pumped directly from the heart. Loss of blood from an artery must be stopped, or it will quickly lead to excessive blood loss and Shock.
Bleeding often looks more alarming than it is. A very small amount of blood goes a long way. Most adults can lose up to I litre (2 pints) of blood without danger to life. However, this amount can easily be lost into the tissues especially from a fracture of a large bone, so the blood loss that one can see is not always the true picture.
Treatment of Severe Bleeding
Only treat bleeding if you have established that the injured person has a pulse and is breathing. Check for any foreign bodies embedded in the wound; if so, take care to press on either side of the object, not on it. Otherwise, apply pressure directly over the site of the bleeding with your fingers or palm, preferably over a sterile or clean dressing (but don’t waste time looking for one.) The person may be able to do this for themselves.
Raise the affected limb above the level of the person’s heart, lying them down if necessary, to slow the blood loss. Be very gentle if you think the limb may be fractured.
If you estimate that more than a litre (2 pints) of blood has been lost, or that shock may develop, help the person to lie down and raise their legs above their heart to help maintain blood flow to the heart and brain.
Cover with a clean dressing and secure firmly with bandages but not so tightly that the circulation is impaired. If necessary, apply a second dressing on top of the first one. If blood seeps through this one as well, remove them both and apply a fresh one, making sure that the pressure is directly over the bleeding. Support the raised limb. Contact emergency medical services.
Emergency bandages can be made from sheets, towels, pillowcases, scarves, cotton clothes, clean blankets, paper hankies, and many other items. If blood seeps through them, do not take them off - keep adding more layers. Check the person's pulse every 5 minutes and jot it down. If the pulse rate is increasing check for other sites of external bleeding. If external bleeding has been controlled, increased pulse indicates Internal Bleeding.
Specific remedies to be given every 10-15 minutes for up to 10 doses once bleeding has been brought under control
- Bleeding follows injury, with extensive or serious bruising Arnica 30c
- Person restless, anxious, chilly, and exhausted Arsenicum 30c
- Bright red blood, pulse full and laboured, face red and hot Belladonna 30c
- Person collapsed, hungry for air (yawning), wanting cool air to be fanned across the face Carbo veg. 30c
- Bright red blood, person nauseous, cold and sweaty, gasping for air Ipecac 30c
- Casualty can't stand warmth or tight clothing around neck or waist Lachesis 30c
- Bleeding difficult to stop, blood bright red and flows in fits and starts, casualty thirsty for ice-cold drinks Phosphorus 30c