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If a person is bleeding, you must stop the bleeding as quickly as possible. You also may need to protect the wound from infection and treat the victim for shock.

There are two recommended ways to stop bleeding:

  1. Direct pressure and
  2. Pressure points.
Applying pressure to bleeding injury
Apply pressure if bleeding

Direct Pressure

Use direct pressure on all wounds. This is the first choice to stop all bleeding and stops circulation only at the wound.

Press hard directly over the wound. Use the cleanest available material to press over the wound. A shirt, socks, etc. can all work. Use your hands if no cloth is available.

If possible, elevate the wound above the heart.

Pressure Point

This is not as good as direct pressure in most cases. Using a pressure point stops all circulation to that part of the body.

When using pressure points, you should first use direct pressure over the wound. Add a pressure point only after you have used direct pressure and bleeding has not stopped.

After bleeding has stopped, release the pressure point and maintain direct pressure on the wound.

Do not use a tourniquet to stop bleeding
Do not use a tourniquet to stop bleeding

Other Information

A tourniquet is not recommended to stop bleeding. The only time a tourniquet should be used is when a limb (such as an arm or leg) must be sacrificed in order to save a person's life.

Clean small wounds with hand soap and water. Do not clean a serious wound after bleeding has stopped! Leave the bandage in place, and allow trained medical professionals to clean the wound. If you try to clean a serious wound, you could make the bleeding start again.