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Apply direct pressure on a bleeding wound.

Severe bleeding is a life-threatening medical emergency. The rapid loss of just two pints of blood can result in shock and loss of consciousness. A victim can bleed to death in a short time.

  • To stop bleeding:
    • Apply direct pressure on the wound.
    • Cover with a sterile gauze pad—or the cleanest cloth readily available. Concerns about infection are secondary when it comes to preventing massive blood loss.
    • Press the pad firmly over the wound using the palm of your hand. Don’t lift the pad to check the wound—it will only renew bleeding.
    • When a pad becomes soaked, put a fresh one directly over the old pad.
    • If the wound is on a limb and there’s no fracture, raise the limb above the level of the heart. Gravity will reduce the blood pressure in the limb.
  • Direct pressure and elevation are usually sufficient to stop bleeding. If profuse bleeding continues, try shutting off circulation in the artery that supplies blood to the injured limb.
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