Bleeding involves the loss of blood. Bleeding can also occur inside the body such as leaks from blood vessels or externally on a natural opening like the mouth, nose, ears, urethra, vagina or anus. Bleeding can also occur through a cut in the skin.
A healthy individual can survive a loss of 10-15% of the total volume of blood. A blood donation usually takes 8-10% of the donor’s blood volume. If an individual has either a small or big wound, the first thing you will do is to stop the bleeding. It can be stopped by applying pressure on the injured area and then elevate the injured part of the body.
Minor cuts or scrapes
Bleeding on these areas with minor cuts or scrapes can stop on its own or upon direct application of pressure on the wound. Small accidents at home, school or other public places are a part of everyday life. Such as slicing bread where you accidentally cut your finger or a child trips on a curb and scrapes the knee. With these kinds of accidents, you have to give immediate attention such as basic first aid if the wound is deep and bleeds heavily or if an object was embedded in the wound. If the wound is just a small cut or scrape, you have to take into consideration the following:
• Rinse and wash the wound with water to get rid of debris and dirt. Use soap to clean the wound.
• Do not use hydrogen peroxide, rubbing alcohol or iodine in treating small cuts and scrapes.
A small amount of blood can help in the cleaning a wound. For smaller cuts and scrapes, the bleeding usually stops on their own. On the other hand, if a cut is on the head or hand, it will bleed more since there are a lot of blood vessels in these areas. To stop the bleeding in these areas, apply direct pressure using a clean cloth or gauze. Do not check the wound by removing the cloth or gauze since it might cause bleeding again.
If the blood seeps through the dressing, apply more cloth or gauze and continue applying pressure on the wound. If it is only a cut in your hand or arm, you can minimize the bleeding by raising the arm or hand above the head. If the wound has stopped bleeding and already clean, cover it with a sterile bandage and secure in place with a tape.
Razor cut can oftentimes cause bleeding that cannot be stopped and the application of pressure is not effective. Use an alum block in case an individual accidentally sustains a cut while shaving. An alum block is a stone that looks like a crystal that is moistened with cold water before rubbing over the shaved area. This can be applied to a cut and can stop the bleeding instantly. An active ingredient in the alum block is potassium alum which has antiseptic and astringent properties.