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Updated on November 8, 2008


Cuts with Major Bleeding

To apply dressing, press the artery firmly to stop bleed­ing. If pressure alone is insufficient to stop bleeding which is rarely the case, apply pressure to artery supplying the extremity.

For an open arm wound including the hand, apply pressure to the brachial artery, forcing it against the arm bone. The pressure point is located on the inside of the arm about midway between the armpit and the elbow. The artery can be felt to pulsate in this area. To apply pressure on the artery, grasp the middle of the upper arm with your thumb on the outside of the arm and your other fingers, not their tips. Press your fingers toward your thumb to create an inward force.

For the control of severe bleeding from a leg wound, apply pressure on the femoral artery by forcing it against the pelvic bone. The pressure point is located on the front center part of the crease in the groin area, where the artery crosses the pelvic bone on its way to the leg. Place the child flat on his or her back, if possible, and place the heel of your hand directly over the pressure point. Then lean forward over your straightened arm to ap­ply the small amount of pressure needed to close the artery. If bleeding is not stopped, it may be necessary to press directly over the artery with the flat surfaces of the fingertips and apply additional pressure over the fingertips with the heel of the other hand.

The use of tourniquet is rarely necessary. It is dangerous and recommended for use only when other measures have failed and when life is threatened.

When a dressing has been applied to control bleeding, whether bleeding has been severe or not, precautions must be taken. Do not remove or disturb the cloth pad or attempt to cleanse the wound. The next step should be left to the doctor. Immobilize the injured area when possible, adjust the victim's lying position so that the affected limb can be elevated.

Cuts Without Major Bleeding

To cleanse the wound, wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water. Use ordinary hand soap or mild detergent. Wash in and around the wound to remove foreign matter. Flush with clean water, preferably running tap water. Blot dry with a sterile gauze pad or a clean cloth. Apply a dry bandage or clean dressing and secure it firmly in place. Consult a physician promptly if evidence of infec­tion appears. The doctor may advise additional home remedies for small wounds.


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