If the bleeding isn’t controlled quickly, they may lose a lot of blood, become unresponsive and possibly develop shock. Shock does not mean emotional shock; it is a life-threatening condition, often caused by loss of blood. 

Your priority is to stop the bleeding. 

What to do

Follow the steps below:

Step 1 

With open wounds, there’s a risk of infection, so wear protective first aid gloves (if available) to help prevent any infection passing between you both. 

Step 2 

Control the bleeding by applying direct pressure to the wound.

Step 3  

Dial 999 or 112 for the emergency services

Step 4 

Apply an appropriate dressing firmly to control the bleeding and minimise the risk of infection. It should not be so tight that it restricts the casualty’s circulation.

Step 5 

Treat for shock by lying the casualty down with their feet raised. If possible, lay the casualty on a blanket or some other item to insulate them from the cold ground. If the casualty has a head injury, lay them down and slightly raise their head and shoulders.  

Step 6 

If blood comes through the dressing, remove the dressing and reapply direct pressure over the wound with a new dressing or pad to control the bleeding.

Step 7 

Secure the dressing with the bandage once the bleeding is controlled, tie the knot over the pad to help maintain pressure

Step 8 

It may be that the call handler instructs you how to improvise a tourniquet to control life-threatening bleeding if you are not trained or do not have a tourniquet in your first aid kit, using items such as a triangular bandage, belt, or tie.

Step 9 

Monitor the casualty’s breathing and level of response while waiting for the emergency services to arrive.

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