18 Principles of Bleeding Control: Essential Tips for Survival Situations

18 Principles of Bleeding Control: Essential Tips for Survival Situations

18 Principles Of Bleeding Control


When it comes to survival situations, one of the most critical skills to have is the ability to control bleeding. Whether you’re out in the wilderness on a camping trip or faced with a disaster scenario, knowing how to stop bleeding can be a matter of life or death. In this article, we’ll cover the 18 principles of bleeding control and provide you with essential tips and tricks to handle such situations effectively.

1. Stay Calm

In any emergency situation, it is crucial to remain calm. Panicking will only hinder your ability to think clearly and take appropriate actions. Take a deep breath, assess the situation, and proceed with the necessary steps to control bleeding.

2. Assess the Severity

Before jumping into action, determine the severity of the bleeding. Is it a minor cut, or is it a severe arterial bleed? Understanding the severity will help you prioritize your actions and respond accordingly.

3. Use Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Protect yourself before assisting others. It is vital to wear personal protective equipment such as gloves or even a mask to avoid any potential exposure to bloodborne pathogens.

4. Apply Direct Pressure

The first step in controlling bleeding is to apply direct pressure to the wound. Use a clean cloth, gauze, or your hand to apply steady pressure directly on the bleeding site. Hold the pressure until the bleeding stops or medical help arrives.

5. Elevate the Wound

If possible, elevate the injured area above the level of the heart. This can help reduce blood flow to the affected area, aiding in the slowing down of bleeding.

6. Apply Pressure to Arterial Points

In cases of severe bleeding, applying pressure to arterial points can help control the flow of blood. Arterial points are areas where the artery lies close to the skin’s surface, such as the groin or the armpit. Apply direct pressure to these points while continuing to apply pressure to the wound itself.

7. Use Tourniquets as a Last Resort

Tourniquets should only be used as a last resort when bleeding cannot be controlled by other methods. Apply a tourniquet between the bleeding site and the heart, making sure it is tight enough to stop the blood flow. However, remember to seek professional medical help as soon as possible after applying a tourniquet.

8. Pack the Wound

In cases of deep wounds, packing the wound with sterile gauze or clean cloth can be effective in controlling bleeding. Apply direct pressure on top of the packed wound to further stop the bleeding.

9. Use Hemostatic Agents

Hemostatic agents, such as gauze or powders, can be used to promote blood clotting and control bleeding. These agents work by absorbing water from the blood, concentrating the clotting factors, and facilitating the clotting process. Remember to follow the manufacturer’s instructions when using hemostatic agents.

10. Maintain Pressure

Once bleeding is under control, it is crucial to maintain pressure on the wound. This prevents the wound from reopening and helps in the formation of a stable clot. Do not remove the dressings until medical help arrives.

11. Monitor the Victim

Keep a close eye on the victim while waiting for medical help. Look for signs of shock, such as pale skin, rapid breathing, or altered mental state. If necessary, lay the victim down and elevate their legs slightly to improve blood flow to vital organs.

12. Keep the Victim Warm

In cases of significant bleeding, the victim may experience a drop in body temperature. Make sure to keep them warm by covering them with a blanket or using heat packs. It is essential to prevent hypothermia, which can complicate the situation further.

13. Stay with the Victim

Do not leave the victim alone unless absolutely necessary. Your presence provides comfort and reassurance during such distressing situations. If possible, assign someone else to call for medical help while you stay with the victim.

14. Don’t Remove Impaled Objects

If the bleeding is caused by an impaled object, such as a knife or a piece of glass, avoid removing it. Removing the object might worsen the bleeding or cause further damage. Instead, stabilize the object by applying pressure around it and seek medical help.

15. Use Improvised Pressure Points

In situations where arterial pressure points cannot be reached, you can create improvised pressure points by using objects like belts, straps, or even sticks. Place the object against the bone, between the bleeding site and the heart, and tighten it to help control bleeding.

16. Know How to Recognize Internal Bleeding

Internal bleeding is not always apparent, but certain signs can indicate its presence. Look for symptoms such as pain, tenderness, bruising, swelling, or rapid breathing. If you suspect internal bleeding, seek immediate medical attention.

17. Regularly Update First Aid Skills

First aid techniques and protocols evolve over time, so it is essential to stay updated. Attend first aid classes or refreshers regularly to ensure you are equipped with the latest information and techniques for bleeding control.

18. Seek Professional Help

While it is crucial to provide immediate first aid for bleeding control, always seek professional medical help as soon as possible. Only healthcare professionals have the tools and expertise to provide the necessary care and treatment.

My 2 Cents

Controlling bleeding is a skill that everyone should have, as it can be a matter of life or death in many situations. Whether it’s a minor cut or a severe injury, knowing how to apply direct pressure, use improvised techniques, and understand when to seek medical help can make a significant difference. Keep a well-stocked first aid kit at home and familiarize yourself with its contents. Regularly review and update your first aid knowledge and skills to ensure you are always prepared. Remember, staying calm and acting swiftly can save lives.