People do some pretty stupid things when it comes to first aid!
Let’s look over some of the WRONG ways to stop serious bleeding. Notice we are dealing with ‘serious’ bleeding, not paper cuts. We’re talking about either arterial bleeds (squirting bright red blood), or venous bleeds (steady flow of dark oozing blood).
Don’t go take a knife, place it on a stove burner until red hot and then press it into the wound… this is very risky and not necessarily an effective intervention. No matter how good it worked in the movies, that is not reality! Many serious bleeds are very deep in the flesh, and so it is most likely that you’ll just cauterize the surrounding tissue, and not even the blood vessel. Additionally, if you cauterize you run a great risk of creating a blood clot, which can then get pumped into circulation and kill your patient!
Don’t ignite gun powder!
No, no, no! Just with cauterizing, don’t do something as stupid as pouring gun powder over a wound and lighting it ablaze in hopes that it will cauterize the flesh. FIRSTLY, a serious bleed there will be way too much blood and your gun powder will be wet and rendered useless. SECONDLY, whatever ‘seal’ the burning tissue creates even if you do happen to ignite it will NOT be able to hold back the pressure of the bleeding.
Don’t stitch it!
Stitching or suturing a serious bleed will do NOTHING to stop! The blood will just go around the stitches! You would have to stitch every millimeter of the wound to make a sufficient seal to stop the blood, and that is not at all feasible.
What should you do?
Just one thing! Direct pressure. Direct pressure right over the wound, ideally with some textiles. If that does not work and if it is on a limb… then you can use a tourniquet. But that is all! Direct pressure. Direct Pressure.
Other things you can do?
There are a few things you’ll hear people talk about… they are a bit iffy but:
- Pack the wound with dirt. (treat the infection after you save the life)
- Pack the wound with Cayenne Pepper. Spicy!
- Pack the wound with baking flour. Really?
Make your life simple and just use direct pressure.
When you think of bleeding think of: Direct Pressure.