Bleeding refers to the loss of blood. Bleeding can happen inside the body (internally) or outside the body (externally). It may occur:
- Inside the body when blood leaks from blood vessels or organs
- Outside the body when blood flows through a natural opening (such as the
vagina, mouth, or rectum)
- Outside the body when blood moves through a break in the skin
Blood loss; Open injury bleeding
Always seek emergency assistance for severe bleeding, and if internal bleeding is suspected. Internal bleeding can rapidly become life threatening, and immediate medical care is needed.
Serious injuries don't always bleed heavily, and some relatively minor injuries (for example, scalp
Direct pressure will stop most external bleeding, and is the most important first aid step.
Always wash your hands before (if possible) and after giving first aid to someone who is bleeding, in order to avoid infection.
Try to use latex gloves when treating someone who is bleeding. Latex gloves should be in every first aid kit. People allergic to latex can use a non-latex, synthetic glove. You can catch viral hepatitis if you touch infected blood, and HIV can be spread if infected blood gets into an open wound -- even a small one.
Although puncture wounds usually don't bleed very much, they carry a high risk of infection. Seek medical care to prevent
Abdominal and chest wounds can be very serious because of the possibility of severe internal bleeding. They may not look very serious, but can result in
Blood loss can cause bruises (blood collected under the skin), which usually result from a blow or a fall. They are dark, discolored areas on the skin. Apply a cool compress to the area as soon as possible to reduce
Bleeding can be caused by injuries or can occur spontaneously. Spontaneous bleeding is most commonly caused by problems with the joints or the gastrointestinal or urogenital tracts.