Content Warning: This article contains descriptions of severe injuries and may not be suitable for all readers.
In the event of a tragedy, first responders can provide vital help to victims by stopping uncontrollable bleeding before medical professionals arrive to the scene. Bystanders can often make the difference between life and death with the help of a bleed control kit. There are many things to keep in mind when using a bleeding control kit for the first time and that kind of responsibility under intense pressure can be very overwhelming. Most importantly it is crucial to remain calm in order to think and act without hesitation or error. LifeSecure has put together a list of the common concerns many users have about using a bleeding control kit for the first time. The hope is that more people will learn the proper techniques to Stop The Bleed and will feel confident enough to step in to save the lives of others when tragedy strikes.
Ensure Safety & Access the Injury
- After calmly dialing 9-1-1 to report the incident at-hand, ensure your own safety before jumping in to help a victim.
- Approach the victim and identify the source of bleeding.
- Protect yourself from blood-borne infections by wearing gloves, if available.
- Determine if the bleeding is “life-threatening”
- Blood spurting out of the wound
- Blood that won’t stop coming out of the wound
- Blood that is pooling on the ground
- Clothing or bandages are soaked with blood
- Loss of all or part of an arm or leg
- Confusion or Unconsciousness of the bleeding victim
Know When to Use the Bleeding Control Kit
- If you’ve identified the bleeding as life-threatening and coming from an arm or leg, there may be a tourniquet in the kit to wrap around the bleeding site.
- If a tourniquet is unavailable, pack the wound with gauze or a clean cloth and apply pressure with both hands until relieved by medical professionals.
- The main objective is to compress the bleeding blood vessel in order to stop the flow of blood – items in your kit will help you with this.
How to Properly Use the Bleeding Control Kit
- To familiarize yourself with the items in your kit, it is encouraged to take a course online or in your community.
- Your local Fire Department, Emergency Medical Services agency or the community outreach department at your local hospital will be able to assist you.
How to Monitor the Victim’s Condition
- Among everything else you would learn in a course on the proper use of a bleeding control kit, you will also learn how to monitor the victim’s condition as pressure is being applied to the bleeding site.
- You’ll want to observe any signs of confusion, unconsciousness or skin that is clammy to the touch, as these might be a sign of shock. If you believe the victim is in shock, try to keep them warm.
- Observe the victims’ vital signs including respiration (breathing) and pulse (heart rate) and be prepared to update the paramedics when they arrive.
What to Do Until Paramedics Arrive
- Remain calm
- Not only do you want to stop the flow of blood but you want to keep the victim calm as well.
- Keep the victim stationary and ensure their alertness by continually speaking to them.
The valid concerns of using a bleeding control kit for the first time can be relieved by proper training. While it is possible to improvise a way to stop the bleed during an emergency, it is far better to be prepared. LifeSecure can provide you with a wide variety of kits that will make the job of saving a life that much easier.