First Aid Techniques
At the Emergency Scene
Action in An Emergency
Assessing a Casualty
Maintaining Airway,
Breathing, and Circulation
What to do When Somebody has Collapsed
The recovery Position for
The recovery Position for
Children and Babies
Rescue Breathing for Adults
Rescue Breathing for
Children and Babies
CPR for Adults
CPR for Children and Babies
Choking in Adults
Choking in Children
Choking in Babies
Everyday First Aid
Minor Wounds
Infected Wounds
Dealing with Splinters and
Fish Hooks
Foreign Bodies
Animal Bites
Insect Bites and Stings
More on Bites and Stings
Earaches, Toothache, and
Sore Throat
Abdominal Pain
Vomiting and Diarrhea
Hysteria, Hiccups, and Panic
Equipment, Medicines, and Complementary Medicine
Using Dressings and Cold
First Aid Kit for the Home
First Aid Kit for the Car
Wilderness First Aid Kit
Observation Chart/Victim
Storing and Using Medication
Commonly Prescribed
What They Do and Side
Drug Interactions
The Complementary
Medicine Chest
Treatment of External Bleeding

Coming across somebody who is bleeding heavily can be very frightening. It may be reassuring to remember that many adults donate up to a pint of blood with no ill effects, and yet if this the same amount were tipped onto the floor it would look very alarming. Serious shock in an adult tends to develop only after 2 pints of blood or more is lost from the body, and even this can be effectively treated with good first aid and early hospital care.


The three main principles of the treatment of external bleeding are:

  • Look
  • Apply
  • Elevate
  1. Look at the wound to check how large it is. Check that the wound has nothing in it (such as debris or a foreign body).

  2. Apply direct pressure to the wound. If the victim is able to press on the wound, encourage him or her to do so. If not, then apply direct pressure yourself, initially with your fingers and, if you have it handy, with a sterile dressing or a piece of clean cloth. Applying direct pressure to the wound enables the blood to clot and therefore stems the blood flow from the cut. Once applied, a sterile dressing (or whatever you have handy) should ideally be held in place with a firm bandage or improvised bandage such as a scarf or a tie.

  3. Elevate the wound. If the injury is an arm or leg, raise the wound above the level of the heart. It is harder for the blood to pump upward and this therefore reduces the blood flow and thus the fluid loss from the body.

  4. Treat for shock. Keep the victim warm and continually at rest. Reassure the victim.


Whenever possible, you should avoid direct contact with blood or other body fluids such as vomit. This is to protect both you and the person that you are treating. There are several ways of doing this:

  • If available, use gloves. These come in many different sizes and materials (particularly useful if you have an allergy to latex) and should be kept in every first aid kit.

  • If the person bleeding is able, ask her to apply direct pressure to the injury herself.

  • Use bandages, dressings, or other materials, such as a handkerchief or T-shirt, as a barrier between your hand and the wound.

  • Keep injuries in your own hands covered with plasters or dressings.
If you do get blood on your skin, simply wash off well with soap and hot water. Clear up spills of blood or vomit with a bleach and water solution. Clothing that has been stained by blood or vomit should be put through a hot wash in the washing machine. If you are concerned about the possibility of infection after dealing with body fluids, contact your doctor. It is important to remember that the risk of cross-infection is minimal and that in most instances where you are applying first aid you will be doing so for member of your own family.
Vomiting and Diarrhea

First Aid Procedures
Breathing Difficulties
Anaphylactic Shock
Heart Problems
Treatment of External Bleeding
Bleeding from the Head or
Treating Chest or Abdominal
Crush Injuries, Impalement,
and Amputation
Internal Bleeding
Eye Wounds and Embedded
Bleeding from Special Sites
Controlling Bleeding from the Mouth and Nose
Fractures, Discolorations, and
Soft Tissue Injuries
How to Treat Fractures
Fractures of the Skull, Face,
and Jaw
Fractures of the Upper Body
Fractures of the Arm and Hand
Fractures of the Ribcage
Recognizing Back and Spinal
If you have to move the Victim
Unconscious Victim
Injuries to the Lower Body
Injuries to the Lower Leg
Sprains and Strains
Burns and Scalds
Treating Other Types of Burn
Chemical Burns and Eye Burns
Extreme Cold
Extreme Heat
Poisoning from Household
Poisoning from Industrial
Drug Poisoning
Alcohol Poisoning
Food Poisoning
Emergency Childbirth
Wilderness First Aid
What to Do if You are a Long Way from Help
Wilderness First Aid
Avalanche and Snow Survival Techniques
Cold Water Survival
Stretcher Improvising
Loading and Carrying a
One-and-Two-Person Carries
Helicopter Rescue