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Serious bleeding can be life-threatening and very distressing for the patient and even for the first aider. When dealing with bleeding, remain calm and remember your training.  In many cases it will look a lot worse than it is.

With all types of bleeding, as with other first aid care, we must make sure that we have our gloves on. 

The first part of controlling serious bleeding is the use of direct pressure. This can be by the patient applying pressure over the wound or using your gloved hand. This stops some of the blood from leaving the body and also assists the clotting process where the body produces fibrous threads to block the hole.

Cuts can also be treated by using a standard pressure bandage or dressing.

Pressure dressings are wrapped in plastic and are sterile, you should check the expiry date, after this date the dressing is no longer guaranteed to be sterile, when you check your first aid kit, you should make sure that any expired dressings are disposed of and replaced.

If you only have an expired dressing available then you would have no choice but to use it.  When you open a pressure dressing you will notice that it is a bandage with a pad, the bandage is much shorter on one end. The pad is applied directly over the wound and the bandage wrapped around the limb to keep the pad in place as demonstrated in the video.

It is important to mention that if there is an embedded object in the wound, do not remove it. In cases of amputation, sometimes there may not be a lot of blood as the vessels can be drawn into the body, which restricts the bleeding, in other cases there can be a lot of blood loss.

Amputated parts should be placed in a plastic bag or wrapped with cling film, before packing with crushed ice and sent to the hospital with the patient.

Tourniquets completely stop all blood flow through and back and these can cause a lot of problems so they are not used often used in first aid unless you know the correct procedure and it is a life-threatening bleed.  

Always monitor a patient with serious bleeding for shock.