If someone is bleeding heavily from a wound you should try to minimise the bleeding. This can be done by pulling the wound edges together and then applying pressure. If possible, raise the affected area above the level of the heart. Remember to try to protect yourself; wear gloves if any are available.

Call an ambulance as soon as you can. If the person appears shocked Ė grey, sweating, rapid pulse, shallow breathing, lie them down and raise their legs above the level of their head. Talk to them calmly until the ambulance arrives.

Cuts and grazes
Minor cuts and grazes should be washed with warm water and mild soap. Remove any visible dirt. Apply pressure if the bleeding doesnít stop after washing. Cover with a clean dressing; a plaster will do. Remove this to encourage healing after a couple of days, if it is clean and dry.

Seek medical advice if the wound is very dirty and you cannot easily clean it, or if the wound is deep. Particular attention should be paid to any cut on the hands in case any tendons have been injured. Seek medical advice if in doubt.

Check the personís tetanus status. If they havenít been immunised within the last 10 years they may need a booster. Wounds particularly at risk are deep penetrating wounds, particularly if incurred in the garden or open ground. Tetanus spores lie within the soil.

Further information

This article published on
01 July 2005

Next review date 7/1/2013


First aid
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