Is it just us, or has Halloween really upped its game in the UK? The SFX (special effects) make up is just incredible now. Make-up artists and amateurs are cashing in, making people look dead or dying and it looks so effective. With businesses specialising in making people look like they are bleeding and wounded, it’s sometimes hard to tell if it’s real.
But Halloween fun aside, have you ever dealt with wounds and bleeding? Or does the mere thought of it make you feel nauseous?
Thankfully, most of the blood you see this Halloween will be fake and just for effect. What happens though, when you come across a real-life situation where someone is wounded and bleeding?
It helps if you are a trained first-aider but you don’t have to be to take some quick action.
You’ll hopefully have no nightmares if you follow our TH Training Solutions guide.
WARNING – Brace yourself if you’re squeamish……
Different types of bleeds
There are 3 main types of bleeds, characterised by the way they look and…well….come out of the body. How the wound appears doesn’t necessarily determine the type of bleeding that appears. It could be anything….a slice, a gash or even an amputation.
- Arterial blood spurts out of the body (like you see in the Halloween movies)
- You can recognise arterial bleeds by their colour too. This blood is bright red because it’s rich in oxygen and shoots out as the heart beats
- It is the most life-threatening type of bleed because blood loss is rapid, and therefore can be a risk to life in just 2 minutes
- This is bleeding of the veins and it oozes out of the body
- Also identified by dark red coloured bleeding, as your veins carry your deoxygenated blood
- Again, venous bleeding can be life-threatening if not treated
- This is the most common type of bleed that we see
- You will recognise capillary bleeds as they appear as a trickle of blood coming from a wound such as a graze, scratch or even a paper cut
- This blood comes from the capillary layer under your skin and just a ‘normal’ red colour
- It’s not life-threatening, usually minimal and easy to control
So, what do you need to do to treat wounds and bleeds?
Step 1 – Sit or lay the person down.
You want to get them into a safe position. If the casualty is losing a lot of blood (such as an arterial bleed), they may go into shock and go unconscious. Some people may feel faint at the sight of blood, so get them in a safe position to avoid further injury or a fall.
Step 2 – Assess the wound.
Quickly assess the type of bleed you are dealing with.
Locate the exact point of bleeding, because whilst there may be lots of blood around the wound, the wound itself may be only small. That is the point you need to treat.
Check for any imbedded objects. This is important as you can’t put direct pressure on an imbedded object or remove it.
Step 3 – Apply pressure to the wound, ideally with a sterile bandage from a first aid kit,
As a rule, you want to hold the bleed and stem the blood flow. Ideally, apply direct pressure to the wound for a minimum of 10 minutes.
So, whilst the above is in an ideal scenario, if someone has an arterial bleed and only thing you have is a scarf or item of clothing, it is far better to use that rather than nothing at all.
If nothing is available immediately to apply to the wound, the casualty can even do that themselves with their hand. This is dependant on their state and level of consciousness, of course.
Step 4 – Dress appropriately.
Use a sterile, undamaged, in-date dressing, which is size appropriate for the wound.
Check for circulation after you’ve applied the dressing. For example, check the injured person’s fingernail if they have an arm or hand wound. You should press the nail, blood will run away from nail, then release the nail. Blood should return in few seconds. If not, the bandage may be too tight. You may need to loosen them a bit.
If you have applied one bandage and the blood is still coming through, you can apply a second dressing over the first, ensuring more pressure on that second dressing.
However, if blood comes through the second dressing, remove both and start again, ensuring direct pressure is applied to the point of bleeding.
What if it’s a nightmare?
- The worry is that someone loses a lot of blood and goes into shock. If they go pale, clammy and have a rapid but weak pulse, then lay them and down raise their feet. Keep them warm and ring 999.
- If you are worried that the wound is too big, jagged or just won’t stop bleeding – get the person to hospital or the nearest walk in centre.
- If there’s an embedded object (Halloween style!) don’t remove and don’t put pressure on the object itself. Try and get pressure around the object, using rolled up bandages of appropriate size, but crucially without putting pressure on the object itself. Take the person to hospital or call 999.
Hopefully wounds and bleeds will be the stuff of movies and nightmares or cool Halloween SFX. But if you are in a situation where you must deal with it, knowing what to do can make a huge difference to the injured person. As a business, you also need to consider your legal requirements to provide adequate first aid provisions for employees in the workplace to avoid any nightmares!
Happy Halloween from the team at TH Training Solutions!
If you want to get your team fully trained or find out more about our accredited First Aid courses, contact us today:
Rachel 07710 245 376
Tony 07836 535 568
Links to a few of our courses:
TH Training Solutions provide both accredited and in-house training for businesses UK wide.
Specialists in health and social care and mandatory training in first aid, fire safety and food safety.
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