Bleeding from the Head or Palm
Bleeding from the head is usually caused by a blow. The scalp in particular has a rich blood supply and even a small wound can bleed heavily. The palm of the hand is commonly cut while cutting objects or through a fall. Bleeding is often severe as the palm also has a rich blood supply. There are many tendons and nerves in the hand, and wounds to the palm may be accompanied by loss of movement or feeling in the fingers.
Signs and symptoms of skull fracture, concussion and compression
- Bruising to the eye socket
- A bump or dent in the skull
- Straw-coloured fluid coming from one or both ears
- Casualty becomes increasingly drowsy and unresponsive over a period of time. Does she respond slowly to questions or commands? Is she having problems focusing?
- Pale skin
- Dizziness, blurred vision or nausea
- Brief or partial loss of consciousness
- Person becomes increasingly drowsy and unresponsive
- Flushed and dry skin
- Slurred speech and confusion
- Partial or total loss of movement, often down one side of the body
- One pupil appears to be larger than the other
- Noisy breathing, which becomes slow
- Slow, strong pulse
How to treat head bleeds
Treatment should include taking full details of what happened and checking for signs of head injury, such as skull fracture, concussion or compression.
- Help the injured person to sit or lie down.
- Check for any signs of head injury. Treat as appropriate.
- Using a sterile bandage, apply direct pressure to the wound to stop the bleeding.
- Cover the wound with a sterile dressing or a clean pad. Tie this in place with a bandage.
- Take or send the casualty to hospital as soon as possible.
If the casualty becomes unconscious, monitor and maintain airway and breathing and be prepared to resuscitate as necessary.
How to treat bleeding from the palm
- Help the casualty to sit or lie down. Apply direct pressure to the wound and raise the arm. lf the person has had a fall, take care to rule out a broken arm or collar bone before raising the arm.
- Place a sterile dressing or clean pad in the hand and ask the casualty to grip her fingers over it. Bandage the fingers so that they are clenched over the pad. Leave the thumb exposed. lf there is an embedded object in the wound, treat the hand flat and bandage around the object. lf tendon damage means that the fingers cannot be clenched, bandage the wound with the hand flat.
- Treat for shock if necessary. Keep the casualty warm, at rest and reassure him or her.
- Support the arm in an elevation sling and take or send the casualty to hospital.
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