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 (570ml) of blood with no ill effects, and yet if this same amount were tipped on to the floor it would look very alarming. Serious shock in an adult tends to develop only after 2 pints (roughly 1 litre) of blood or more is lost from the body, and even this can be effectively treated with good first aid and early hospital care.
First Aid Treatment
The three main principles of the treatment of external bleeding are:
Where 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 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 a member of your own family.
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