Bleeding & Shock

Bleeding Control

Capillary bleeding is usually not serious and is characterized by oozing blood that is easily stopped. Venous bleeding steadily gushes larger amounts of blood, but can usually be stopped with direct pressure. Arterial bleeding is usually spurting and is the most serious because a large amount of blood can be lost quickly.

  • Inspect the wound. Look for the area were the bleeding is coming from. Apply gloves.
  • Use direct pressure on the wound using an absorbent pad or gauze. Add more gauze or padding if necessary.
  • Make a pressure bandage by wrapping a roller gauze or elastic bandage around the wound to maintain bleeding control.
  • If severe bleeding is not controlled, consider using a tourniquet.
  • Activate EMS if severe bleeding is present, use direct pressure and apply pressure bandage. If wound is minor, wash and apply an antibiotic ointment, then bandage as needed.

Nose Bleeds (Epistaxis)

Treatment: Pinch nose, tilt the head forward, and apply a cold pack to bridge of nose.

Evisceration (Disembowelment)

Treatment: Activate EMS, cover with sterile or clean moist dressing. Do not attempt to push bowl or organs back into place. Keep patient warm, care for shock, check and correct ABC.


Treatment: Activate EMS, control bleeding with direct pressure with bulky dressing. If amputated part can be found wrap in clean or sterile dressing and place in plastic bag. Put bag in container of ice and water. Care for shock, check and correct ABC. Do not soak amputated part in water or allow it to freeze by putting it directly on ice.

Dental Emergencies

Treatment: For bleeding, apply a moistened piece of gauze with direct pressure to the area. Be careful not to block the airway or cause a choking hazard. If teeth are knocked out, avoid handling by the root end, store in coconut water or milk. Apply a cold compress to the outside of the mouth, cheek, or lip near the injury to keep any swelling down and relieve pain. If life threatening conditions exist, call 911 and provide appropriate care. Other- wise, seek medical treatment and dental care as soon as possible.


Shock is the body’s inability to circulate oxygen to the vital organs.

Signs and symptoms of shock include: 

  • restlessness
  • dizziness
  • confusion
  • cool, moist skin
  • anxiety
  • delayed capillary refill time
  • weakness

Treatment: Recognize, Activate EMS, keep calm, give nothing to eat or drink, maintain body heat, raise the legs if no spinal injury or fracture of the legs.