What are the different types of bleeding in first aid?
Life threatening bleeding is a medical emergency. First aiders should be competent at dealing with major blood loss. There are broadly three different types of bleeding: arterial, venous and capillary.
How much blood do we have?
The amount of blood in our body varies in relation to our size. A rough rule is that we have approximately one pint of blood per stone in body weight (0.5 liters per 7kg), so the average adult has between 8 and 12 pints (4.5 to 6.5 liters) of blood, dependent on their size.
Remember that children have less blood than adults, and as such cannot afford to lose the same amount – a baby only has around 1 pint of blood.
What are the different types of bleeding?
Blood in the arteries is under direct pressure from the heart pumping and spurts in time with the heartbeat. A wound to a major artery could result in blood ‘spurting’ several meters and the blood volume will rapidly reduce. Blood in the arteries is rich in oxygen and is said to be bright red’, however, this
can be difficult to assess.
Veins are not under direct pressure from the heart, but veins carry the same volume of blood as the arteries. A wound to a major vein may ‘ooze’ profusely.
Bleeding from capillaries occurs in all wounds. Although the flow may appear fast at first, blood loss is usually slight and is easily controlled. Bleeding from a capillary could be described as a ‘trickle’ of blood.
The key first aid treatment for all of these types of bleeding is direct pressure over the wound.