Uncontrolled Wound Bleeding – 4 Warning Signs, Prevention and Treatment

Uncontrolled Wound bleeding can result from many causes. It can happen any time, especially for people who have an increased risk of bleeding. Uncontrolled Wound bleeding can cause you to become confused or unconscious.

It can also lead to shock or even be life-threatening. Call emergency services at the first sign of uncontrolled bleeding.

What are the Symptoms and Signs of uncontrolled wound bleeding

  1. Bleeding that does not stop even after applying direct pressure or using other techniques to stop it.
  2. Bleeding that spurts from a wound.
  3. Bleeding that pools in and around a wound and causes increased swelling.
  4. Bleeding that soaks through a dressing or clothing despite measures to stop it.

If you are at risk for uncontrolled bleeding, you should take precautions to protect yourself from cuts and other injuries that can cause bleeding. You must also know how to stop bleeding if it occurs.

Do I have an increased risk for uncontrolled Wound bleeding?

You may be at greater risk for uncontrolled bleeding if:

  • You have had a recent bleeding injury treated at an urgent care center or emergency room, especially if the injury is in an area of the body with a lot of blood vessels or large blood vessels.
  • You have a bleeding disorder, such as hemophilia or von Willebrand disease.
  • You are on a blood-thinning medicine (anticoagulant), such as warfarin.
  • You take medicines such as aspirin and ibuprofen. These medicines can also thin your blood.
  • You are on chemotherapy. Many chemotherapy medicines can decrease your body’s normal blood-clotting ability.
  • You have liver or kidney disease.

How to prevent bleeding

Take these precautions to help prevent bleeding:

  • Be very careful when using knives, scissors, or other sharp objects.
  • Use an electric razor instead of a blade.
  • Do not use toothpicks.
  • Use a soft-bristled toothbrush. Brush your teeth gently.
  • Always wear shoes outdoors and wear slippers indoors.
  • Be careful when cutting your fingernails and toenails.
  • Place bath mats in the bathroom. If possible, install handrails as well.
  • Wear gloves while you do yard work.
  • Wear your seat belt.
  • Prevent falls by removing loose rugs and extension cords from areas where you walk. Use a cane or walker if you need it.
  • Avoid constipation by:
    • Drinking enough fluid to keep your urine pale yellow.
    • Eating foods that are high in fiber, such as beans, whole grains, and fresh fruits and vegetables.
    • Limiting foods that are high in fat and processed sugars, such as fried or sweet foods.
  • Do not play contact sports or participate in other activities that have a high risk for injury.

How to stop uncontrolled Wound bleeding

If you are at risk for uncontrolled bleeding, ask your health care provider to help you assemble a first aid kit to control bleeding. Learn to use the supplies in your kit, and keep it handy at all times.

If someone is available to help when you have uncontrolled bleeding, ask the person to assist you and stay with you until emergency services arrive.Follow these steps to stop bleeding:

  1. Find a safe place where you can remain still and calm. Lie down if possible.
  2. Find the source of the bleeding.
  3. Remove clothing over the wound to expose the area.
  4. If possible, position yourself so that the body part with the wound is raised (elevated) above the level of your heart.
  5. If you have a first aid kit, place a gauze pad from the kit over the bleeding area. If you do not have a kit, use any clean towel or cloth.
  6. Put hard pressure over the wound. The smaller the wound, the smaller the area of pressure should be. Using the smallest surface possible generates more force directly onto the wound and is more efficient at controlling the bleeding. Maintain pressure until help arrives.
    • If the wound is small, use your fingers to maintain direct pressure only on the wound as opposed to using your entire palm.
    • If the wound is larger, use a larger surface area to apply pressure. This may involve using one or both of your palms.
    • If the wound is large and gaping, wipe away any pooled blood and pack the wound with packing gauze from your bleeding kit or with a clean towel or cloth. Put pressure over the packed wound with both hands until emergency services arrive.
    • For severe uncontrolled bleeding from an arm or leg, apply a tourniquet from your bleeding kit about 2–3 inches above the wound. Tighten the tourniquet until bleeding stops. Secure the tourniquet, and write down the time you placed it. You may still place pressure over the wound.

Follow these instructions at home:

  • Take over-the-counter and prescription medicines only as told by your health care provider.
  • If you are taking blood thinners:
    • Talk with your health care provider before you take any medicines that contain aspirin or NSAIDs. These medicines increase your risk for dangerous bleeding.
    • Take your medicine exactly as told, at the same time every day.
    • Wear a medical alert bracelet or carry a card that lists what medicines you take.
  • Keep all follow-up visits as told by your health care provider. This is important.

Contact a health care provider if you:

  • Have menstrual bleeding that is heavier than normal.
  • Have bloody or brown urine.
  • Have easy bruising.
  • Have stool that is black, tarry, bright red, or maroon.
  • Vomit material that is dark brown, black, or red.
  • Feel weak or dizzy.

Get help right away if you:

  • Have bleeding that does not stop despite applying first aid measures.
  • Have sudden, severe bleeding.
  • Have chest pain.
  • Have shortness of breath.
  • Faint.

Take Home Points

  • Call emergency services (911 in the U.S.) at the first sign of uncontrolled bleeding.
  • Signs of uncontrolled bleeding include bleeding that will not stop or bleeding that spurts, pools, or soaks through a dressing.
  • Follow the steps to help stop bleeding until help arrives.
  • If someone is available to help when you have uncontrolled bleeding, ask the person to assist you and stay with you until emergency services arrive.
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