First aid for a bleeding person: ACLS certification & tips


Bleeding is known as the loss of blood. Bleeding can occur inside the body(internal) or outside the body (external). It may happen:

  • Inside the body when the blood drains from blood organs or vessels.
  • Outside the body when blood leaks through the natural hole (such as the vagina, mouth, or rectum)
  • Outside the body when blood spills through a cut in the skin. 1

Unrestrained bleeding is the leading cause of avoidable death from trauma. The greater the number of people who know how to restrain bleeding in injury, the greater the odds of survival. First aid knowledge can save the life of someone, including yourself if you are the one who needs help. 2

Critical injuries don’t always bleed intensively, and some comparatively minor injuries can bleed to a great degree. Large scrapes and deep scratches can look disastrous while they are not, but puncture wounds (which are minor and bleed very little) can be threatening because of their excessive vulnerability to infection. Mostly, wounds that harm the surface layers of the skin can be treated at home. Deep wounds might need stitches to control the bleeding. And at times, bleeding can not be stopped and emergency medical help is needed urgently.

As a common rule, any deep pervasive wound anywhere on the torso should be taken as a serious emergency, especially damage to the abdomen, where numerous crucial organs are located. People who use blood-thinning medication or who have bleeding disorders, such as hemophilia, may bleed rapidly and excessively because their blood can not clot completely, so even a small wound can be lethal. 3

First aid for bleeding

Before offering help to the victim make sure you are safe. If you injured yourself, you can not help the victim. If you find yourself in danger, attempt to remove yourself (and the victim if possible) from the scene and find a secure location. To avoid blood-borne infections, use gloves, if available. Seek life-endangering bleeding. Locate the origin of the bleeding. Remove or open the clothes over the injury so you can see it clearly. 4

Compress and control

Though there are different procedures that can be followed to control bleeding,they all have one thing in common, that is compressing a bleeding blood artery to stop the bleeding.

If you don’t have a trauma first aid kit:
  • Shield the wound with a clean cloth and apply direct pressure on the wound with both hands.
  • Cover the wound with any clean cloth.
  • Attempt to stuff the wound with a cloth if the wound is large and deep.
  • Push down as strongly as you can.
  • Continue applying pressure until medical help arrives at the scene.
If you have trauma first aid kit:

For bleeding from groin, neck, or shoulder OR any life-endangering bleeding from leg or arm and a tourniquet is not present:

Use a bleeding plain gauze, control gauze, or a clean cloth to stuff the wound, and then apply pressure with both hands.

If bleeding can not be controlled by pressure, a tourniquet can be used.

The tourniquet should be administered to the limb 2 to 3 inches above the bleeding wound. Keep away from joints. If possible, avoid applying the tourniquet directly to the skin, toward the torso.


Everybody should have knowledge of basic first aid procedures to give self-care or take care of others in an emergency. Even if you are fortunate enough to call emergency services that are only a few minutes away, every second is crucial when it comes to saving someone’s life. Knowing how to control intense bleeding before proper medical help arrives at the scene could remarkably assist someone’s capability to fully heal, and in some conditions, could even save their life. 5


This page was last reviewed and updated by on Mar 23, 2021.