In most cases, bleeding can be stopped by the application of pressure directly on the
Place a dressing (sterile or clean, if possible) over the wound and firmly fasten it in
position with a bandage.
If bleeding doesnt stop, firmly secure another dressing over the first, or apply direct
pressure with your hand to the dressing (fig. 14-10).
In cases of severe hemorrhage, dont worry too much about the danger of infection.
The basic problem is to stop the flow of blood. If no material is available, simply place
your hand firmly on the wound. Remember, direct pressure is the first method to use
when you are trying to control hemorrhage.
Bleeding from a cut artery or vein may often be controlled by applying pressure to the
appropriate pressure point. A pressure point is a place where the main artery to the injured part
lies near the skin surface and over a bone. Pressure at such a point is applied with the fingers
(digital pressure) or with the hand; no first-aid materials are required. The object of the
pressure is to compress the artery against the bone, shutting off the flow of blood from the
heart to the wound. There are 10 principal points (fig. 14-11) on each side of the body where
hand or finger pressure can be used to stop hemorrhage. You should memorize these pressure
points so that you will know immediately which point to use for hemorrhage from a particular
part of the body. The correct pressure point you should use is the one that is
1. Nearest the wound.
2. Between the wound and the main part of the body, or between the wound and the heart.
Applying finger pressure is very tiring, and it can seldom be maintained for more than 15
minutes. Pressure points are recommended for use while direct pressure is being applied to a
serious wound. While pressure is being applied at the appropriate pressure point, an assistant
can bandage the wound (or wounds). If available, a battle dressing should be used. After
opening the dressing, be careful not to contaminate it. Place the compress portion over the
wound, then bind it tightly in place with the attached straps (fig. 14-12). If bleeding continues
to be severe even after direct pressure and pressure points have been used, you may have to
apply a constricting band.
A constricting band is a band used to cut off the supply of blood to an injured limb. It
cant be used to control bleeding from the head, neck, or body because its use in these
locations would result in greater injury or death. Only use a constricting band when
hemorrhage cant be controlled by other means.
A constricting band consists of a pad, a band, and a device for tightening the band so that
the blood vessels will be compressed. There are several different kinds of ready-made
constricting bands. A variety of materials can be used to improvise constricting bands. Any
round, smooth pressure object may be used for the pad (such as a compress, a roller bandage, a
stone, or a rifle shell), and any long, flat material may be used as the band. Remember, the
band must be flat! Belts, stockings, flat strips of rubber, or neckerchiefs can be used; but rope,
wire, string, or very narrow pieces of cloth shouldnt be used because they will cut into the
flesh. A short stick may be used to twist the band, tightening the constricting band.