How to manage a Child or Infant that is Bleeding.

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Hello, my name is Carla and I own a business called First Aid Confidence. This is my fifth blog for Mumsnet Local. This month I will be discussing what you can do for a child or an infant that is bleeding.

Bleeding is usually caused by an injury that has been sustained from an incident such as a fall but bleeding can also be caused by sharp or dangerous objects.

Types of Bleeding.

There are four main types of bleeding.

Arterial Bleed.

This involves an injury to an artery, which are the blood vessels that carry oxygenated blood from the heart to the rest of the body. The blood is usually bright red and leaves the body at a fast rate due to the high pressure within the arteries. These types of bleed can also be seen to pulse from the body each time the heart beats. An arterial bleed results in a large volume of blood being lost in a short space of time therefore this is a very serious bleed that must be stopped or at least stemmed very quickly.

With an arterial bleed you may need to apply indirect pressure immediately to stem the blood loss. Indirect pressure can be applied at pressure points where an artery runs over a bone. Two key pressure points are below the armpit on the inside of an arm or right at the top of the leg in the groin area. If enough pressure is applied to the pressure point then it should stem the blood loss from an injury below the pressure point on an arm or a leg. You may need to maintain this position. The ambulance service should be called immediately.

Venous Bleed.

This involves an injury to a vein, which is a blood vessel that carries deoxygenated blood from the body back to the heart. The blood is usually darker and although blood loss is not as rapid as an arterial bleed this is still a moderate bleed that usually presents as a steady flow of blood loss.

With a venous bleed you can apply direct pressure to the site of a bleed to try to stem the bleed and if possible the area should be elevated above the heart to reduce the blood flow to the area. After elevation a clean dressing should be applied fairly tightly to stem the bleed and encourage the clotting process to begin. The dressing should cover the whole of the affected area and the bandage should be wrapped along the whole length of the dressing. A venous bleed needs to be treated in hospital and an ambulance should be called if there is significant blood loss.

Capillary Bleed.

A capillary bleed occurs when capillaries have been injured near the surface of the skin. Capillaries are small blood vessels and blood loss from capillaries tends to be minimal.

A capillary bleed can usually be treated by cleaning the area and applying a small dressing or a plaster and the bleed should stop. This type of bleed should heal without the need for further intervention.

Internal Bleed.

An internal bleed does not involve blood leaving the body therefore it is not visible however it occurs within the body when an area such as an organ becomes damaged and begins to lose blood into the surrounding area. The severity of an internal bleed depends on what area of the body is damaged and the extent of the damage as some organs contain much more blood than others. A serious internal bleed will present much quicker than a very slow bleed, which may take several hours or days to present.

If an internal bleed is suspected then you should visit a GP, go to your local A & E or call an ambulance depending on the severity of the symptoms.

The Signs and Symptoms caused by a moderate to serious bleed.

Blood carries oxygen, which every cell in our bodies needs in order to function correctly. A significant loss of blood therefore means a significant loss of the oxygen circulating within the body and this is known as shock. The signs and symptoms associated with shock include:

  • Pale skin
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Unconsciousness

Next month I will be discussing Head Injuries and Spinal injuries.

A little bit about me and First Aid Confidence.

The purpose of First Aid Confidence is to deliver affordable, effective First Aid Training in a professional yet relaxed manner that enables every learner to obtain the knowledge and skills that they require to perform First Aid competently and confidently. I want everybody who attends one of my courses to have the knowledge and confidence to carry out first aid should the need arise and I am committed to ensuring that every person has the opportunity to learn first aid. My previous role was within the ambulance service and I am a fully qualified first aid instructor. I offer First Aid at Work courses as well as Paediatric First Aid courses that meet Ofsted requirements and I am also keen to provide bespoke courses for parents who want to learn the skills needed to manage situations such as a child choking or an unconscious child.

Visit my website at www.firstaidconfidence.co.uk to find out more about the courses and other benefits that First Aid Confidence provides. You can also email me at carla@firstaidconfidence.co.uk or call me on 07939 885330 for an informal chat about First Aid Training.

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