How to Stop the Bleeding Caused by a Cut or Laceration

Have you recently sustained a cut or laceration that is causing lots of bleeding? If so, it can be quite scary and can require professional medical attention at times, but there are things that you can do to slow or even stop the bleeding before visiting the doctor.

Our AFC Urgent Care Gastonia highlights some basic first-aid tactics and home remedies below.

  • Here’s what to do: Wash your hands first before interacting with the wound. This will help you avoid infecting the cut or laceration.

  • What to do next: Apply pressure to the wound. This is the best way to stop its bleeding. Place a clean and dry piece of material such as a bandage, towel or cloth on the wound and apply pressure with both hands. Maintain firm and continuous pressure until the bleeding has stopped or slowed considerably.

  • What to do after: Elevate the affected area. This will reduce blood flow, which will slow or stop bleeding. If the injury is to the hand or arm, simply raise it above the head. If the injury is to a lower limb, lie down and raise the affected area above the level of the heart.

  • Next: Apply ice to the wound. This will constrict the blood vessels, which will allow a clot to form more quickly to help stop the bleeding. The best way to do this is to wrap ice in a clean, dry cloth and place it on the wound.

  • Something else to consider: For shallow cuts, use petroleum jelly or antibiotic ointment, like Neosporin. These things contain a blend of oils and waxes that can be used to protect the skin.

  • Remember: Even if one of these suggestions has helped to stop the bleeding, watch out for signs of infection, like swelling, pus or redness. To avoid infection, rinse the wound itself with cool water and use soap to wash the surrounding area. If possible, remove any dirt or debris inside the wound with sanitized tweezers.

  • Action steps to take: If any of these tips haven’t stopped the bleeding, there is a strong chance that you will need stitches. Visit our AFC center ASAP to avoid any further complications, like excess blood loss or infection.

  • Doctor recommendations: Try to stay calm and think clearly when you suffer a wound that bleeds a lot. It can be easy to panic, but applying pressure, rinsing the wound and bandaging it up should be the first things you do after suffering a laceration. Also, if something like a nail is stuck in the skin, leave it in until arriving at the doctor’s office as that may keep the bleeding at bay.

If you are still unsure how you should go about caring for your wound, don’t hesitate to give our AFC Urgent Care Gastonia team a call today!