If emergency care is not needed, the following steps will
protect the wound and protect you from another person's blood.
Before you try to stop the bleeding:
Wash your hands well with soap and water, if
Put on medical gloves, if available, before applying
pressure to the wound. If gloves are not available, use many layers of fabric,
plastic bags, or whatever you have between your hands and the
Have the person hold his or her own hand over the wound, if
possible, and apply pressure and elevate the injured area.
bare hands to apply pressure only as a last resort.
Have the person lie down
with his or her head elevated.
Remove any visible objects that are easy to
Remove or cut clothing from around
the wound. Remove any jewelry from the general area of the
Do not attempt to clean out the wound
at this point.
Press firmly on the facial
wound with a clean cloth or the cleanest material available. If there is an
object in the wound, apply pressure around the object, not directly over it.
Do not press on an
injured eye. Never press on the neck or throat or
interfere with a person's breathing.
Apply steady, direct pressure
and elevate the area
for a full 15 minutes. Use a clock—15 minutes can seem like a long time. Resist the urge to peek after a few minutes to see whether bleeding has stopped. If blood soaks through the cloth, apply another one without lifting the first. If there is an object in the wound, apply pressure around the object, not directly over it.
If moderate to severe bleeding has not slowed or stopped, continue direct pressure
while getting help. Do all you can to keep the wound clean and avoid further injury to the area.
Mild bleeding usually stops on its own or slows to an ooze or trickle after 15 minutes of pressure. It may ooze or trickle for up to 45 minutes.
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.