What is hemorrhage?
Hemorrhage or bleeding is a loss of blood. It can be external (outside the body), when you get a cut or wound. A hemorrhage can be internal, or inside the body, when you have an injury to an internal organ.
Minor hemorrhages, such as small, ruptured blood vessels near the surface of the skin, are common. It only causes minor bruising. Uncontrolled hemorrhages are life-threatening.
Some bleeding (gastrointestinal bleeding, coughing up blood, or vaginal bleeding) can be a symptom of certain types of cancer.
How bad is my hemorrhage?
Mild: The symptoms are dizziness, weakness, numbness and exhaustion Most of the time, mild symptoms can be safely managed at home by following the tips given in the section below.
Moderate: The symptoms are low blood pressure, confusion, memory loss, or disorientation. You may have abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea (loose stools).
Severe: Seek immediate medical help if you experience shortness of breath, blood in the urine, rapid heart rate, leakage of blood from the eyes, ears, or nose.
What are the first aid interventions for bleeding?
A severe bleeding or profuse bleeding can cause death. Hence, first aid is important to save a life before medical help arrives. It’s possible to treat external traumatic bleeding.
- The person who’s bleeding should remain calm to keep their heart rate and blood pressure normal. High heart rate or blood pressure may increase the speed of bleeding.
- Lay the person down to reduce the risk of fainting, and try to elevate the area that’s bleeding.
- Remove loose debris and foreign particles from the wound. Leave large items such as knives, arrows, or weapons untouched. Removing these objects can cause further harm and will likely increase the bleeding.
- Use bandages and pads to absorb the bleeding.
- Use the following to put pressure onto the wound:
- a clean cloth
- your hands (after applying protective gloves)
- Maintain medium pressure to slow down the bleeding.
- Treating moderate to severe internal bleeding involves the administration of intravenous vitamin K, fresh frozen plasma, blood, and platelets.
- Depending on the severity of the hemorrhage, surgery may be necessary to repair the blood vessel and remove excess blood.
When to call doctor?
Seek immediate emergency medical care if:
- Bleeding is caused by a serious injury
- Bleeding can’t be controlled after 15 to 20 minutes of first aid
- It is internal bleeding
- The symptoms are severe
- It’s on the face
- It’s the result of an animal bite
What causes Hemorrhage?
An injury can cause traumatic bleeding.
- Abrasions (scrapes) that don’t penetrate too far below the skin
- Hematoma (Blood clot) or Bruising
- Lacerations (cuts)
- Puncture wounds from items like needles, nails, or knives
- Crushing injuries
There are some medical conditions that can cause bleeding.
- Lung cancer
- Liver disease
- Low platelets (Thrombocytopenia)
- Vitamin K deficiency
- Brain trauma
- Colon diverticulosis
- Acute bronchitis
Some medicines and certain treatments can increase your chances of hemorrhage.
- Blood thinners
- Radiation therapy
- Prolonged use of antibiotics
- Aspirin and other NSAIDs
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