Hemorrhage (Bleeding)

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.

Some bleeding (gastrointestinal bleeding, coughing up blood, or vaginal bleeding) can be a symptom of certain types of cancer.

How bad is my hemorrahe?

Mild: Mild symptoms; intervention not indicated

Moderate: Moderate symptoms; intervention indicated

Severe: Transfusion indicated; invasive intervention indicated; hospitalization

How to manage mild bleeding?

A person can bleed to death in 5 minutes. 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:
  1. a clean cloth
  2. bandages
  3. clothing
  4. your hands (after applying protective gloves)
  • Maintain medium pressure to slow down the bleeding.
How to manage moderate and severe bleeding?

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?
Traumatic bleeding

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
Medical conditions

There are some medical conditions that can cause bleeding.


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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