Minus/plus icon
ResourcesExplore the full ACKO experience and make the most of your plan

Home / Health Insurance / Articles / First Aid / First Aid Guide: Severe Bleeding

First Aid Guide: Severe Bleeding

Team AckoJan 18, 2024

Severe Bleeding can be a life-threatening situation that requires immediate attention. Whether it's caused by an injury, a medical condition, or a surgical procedure, managing it is crucial for saving lives. Read ahead to know the signs, causes, diagnoses and first aid for Severe Bleeding (SB). 




What is Severe Bleeding? 

Severe Bleeding refers to a condition characterised by the loss of a significant amount of blood from the body. It can occur externally, such as from a cut or wound, or internally, from a ruptured blood vessel or organ. 

What are the symptoms of Severe Bleeding?

Symptoms of Severe Bleeding are as follows.

  • Profuse bleeding that does not stop even with direct pressure

  • Blood gushing or spurting out of the wound

  • Pale or clammy skin

  • Rapid breathing

  • Confusion or loss of consciousness

First aid for Severe Bleeding

Here’s a step-by-step guide for the first aid for Severe Bleeding.

  • Apply pressure to the wound using a clean cloth or sterile dressing.

  • If it continues to bleed, apply additional pressure by using your hand or by pressing with your knee or foot.

  • Elevate the injured area if possible.

  • Do not remove any objects that are impaled in the wound, as this could worsen the bleeding.

  • Call emergency services or seek medical help immediately.

  • Keep applying pressure until medical professionals arrive.

  • Monitor the person's breathing and consciousness while waiting for help.

  • In case of SB, perform CPR if necessary.

  • Stay calm and reassure the person that help is on the way.

  • Do not give the person anything to eat or drink, as they may need surgery.

Additional steps to control Severe Bleeding include the following.

  • Applying a tourniquet above the wound if direct pressure does not work.

  • Packing the wound with a sterile gauze or cloth if the bleeding is profuse.

  • Applying cold compresses to constrict blood vessels and slow down bleeding.

  • Seeking professional medical attention to assess and treat the wound.

When to seek a doctor for Severe Bleeding?

If you experience Severe Bleeding that cannot be controlled with direct pressure, it is important to seek medical attention immediately. This could be a sign of a serious injury or underlying medical condition. It is also important to seek medical help if the bleeding is accompanied by other symptoms such as dizziness, rapid heartbeat, or fainting.

Also, if the bleeding does not stop after 10 minutes of continuous pressure, it is recommended to seek medical assistance. Remember, prompt medical care is crucial in cases of SB to prevent further complications.

Causes of Severe Bleeding

Causes of Severe Bleeding can vary depending on the specific situation. 

  • Trauma or injury to the body, such as from accidents or falls. 

  • In addition, certain medical conditions like haemophilia, liver disease, or certain types of cancer can also lead to it. 

  • Other potential causes include complications during surgery, gastrointestinal disorders, or the use of blood-thinning medications.

Different types of Severe Bleeding

There are mainly three types of Severe Bleeding, which are as follows.

  1. Arterial bleeding: This type of bleeding is typically characterised by bright red, pulsating blood that comes out in spurts or jets. 

  2. Venous bleeding: This bleeding occurs when a vein is injured or torn. Veins carry deoxygenated blood towards the heart. Venous bleeding usually produces a steady flow of dark red blood. It is less severe than arterial bleeding, but still it should be treated promptly to prevent excessive blood loss.

  3. Capillary bleeding: It occurs when the smallest blood vessels, called capillaries, are damaged. It is typically slow and oozing, and the blood is often a dark red colour. While it is the least severe type of bleeding, it can still result in significant blood loss if left untreated.

Risk factors for Severe Bleeding

The following factors can increase the risk of Severe Bleeding.

  • Taking blood-thinning medications such as aspirin or anticoagulants

  • Having a bleeding disorder or a family history of bleeding disorders

  • Undergoing surgery or medical procedures that involve cutting or puncturing blood vessels

  • Engaging in high-risk activities

Recognising Severe Bleeding in different scenarios

Here are some ways to identify Severe Bleeding.

1. Visible wounds

  • Look for blood flowing or spurting from a wound.

  • Observe excessive bleeding that soaks through bandages or clothing.

  • Notice blood pooling on the ground or forming large puddles.

  • Watch out for bright red or dark red blood.

2. Internal bleeding

  • Pay attention to signs of internal bleeding such as abdominal pain, swelling, or rigidity.

  • Look for bruises that expand or increase in size.

  • Observe blood in vomit, urine, or stools.

  • Pay attention to signs of shock such as pale skin, rapid heartbeat, or dizziness.

Tests to diagnose Severe Bleeding

The specific tests used to diagnose Severe Bleeding depend on the underlying cause and the location of the bleeding. Some common diagnostic tests for SB may include the following.

  • Complete blood count (CBC): This blood test measures various components of the blood, including the number of red and white blood cells, to evaluate for anaemia or potential bleeding disorders.

  • Coagulation studies: These tests assess the blood's ability to clot. 

  • Imaging tests: Imaging studies such as ultrasound, CT scan, or MRI may be done to identify the source of bleeding or evaluate the extent of damage.

  • Endoscopy: This procedure allows doctors to visualise the inside of the body and identify any abnormal bleeding in the gastrointestinal tract or other organs.

  • Angiography: This imaging technique uses contrast dye and X-rays to examine blood vessels and detect areas of abnormal bleeding.

  • Biopsy: In cases where bleeding is suspected to be caused by a tumour or abnormal tissue growth, a biopsy may be performed to obtain a sample for further analysis.

  • Genetic testing: Certain genetic mutations can increase the risk of bleeding disorders, so genetic testing may be done to identify any underlying genetic factors contributing to SB.

Frequently Asked Questions

Listed below are some common queries along with answers related to Severe Bleeding.


What is the most severe form of Severe Bleeding?

The most severe form of bleeding is called arterial bleeding. This occurs when an artery is damaged, resulting in bright red blood that spurts or gushes out.

How do you treat Severe Bleeding?

The treatment involves applying direct pressure on the wound, elevating the injured area, using a tourniquet, or seeking medical assistance.

How serious is Severe Bleeding?

It can lead to significant blood loss, shock, organ damage, and even death. Immediate medical attention is crucial.

What are the common causes of Severe Bleeding?

Severe Bleeding can be caused by various factors, which includes trauma or injury, surgical complications, medical conditions, and medications or treatments. 

What medicine stops bleeding?

There are several medications that can help stop bleeding, depending on the cause and severity. Some common options are topical haemostatic agents, clotting factor concentrates, and antifibrinolytic drugs.

What happens if Severe Bleeding is left untreated?

If Severe Bleeding is left untreated, it can lead to serious complications and even death. Without proper medical intervention, the body may not be able to replenish the lost blood quickly enough, causing a drop in blood pressure and oxygen levels. 


Disclaimer: The content on this page is generic and shared only for informational and explanatory purposes. Please consult a doctor before making any health-related decisions.


Want to post any comments?


Affordable Health Insurance for You & Your Family starting @ ₹20/day*

✅ 100% Room Rent Covered* ✅ Zero deductions at claims ✅ 7100+ Cashless Hospitals

quote icon

Check health insurance

quote icon