Friday, September 10, 2010




Minor cuts, scratches and grazes


  • Wash and dry your own hands.
  • Cover any cuts on your own hands and put on disposable gloves.
  • Clean the cut, if dirty, under running water. Pat dry with a sterile dressing or clean lint-free material. If possible, raise affected area above the heart.
  • Cover the cut temporarily while you clean the surrounding skin with soap and water and pat the surrounding skin dry. Cover the cut completely with a sterile dressing or plaster.

Severe bleeding


  • Put on disposable gloves.
  • Bleeding - apply direct pressureApply direct pressure to the wound with a pad (e.g. a clean cloth) or fingers until a sterile dressing is available.
  • Bleeding - raise the limbRaise and support the injured limb. Take particular care if you suspect a bone has been broken.
  • Bleeding - lay casuatly downLay the casualty down to treat for shock.
  • Bleeding - bandage woundBandage the pad or dressing firmly to control bleeding, but not so tightly that it stops the circulation to fingers or toes. If bleeding seeps through first bandage, cover with a second bandage. If bleeding continues to seep through bandage, remove it and reapply.
  • Treatment for shockTreat for shock.
  • Dialling 999Dial 999 for an ambulance.
Remember: protect yourself from infection by wearing disposable gloves and covering any wounds on your hands.
If blood comes through the dressing do not remove it – bandage another over the original.
If blood seeps through both dressings, remove them both and replace with a fresh dressing, applying pressure over the site of bleeding.

Objects in wounds

Where possible, swab or wash small objects out of the wound with clean water. If there is a large object embedded:


  • Leave it in place.
  • Apply firm pressure on either side of the object.
  • Raise and support the wounded limb or part.
  • Lay the casualty down to treat for shock.
  • Gently cover the wound and object with a sterile dressing.
  • Build up padding around the object until the padding is higher than the object, then bandage over the object without pressing on it.
  • Depending on the severity of the bleeding, dial 999 for an ambulance or take the casualty to hospital.

Related topics

Please note:

These hints are no substitute for thorough knowledge of first aid! St John Ambulance holds first aid courses throughout the country.

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