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HealthInfo West Coast-Te Tai Poutini

Heavy bleeding


Bleeding from a large vein or artery can be severe and life-threatening. The person can quickly become unconscious. Stop the flow of blood and call 111 for an ambulance straight away.

How to stop the bleeding

  1. Apply direct pressure to the wound using a clean cloth or your fingers.
  2. Keep the injured part as still as possible.
  3. If no one has already done so, phone 111 for an ambulance.
  4. If the blood soaks through the cloth, do NOT remove it. Place a second cloth on top of the first one and keep applying pressure.

Follow this advice if the person becomes unconscious.

If there is something in the wound DO NOT pull it out or press directly on the object. Instead, apply the pressure either side of the object, with a clean cloth or your fingers, as above.


If a finger, ear, or other body part has been cut off, wash it in tap water and wrap it in a clean cloth or tissue. Put it in a plastic bag, surround it in ice, and make sure it goes to the hospital with the injured person.

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Written by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Page created December 2016.


Page reference: 284047

Review key: HIFAD-141030