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Stop The Bleed®

What is It?

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The Stop the Bleed® program works to educate the public by raising awareness of basic procedures for treating wounds, lacerations, and bleeding and can save lives. Knowing how to stop bleeding can stall for time and allow for professionals to save those in need. Below are various ways you can staunch the flow of blood if necessary.

A pressure bandage is used to apply pressure to a wound or injury to stop bleeding, minimize swelling, and protect the damaged area from exposure.


If you or someone around you is bleeding heavily from a wound, a pressure bandage will help stymie the flow and control bleeding in a particular area. Knowing how to effectively utilize a pressure bandage can save your life or the life of another. Here are the steps for applying a pressure bandage:


  • If awake, have the injured person drink liquids to help replace blood volume

  • Wad strips of cloth, clothing, or gauze, and put them over the wound.

  • Using a longer piece of fabric or cloth, wrap around their limb and the wad, tying the ends together.

  • The pressure should be enough to stop the bleeding but not tight enough to cut off the blood completely. To test the tightness, you should be able to fit your finger under the knot.

  • Monitor the injured person’s fingers and toes to ensure the bandage isn’t too tight. If they are turning blue, loosen the bandages.

  • Keep an eye on the wound and control the bleeding until help becomes available

Pressure Bandage:

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Lacerations are cuts in the skin caused by a sharp object. Some lacerations are small enough to be treated with basic first aid. However, more serious wounds can lead to severe blood loss or infection. Here’s what you should do to handle lacerations:


  • Control the bleeding by applying pressure to the wound and keeping the injured area elevated above the heart.

  • If the bleeding can’t be stopped, call 911 right away. If a major artery is cut, the person needs immediate medical attention.

  • Once the bleeding has stopped, wash the injury and the skin around it. Gently clean it with warm water and mild soap. If the bleeding starts again, reapply pressure.

  • Once the bleeding is controlled, bandage and dress the wound with sterile gauze, towels, or clothing.

  • If the laceration has swelling, pus, numbness, or redness around the wound, seek medical attention right away as it may need to be treated for tetanus or infection.

Gun Shots:

While gunshot wounds are rare, it is always better to be prepared just in case you or someone around you becomes the victim of a gunshot wound. Here are the steps you should take to keep yourself safe:


  • Get to a safe location. If the injured person can move, help them get to safety. If the wound was accidental, make sure the gun is secure.

  • Once safe, call 9-1-1 and listen to the dispatcher’s instructions.

  • Put heavy pressure on the wound and keep the pressure secure. Use gauze, towels, or clothing to dress the wound and apply constant pressure.

  • Do NOT elevate a gunshot victim’s legs, as doing so can make bleeding more severe or make breathing more difficult.

  • Continue applying pressure and staying with the victim until further help arrives

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