This section is from the book "The Home Hand-Book of Domestic Hygiene and Rational Medicine. Volume 2.", by J. H. Kellogg, M.D.. Also available from Amazon: The Home Hand-Book of Domestic Hygiene and Rational Medicine, Volume 2.
The principal means to be employed for arresting hemorrhage are, pressure, ice or cold water, hot water, and the ligature. The means to be employed differ somewhat according to the part in which the hemorrhage occurs. As a general rule, the bleeding part should be elevated, and pressure applied at the point of injury. Hot or cold applications should also be made. Pressure acts by closing the bleeding vessels and allowing the blood to coagulate. Cold at first causes the blood-vessels to contract; but if applied continuously for a long time, the blood-vessels are paralyzed and become relaxed. Hot applications cause more permanent contraction of the vessels than cold.
The ligature is applied by a surgeon to the bleeding vessel itself; but when used by a person not skilled in surgery, should be applied either above or below the injury if it occurs in a limb, according as the bleeding comes from an artery or a vein. If an artery is wounded, the blood will flow in jets and will be of a bright red color. If the wounded vessel is a vein, the blood will be dark in color and will flow in a steady stream. If the vessel is an artery, the ligature or pressure should be applied between the wound and the heart; if a vein, it should be applied upon the opposite side. A slight hemorrhage from a wound may generally be very easily controlled by pressure upon the injured part with the fingers, or a compress of folded linen which may be held in place by the hand, or a bandage tightly applied. This method is particularly applicable to wounds of the scalp and upper portions of the face. A hemorrhage from superficial injuries may generally be controlled quite readily by applying freely dry plaster-of-Paris or a mixture of equal parts of flour and salt. These are excellent remedies for bleeding from the navel in young infants.
May generally be checked by holding the head erect, snuffing cold water up the nostrils, and holding one arm as high as possible. Severe hemorrhage occurring from the trunk of the body must generally be controlled by pressure with the finger until the services of a surgeon can be secured.
May be slight or severe, according to the size of the vessel cut. When the large arteries are cut, death may occur in a few minutes. The head should be elevated, and cold applied until a surgeon can be called. When the hemorrhage is severe, pressure with the fingers may be required.
May be controlled by pressure upon the principal artery of the limb, mads as follows:-Tie a knot in the center of a handkerchief or strip of cloth, of sufficient length to reach around the limb, including in the knot a small stone, a large marble, or in the absence of anything better, a small potato or other hard substance. Tie the bandage around the limb in such a way that the knot will come just over the course of the wounded vessel as shown in figure 355. It should be noticed that most of the large arteries run along the inside of the limbs.
Fig. 355. Compression of Artery of the Arm.
After tying the bandage, pass underneath it, on the side opposite the knot, a stout roller or rod.
By means of this, the bandage should be twisted so as to tighten it, thus compressing the artery. Compression should be gradually increased until the hemorrhage is controlled. A bandage of this kind should not bo retained in place too long, as the parts beneath it and below may be injured. Properly, its object is to control the hemorrhage until the bleeding vessel can be secured and tied by a surgeon or other competent person.
An injury occurring in the upper part of the arm may be controlled by pressure above the collar bone of the same side, made by means of the thumb, or better, the ring of a key. See Fig. 356.
Fig. 356. Compressing the Artery of the Arm.