| Manage injuries | Wounds and blood loss | Management of specific wounds | Fractures and soft tissue injuries | Burns | Needle stick injuries | Bites and stings | Exposure to extreme temperatures |  

Apply first aid

Wounds and blood loss

A casualty at the scene of an accident may be wounded and bleeding. It is important as a first aider that you can recognise the different types of wounds and are aware of the different types of bleeding. You also need to know how to adequately manage a casualty with a wound.

There are many different types of wounds and causes of bleeding. These include, but are not limited to:

Type Explanation Examples
Internal injuries

Occurring on the inside of the body

Lacerated liver or ruptured lung

External injuries

Occurring on the body's surface

Cuts and abrasions


A shallow wound often caused by friction such as a fall and frequently resulting in dirt being embedded in the wound

Grazed knee, gravel rash


A cut that is made by a sharp edge and that often bleeds quite heavily

A knife or paper cut


A wound where the skin has been torn in an irregular way

Glass cut or tear from barbed wire

Puncture or stab wound

A penetrating wound, usually caused by a sharp pointed object

Deep knife or gun shot wounds

Types of bleeding (according to blood vessel)

Blood loss and safety

Drawing of two hands, one holding a cloth over a bleeding wound on the other

Figure 1: Casualty applies pressure to own bleeding wound

First aiders can reduce the risks of becoming contaminated with the casualty’s blood and body fluids through:

Picture of two hands: one in gloves bandaging the other

Figure 2: First aider wears gloves to treat bleeding wounds

Management of wounds and blood loss

The management of wounds and blood loss depends on the type of wound, the site of bleeding and the presence of any foreign or embedded material. Because bleeding can occur as a result of many other types of injuries (broken bones, head injuries, envenomation), you must take into account the casualty’s whole situation before applying any first aid techniques. For example, in general, pressure and elevation to a bleeding site will help slow and stop the flow of blood; however, it is not recommended to apply pressure over any broken bone, an embedded object or the internal organs. Similarly, it is not recommended to elevate a broken bone or a limb that has been bitten or stung by a poisonous creature.

Management of wounds and blood loss (general principles)

  2. If the situation requires professional assistance, call for help as soon as possible.
  3. Protect yourself from becoming contaminated with blood and other body fluids.
  4. Assess the whole situation before applying first aid techniques.
  5. Provide reassurance.
  6. Assess for and manage shock.
Video icon Watch the video on How to manage external bleeds

Click here to read the text of the video (.doc 23kb)

Applying a pressure bandage (general principles)

Drawing of arm with a bandage(

Figure 3: Pressure bandage

Caution — Embedded objects. Never apply direct pressure over an embedded object or a broken bone.