(10 True/False questions with explanations)
Blood always clots at the same speed, whoever you are, and where-ever you are.
FALSE: A wet environment will reduce the ability of blood to clot. A cold environment will slow the clotting process. That’s why it’s important to keep your patient warm. If the patient is on blood thinning medication, this will also slow the blood clotting process.
Arteries and veins run side-by-side throughout the body.
FALSE: In the limbs many veins lie close to the surface whereas arteries tend to be located deeper where they are more protected.
Blood loss from an artery can be life-threatening.
TRUE: Arteries carry blood away from the heart. The blood is pumped out from the heart under pressure. If the artery is severed, blood will squirt out in jets, in time to the heartbeat.
Venous blood is generally dark red.
TRUE: Blood in most veins has depleted oxygen levels which makes the blood appear dark. The exception are the pulmonary veins which lead from the lungs having taken on oxygen.
A small bleeding wound should be washed under cold running water for 10 minutes.
FALSE: Running water will stop the blood from clotting, and the wound will continue to bleed. For small wounds a quick rinse for a few seconds, just to clean out debris, is all that is needed for First Aid.
To stop a nose bleed, the patient should lean forwards and pinch the soft part of the nose for 10 minutes.
TRUE: This should be enough, if not, reapply pressure for another ten minutes and recheck. If the bleeding still hasn’t stopped after 30 minutes then attend A+E.
You cannot stop arterial bleeding because it is under pressure from the heartbeat.
FALSE: Direct pressure can still be effective against arterial bleeding.
If blood comes through the first dressing, and then the second dressing, both dressings should be removed and start again with a new clean dressing.
TRUE. If blood loss is significant, as well as starting to redress the wound also call back on 999 (or 112) and advise the call-taker that you are having difficulty in controlling the bleeding.
Internal bleeding cannot be recognised by a First Aider as no blood is coming out.
FALSE: Signs of internal bleeding include swelling
- i. Swelling at the site of the bleed.
- ii. Signs of shock, such as weakness, shortness of breath and cold clammy skin.
Wearing gloves is just to protect the First Aider.
FALSE: The gloves protect the First Aider from patient and also protect the patient from the First Aider.
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