You generally can judge the seriousness of the bleeding by the rate of blood loss. Serious bleeding comes from injured arteries. Slower bleeding – a steady, slow flow of dark red blood – generally comes from injuries to veins or the body’s smaller blood vessels (capillaries). Bleeding can be the result of a cut, puncture or abrasion.
How serious is it? The rate of blood loss is a good indicator of the severity. Remember, because babies have a much smaller volume of blood, they can’t afford to lose as much blood as an older child or adult. Serious injuries that result in bleeding from the arteries can cause death in minutes if untreated.
What you can do? If the bleeding is serious and it doesn’t stop on its own or if the cut or puncture is large or deep or has rough edges, apply pressure directly to the injury with a sterile gauze pad or clean cloth. Keep pressure on the wound until the bleeding stops. In most cases, you can stop bleeding with direct, firm pressure to the wound. Follow these steps:
1. Remain calm. This can be difficult, but it’s important.
2. Immediately apply steady, firm pressure to the wound with a sterile gauze pad, clean cloth or your hand until the bleeding stops. Don’t attempt to clean the wound first or remove any embedded objects.
3. When the bleeding stops, cover the wound with a tight dressing and tape the area securely. If the bleeding continues and seeps through the dressing, place more absorbent material over the first dressing.
4. If possible, elevate the bleeding area.
5. If the bleeding continues, apply pressure to the major vessel that delivers blood to the area.
6. If the bleeding doesn’t stop, despite these measures, call 911 or your local emergency number. If this isn’t possible, take your child immediately tot he nearest emergency department.
Information gathered from Mayo Clinic Guide to your Baby’s First Year