Violence caused by blows, sharp objects, bullets or sticks, and other causes of acute injury like falling or road traffic accidents, usually results in bleeding – the loss of blood from the arteries, veins and capillaries in the cardiovascular system. Based on the source of bleeding, it can be classified into:
- arterial blood (bright red, foamy and spurting in pulses)
- venous blood (darker in colour and flowing swiftly from the wound)
- capillary bleeding (red, oozing slowly from the wound at a steady rate).
Life-threatening bleeding is called haemorrhage, but you should be aware that it could be due to external or internal bleeding. External bleeding is visible and obvious, whereas internal bleeding is hidden inside the body (abdomen, chest or a limb) and is more difficult to detect. We will describe the signs of each of them in turn, and how to give life-supportive care to a person who is bleeding.