Severe Bleeding Another first-aid method occasionally needed to control severe bleeding is the tourniquet. A tourniquet can he improvised by tying a handkerchief, a strip of cloth, or rope of clothesline diameter (a tourniquet that is too narrow may cut into the tissues.)
Next a stick, heavy pencil, or even a butter knife is placed between the skin and the encircling handkerchief. Turn this one or more times, thus tightening the encircling cloth. If the pressure is inadequate, the part of the limb below the tourniquet will turn reddish, the veins will increase in size and bleeding may actually increase. If the constricting pressure is raised above the level of the pressure in the arteries, the portion of the limb below the tourniquet turns white and bleeding should stop or markedly subside. The pressure of a tourniquet can be released (preferably by a doctor) at ten-to-fifteen-minute intervals to check on whether bleeding has stopped. Overlong use (longer than one hour or so) of a tourniquet may put the limb in jeopardy. 0- Internal Bleeding There are no first-aid measures for hemorrhage of internal organs; indeed, it is not often easy to recognize it.
Thus a person with a bleeding peptic ulcer may vomit blood, or pass a very black stool; sometimes he merely becomes very dizzy or faints. Large-scale internal bleeding can be recognized by weakness, pallor, rapid pulse. The patient should lie down, and no whiskey or other stimulants should be given. If there is any possibility of delay in securing a doctor, precious time is best saved by rushing the patient directly to a hospital.