How to take care of a wound

What to do in an emergency situation

UTICA, N.Y. -- On average, it takes the Central Oneida County Volunteer Corps 3 to 7 minutes to arrive on scene of an emergency. But, it only takes half that time for a person to bleed out.

"There are some very large blood vessels throughout your body," said Steven Dziura, chief of medical services. "A person can bleed out if those vessels were injured anywhere between 90 seconds to 3 minutes."

Because of this, Dziura said anyone should be prepared to be the first responder of an emergency.

"Controlling bleeding is really a simple skill, and it's something everybody should know. From the emergency situations we've been seeing on TV right down to mowing your lawn in the backyard where you can get injured," he said.

The first step anyone should take is to make sure the situation is safe before then jumping into action, to prevent yourself from getting injured. Then, immediately begin applying pressure to the bleed.

"We've got arteries that run along bones, and simply putting pressure on it, we can compress that artery enough that it slows the bleeding down and allows the clot process to happen," Dziura said.

But if that doesn't stop the wound from bleeding, the next step is to create a tourniquet.

"Something between an inch and a half and two inches; ties are great," Dziura said. "You can take a tie, wrap it around and tie a knot. Once we have that knot tied, now we need to add something that we can use to twist it down."

Everyday objects can be used to twist the knot, including household objects, or sticks if you're outside. Keep pressure on the wound until medical personnel arrive on scene.


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