Heavy bleeding is extreme or severe bleeding. It can be either internal (inside the body) or external (outside the body). Wounds to the hands and scalp tend to bleed a lot. These areas have many blood vessels that are close to the surface of the skin. Other wounds that bleed heavily are those involving arteries and large veins. The risks from these types of wounds include rapid blood loss and infection. Most wounds with heavy bleeding require medical evaluation and treatment. Internal bleeding is a medical emergency.
Trauma is often the cause of heavy bleeding. This can include blunt, crush, or penetrating trauma. Examples include fractures, puncture wounds, and deep cuts or tears.
If you are experiencing heavy bleeding in Sacramento, CA or a surrounding area, it is important to get treatment right away from a professional. Find advanced emergency services at your nearest Dignity Health location for help. Call 911 for transportation to the hospital, or use our online waiting tool, InQuicker™, to select your estimated arrival time at one of our Sacramento-area ERs.
Heavy Bleeding Symptoms & Treatment with Dignity Health
Signs and symptoms of heavy bleeding depend on whether it is internal or external. While external heavy bleeding is obvious, internal bleeding is not always apparent. Signs and symptoms of internal bleeding may include:
- Weakness, lightheadedness, or loss of consciousness
- Bleeding from a body opening, such as the mouth, ear, or anus
- Painful or swollen abdomen
- Vomiting or coughing up blood
- Cold, clammy skin
Dial 911 for emergency medical care if you suspect internal bleeding or if you cannot stop external bleeding.
Your treatment depends on whether the heavy bleeding is internal or external. For external bleeding:
- Brush away any loose debris. Do not remove objects that are embedded in the wound.
- Control the bleeding by placing a clean cloth or sterile bandage over the wound and applying pressure.
- Press very firmly and maintain pressure. Do not apply pressure to the eyes, an embedded object, and head wounds if you suspect a skull fracture.
- Find medical care for wounds that will not stop bleeding after five minutes of constant pressure.
For wounds from severe trauma and internal bleeding, dial 911. Dignity Health can provide the necessary medical care to stop internal bleeding. Take the following steps until medical help arrives:
Open 24/7, Dignity Health emergency departments provide trusted heavy bleeding treatment to patients in Sacramento, CA and the surrounding areas.
- Cover the person with a blanket or jacket.
- Help the person lie down.
- Raise the person’s legs.
- Apply direct pressure to the wound.