Life Saving Week: Knowing bleeding pressure points could save a life

GRAND RAPIDS, MICH. - Most cuts will stop bleeding after a few minutes, but major injuries need more attention. In only 60 seconds, you could help save a life.

First, find out where the bleeding is coming from, an artery or a vein. Artery cuts are life-threatening.

Dr. Brian Cote of Holland Hospital explains the difference. In an artery, "It tends to spurt more, be more serious and bleed a lot faster. A cut in a vein is usually less serious but they can still bleed significantly."

Raise the arm or leg above the heart. That will restrict flow to that bleeding area, Dr. Cote says there are key points to apply pressure, "In the middle of the elbow, up high in the middle of the arm, down in the groin."

Don't panic if bleeding doesn't stop. Apply additional dressing on top, do not remove the old blood soaked one the bleeding may continue sifting through that. Don't panic if that happens. Just keep reapplying things on top of it.

On average you have about 8 pints of blood in your body. That’s why losing 3 to 4 pints can be fatal. It only takes 15 minutes to bleed to death.

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