Module 5: Wounds and Bleeding

Wounds and bleeding 

The Circulatory system

The circulatory system in its basic form consists of the heart, blood vessels and blood. Problems or malfunctions with the circulatory system can lead to major life-threatening conditions and cause such as angina, heart attacks, strokes and blood clots.

The average adult heart beats continuously at a rate of 60-100 beats per minute. The average adult human body holds 8-10 pints of blood. The body struggles to operate if one third of its blood has been lost, blood pressure will fall quickly and the situation becomes critical


Internal Bleeding

This is when blood escapes from the circulatory system but remains inside the body. Internal bleeding can occur in various places such as within tissue, organs, cavities or space inside the body (Chest, head and abdomen). Sometimes signs of internal bleeding can be visible such as when the casualty coughs up blood or vomits blood but most of the time internal bleeding is not apparent.

External Bleeding

This is where blood escapes from the circulatory system to the outside of the body, for example from a wound.

Arterial Bleed

This is a bleed from an artery and will be bright red in colour (oxygenated blood); the blood will pump from the wound in time with the casualty’s heartbeat

Venous Bleeding

This is a bleed from a vein, the blood will be a dark red in colour (deoxygenated blood) and will gush or flow from the wound

Capillary Bleeding

This is a bleed that is red in colour and slowly oozes from the wound or from underneath the skin e.g. bruising