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 tissues, organs, cavities or spaces inside the body (chest, head and abdomen). Sometimes signs of internal bleeding can be visible such as when the casualty coughs up or vomits blood, but for the majority of the time internal bleeding can not be seen.
EXTERNAL BLEEDING This is where blood escapes from the circulatory system to the outside of the body, for example from a wound.
ARTERIAL BLEEDING 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 which 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, for example, bruising.
A minor bleed is not life threatening. However, there will be an associated risk of infection if the wound is not cleaned and treated promptly. A major bleed, if not addressed immediately, can be life threatening as the infant’s or child’s body will start to shut down when the amount of remaining blood in the body becomes critically low. There is also the strong possibility that the infant or child may require treatment for shock.