Minor Abrasions

After a minor trauma such as a skinned knee or forearm scrape, bleeding is not usually an issue. Occasionally, bleeding is persistent. Relentless bleeding is especially seen when the injured person is on non steroidal anti-inflammatory such as aspirin or even prescription blood thinners such as Warfarin, Pradaxa® or Eliquis.® 

In the event of persistent bleeding, here are a few first aide tips to stop bleeding from minor wounds. If wounds are more serious, emergency medical treatment should be sought in addition to steps to stop bleeding.

1) Direct pressure to the wound is the best method to stop bleeding. A piece of gauze, a towel or clean cloth can be used and pressure should be firmly and continuously applied for 20 minutes. Do not release pressure, checking to see if bleeding has ceased until the time mentioned has elapsed, even if the fabric becomes blood soaked. For more substantial wounds, continuous pressure must be applied until medical personal check the wound in the event that blood vessel are damaged. If the wound is minor, Vaseline petrolatum or Organknow healing ointment can be applied before gauze pressure as these products will also assist in slowing bleeding.

2. Another trick to stop bleeding is to reduce blood pressure and thus blood flow in the wound. This is easily accomplished by raising the injured part above the heart. An injured hand or arm is raised above the head. Remember to keep pressure on the wound in addition to this maneuver. If the wound is on your leg a family member can apply pressure as you lie down and raise the leg above the level of the heart.

3) There are several OTC products that are specifically formulated to halt bleeding. It is worthwhile to have one of these handy in your first aide kit in the event of an emergency situation. They can be applied an actively bleeding wound before pressure is applied. There are 3 categories.

a) Wound seal Powders. As it says on woundseal.com, it is “a non-prescription topical powder. The ingredients are a hydrophilic polymer and potassium ferrate. In combination with manual pressure to the wound, the powder quickly forms a strong scab that completely covers the wound and stops the bleeding.”

 b) QuikClot Combat Gauze (Kaolin Mineral Dressing) On their website, quikclot.com, it describes the product as, utilizing, “the clotting properties of kaolin to help control and stop bleeding. Kaolin works by activating factor XII, a protein factor which assists in the initiation of the coagulation cascade, a protein chain reaction which promotes blood clotting as a result of trauma.”

c) Finally there is AllaQuix™. On allaquix.com the product is described as “a sterile, topical, active hemostatic, wound dressing.” It was cleared by the FDA to mange “minor topical bleeding wounds such as minor abrasions and minor skin lacerations. Interesting, AllaQuix™ contains chitosan.  Chitin is a naturally occurring chemical found in the shells of crabs, shrimps, prawns, and lobsters. After extracted from these shellfish it is chemically altered to chitosan. Chitosan has a long history as a hemostat, blood stopper utilized by EMS, hospitals, surgeons and in the military. Chitosan hemostatic products are carried on Air force one and by the US troops in Afghanistan.