Bleeding injuries can range from severe to life-threatening if not controlled by firm, direct and continuous pressure, and/or there are signs of shock. If the bleeding is severe, it must be stopped and controlled as soon as possible before calling triple zero (000) for an ambulance for medical aid.

Sonder’s team of trained nurses and medical professionals are always available to help you whenever you need advice on what to do so you’ll never have to worry. If you need to connect to a nurse, you will need to start a chat via the home screen of the Sonder app.

If you’re not sure how serious the injury is, please take a photo of it and send it through to our nurses to review so that they can help you. To upload a photo to our nurses, just use the camera icon in the chat function of the Sonder app.

If you need further assistance, here’s a guide on what to look out for and what you need to do.


Signs and symptoms

Aside from the obvious sign of blood coming out of a wound, other signs and symptoms include:

  • Weak, rapid pulse

  • Pale, cool, moist skin

  • Pallor, sweating

  • Rapid, gasping breathing

  • Restlessness

  • Nausea

  • Thirst

  • Faintness, dizziness or confusion

  • Loss of consciousness.

Some examples where severe or life-threatening bleeding cases may occur include:

  • An amputated or partially amputated limb above the wrist or ankle

  • Shark attack, propeller cuts

  • Or similar major trauma to any part of the body.

What to do

  1. Apply gloves if available.

  2. Help the patient to lie down and remove or cut their clothing to expose the wound.

  3. Apply firm, direct and continuous pressure on the bleeding wound initially with your hands until the bleeding stops. The patient or a bystander can do this if required.

  4. When available, apply a pad or dressing in or directly over the wound and apply firm, direct and continuous pressure until the bleeding stops.

  5. If an object is embedded in or protruding from a wound, do not remove the object. Apply pressure on either side of the wound and place pads around the object before bandaging.

  6. Once bleeding is controlled, secure the pad by bandaging firmly, ensuring the pad remains directly over the wound. Observe for any further bleeding.

  7. Continue to check the patient’s vital signs (consciousness, breathing and pulse) and look for recurrence of bleeding. Do not give the patient anything to eat or drink.

  8. If the bleeding is not controlled and the bleeding is on a limb, apply an arterial tourniquet (if available) and tighten until the bleeding stops. Advise the patient that this will cause pain.

  9. If the bleeding is not controlled and the bleeding is not on a limb, remove existing dressings and apply a haemostatic dressing (if available) in or directly over the wound and apply firm, direct and continuous pressure until the bleeding stops.

  10. Call Triple Zero (000) for an ambulance.


If you have any questions or need extra support, we're here to help you anytime in any language. Simply start a chat with us via the home screen of the Sonder app.

Information sourced from St John Ambulance Australia.

Image credit: RODNAE Productions at Pexels

All content in Sonder's Help Centre is created and published for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice.

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