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Treating a Stab Wound
- Leave the stabbing object in the wound! Pulling it out will increase blood loss and pushing it will cause further injury.
- Stop the bleeding. Apply pressure on – or around, if the object is still embedded – with a clean shirt or towel. Minimize contact with the person’s blood by wrapping plastic bags or disposable gloves around your hands. If you have limited supplies, place sterile dressings atop the wound and apply non-sterile dressing (clothes, dirty towels, etc.) on top of the dressing. Apply extra padding if the intestines or other internal organs are protruding. Secure the bandage with padding and push down with light pressure if the person needs to sit up or vomit. Do not lift or remove the dressing after you put it on. Moving the dressing will disrupt the clotting process. Do NOT use a tourniquet except as a last resort.
- If the wound is bleeding profusely, apply pressure to the major artery leading to the area with the pads on your fingers while your other hand applies pressure to the wound itself. Press on the inside of the arm just above the elbow or just below the armpit to slow bleeding in the arm. Press behind the knee or in the groin if the leg is bleeding.
- If possible, reposition the person so the wound is above the level of the heart. It will reduce blood loss.
- Treat shock only after stopping or slowing the bleeding.