PRESSURE POINT TO STOP EXTERNAL BLEEDING
The second method of indirect stopping of heamorrhage is the use of pressure points. This is adopted when direct pressure becomes a failure. There are quite a large number of pressure points which must be remembered by the first aider so that he can use the method in emergencies. Broad guideline is to press the artery before the injury so that blood does not flow to the injured site. Pressure point is an area where an artery along its course can be pressed against an underlying bone so as to prevent the flow of blood beyond that point. Generally, you can feel pulsation at such points.
Carotid pressure point
Two in number one on either side, these arteries arise from the aorta and pass up the neck on either side of the trachea of windpipe to supply blood to the head area.
Pressure is applied by the thumb placed in the hollow between the voice box and the prominent sternomastoid muscle nearby. It is pressed against the vertebral column behind it.
In cut-throat cases, in addition to the digital pressure to be applied as described at (ii) above, the First Aider has to apply digital pressure on the jugular vein (large vein) above the wound from which blood will be oozing out. In the event of bleeding not stopping even then digital pressure has to be applied below the wounds, also over the wound. Also cover the wound, treat for shock and take the casualty immediate to a doctor.
Subclavian pressure point
As the name indicates these (two) arteries run behind the clavicles on either side.
These are branches of the aorta, which run from behind the inner end of the clavicle across the first ribs on to the armpits.
Pressure is applied by pressing one thumb on top of the other in the hollow above and behind the middle of the collar bone, so that the artery is pressed against the first rib.
Before applying pressure bare the neck and upper part of chest; depress the shoulder and bend his head to the injured side. These make it easy to see the area and get the muscles relaxed making the work easy.
Facial pressure point
The palm is placed across the upper part of the neck in such a way that the thumb is on the lower portion of the lower jaw and the fingers on the back of the head and neck.
Pressure is applied on the artery at a point which is the junction between the mid-third of jaw and posterior third under the line of the lower jaw.
Temporal pressure point
The palm is placed so that the thumb is in a line with upper margin of the ear and the rest of palm over the back of the head.
Pressure is applied about an inch in front of the upper part of the ear backwards against the temporal bone. The temporal artery runs at this place before it gives off branches.
Brachial pressure point
The brachial arteries run along the innerborder of the biceps and branches out to supply the upper limb.
Apply pressure on the middle of the arm by passing the fingers.
It is compressed against the humerus.
Radial or ulnar pressure point
As their names indicate these lower parts of the radial/ulnar arteries pass over the wrist into palm to form the palmar arch.
Each of them should be compressed simultaneously by pressing the thumb against the bone just above the wrist.
Palmar arch pressure point
As noted above, the arch is formed by anastomosis of the terminal points of the Radial and Ulnar arteries beyond the middle of the palm.
Pressure is applied by a single thumb which is placed flat across whilst the rest of the palm and fingers are on injured palm.
Femoral pressure point
Femoral arteries are of the thighs. They are a continuation of the abdominal aorta, they help to supply the lower limbs with blood.
The artery enters the thigh about midway in the groinfold and runs a little inwards upto the upper two thirds of the thigh and then passes to the back of the knee.
To apply pressure lay the patient, bend the knees slightly grasp the thigh with both hands so that each of the thumb is at about the centre of the groin. Place the left thumb over the right and apply pressure directly backwards against the pelvic bone.