Wounds – Nosebleed and Mouth

Wounds are an injury of the soft tissue (tissue in the body that is not bone).  Wounds are generally classified as either a closed or open wound. 

Causes: Abrasions (cuts or lacerations), amputation, blow, bite, falling, Fight/punch/hit, motor vehicle accident, puncturing and penetrating (sharp objects, glass, etc).

Signs and symptoms:  Bleeding, bruising, pain, redness, swelling.

Open Wound:  An open wound causes a break in the skin. The wound can range from something minor like a scrape to a deeper, puncture of the skin. 

Closed Wound:  A closed wound is a wound on the skin’s surface that does not break the skin. A common closed wound is a bruise, which develops when the body is bumped or hit. A more serious closed wound may be caused by a violent force hitting the body. The person can severely damage tissues, blood vessels and muscles, leading to heavier internal bleeding.

Bleeding from the nose:

  • Make sure scene is safe.
  • Wear PPE.
  • Have the person sit and lean forward.
  • Pinch the soft part of the nose on both sides with a clean dressing. 
  • Apply a cold pack to the bridge of the nose.
  • Place constant pressure on the nostrils for a few minutes until the bleeding stops.  If bleeding continues, press harder.

Bleeding from the mouth:

  • Make sure the scene is safe.
  • Get the first aid kit.
  • Wear PPE.
  • If bleeding is coming from the tongue, lip, or cheek and you can reach it easily, apply pressure with gauze or a clean cloth.  Be careful not to block the airway.
  • Check for missing or loose teeth.  See next training module for tooth injury
  • If you haven’t phoned 911 and you can’t stop the bleeding or the person has trouble breathing, phone or ask someone else to phone 911.

Phone 911 if:

  • You cant stop the bleeding in about 15 minutes.
  • The bleeding is heavy, such as gushing blood.
  • The injured person has trouble breathing.
  • Signs of Shock.
  • Has a major open or closed wound.