If the blood is dark blue and the stream is continuous, a vein has been
punctured which, in itself, is not ordinarily dangerous. The bandaging
of such a wound will usually stop the flow of blood. Bandage firmly.
Remember all wounds bleed a little, but that, as a rule, this bleeding
will stop in a few minutes if the patient remains quiet.
If the blood is bright red and appears in spurts, an artery has been
punctured, and the flow of blood must be stopped or the patient will
bleed to death. To do this, apply a pressure to the artery at some point
between the wound and the heart. Press the artery against the bone. This
can usually be done for a short time with the fingers. However it will
usually he necessary to use an improvised tourniquet. Tie the bandage of
the first-aid packet around the limb so that the compress (pad) will
press the artery against the bone. Slip under the compress and over the
artery a small stone. Pass a stick under the bandage and turn the stick
around slowly until the slack is taken up and the bleeding stops. Then
tie the stick as shown in the illustration.
After the tourniquet has been in place for an hour, loosen it and if no
blood flows allow it to remain loose. If it again bleeds tighten it
quickly and loosen again at the end of an hour.
The following illustrations, show the usual places where tourniquets are
applied or where pressure can be applied to the arteries with the thumb: