Step 4: Assess yourself for bleeding
Cover the main areas first—neck, thighs and arms. We call this a ‘blood sweep.’
You don’t have long if you have a serious bleed in any of the main areas, so use your time wisely. It’s also best to get yourself as flat as possible while doing the sweep, this will help to keep you awake and conscious for a bit longer so you can get the job done.
If you lose consciousness prior to stopping the bleed, you’re in a lot of trouble.
If there is a big bleed, you may not know as your body is now full of adrenaline. This may mask the pain of the injury. Look for it with a ‘blood sweep’, wipe your hands all over the key areas, neck, upper arms and upper legs and inside thighs, check your hand for traces of blood by bringing your hands up to your face. This ‘Blood Sweep’ technique is used in the military for life threatening bleeding and it is the best way to identify the big bleeds.
Expert Tip– Treat yourself for hypovolemic shock (significant blood loss). Get flat and if the injury permits, raise your legs. This will help stabilise your blood pressure and increase your chance of survival.