If emergency care is not needed, the following steps will protect the
wound and protect you from exposure to another person's blood.
Before you try to stop the bleeding:
Wash your hands well with soap and water, if
Put on medical gloves, if available, before applying
pressure to the wound. If gloves are not available, use many layers of fabric,
plastic bags, or whatever you have between your hands and the
Have the person hold his or her own hand over the wound, if
possible, and apply pressure to the injured area.
Use your bare
hands to apply pressure only as a last resort.
Have the person sit up and
tilt his or her head forward with the chin down. This will help any blood drain out of the mouth, not down the back of the throat. Swallowing blood can cause
Remove any visible objects that
are easy to remove. Remove chewing gum if it is present. Do not attempt to
clean out the wound.
Remove any jewelry from
the general area of the wound.
on the wound with a clean cloth or the cleanest material available. If there is
an object in the wound, apply pressure around the object, not directly over
Apply steady pressure for a full 15 minutes. Use a clock to time the 15 minutes. It can seem like a long
time. Resist the urge to peek after a few minutes to see whether bleeding has
stopped. If blood soaks through the cloth, apply another one without lifting
Inner lip bleeding.
Press the bleeding site against the teeth or jaw or place a rolled or folded
piece of gauze or clean cloth between the lip and gum. Once bleeding from
inside the lip stops, don't pull the lip out again to look at it. The person
should avoid yawning or laughing, which may make the bleeding begin
Tongue bleeding. Squeeze or press the
bleeding site with gauze or a piece of clean cloth.
Inner cheek bleeding. Place rolled gauze or a piece of clean
cloth between the wound and the teeth.
After tooth extraction by a health professional, follow any instructions given to
you by your health professional. If you do not have the instructions, bite on
gauze or a piece of clean cloth to control bleeding. If pressure does not stop
the bleeding, try biting down on a moistened tea bag for 10 to 15 minutes.
Avoid spitting, using any form of tobacco, and using straws, which can make
If moderate to severe bleeding has not slowed or stopped, continue direct pressure
while getting help. Do all you can to keep the wound clean and avoid further injury to the area.
Mild bleeding usually stops on its own or slows to an ooze or trickle after 15 minutes of pressure. It may ooze or trickle for up to 45 minutes.
Return any skin
flap to its normal position. If necessary, hold the flap in place with a clean
cloth or gauze.
Watch the person so he or she does not swallow the
gauze or cloth.
This information is produced and provided by the National
Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National
Institute via the Internet web site at http://
.gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
July 20, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor.
Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this