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Mild, Moderate, and Severe Bleeding

With severe bleeding, any of these may be true:

  • Blood is pumping from the wound.
  • The bleeding does not stop or slow down with pressure.
  • Blood is quickly soaking through bandage after bandage.

With moderate bleeding, any of these may be true:

  • The bleeding slows or stops with pressure but starts again if you remove the pressure.
  • The blood may soak through a few bandages, but it is not fast or out of control.

With mild bleeding, any of these may be true:

  • The bleeding stops on its own or with pressure.
  • The bleeding stops or slows to an ooze or trickle after 15 minutes of pressure. It may ooze or trickle for up to 45 minutes.

If you have anemia or low blood volume for other reasons, such as recent diarrhea or dehydration, blood loss from a severe cut can quickly become serious. Scalp wound bleeding in children also can rapidly lead to serious blood loss. Bleeding is more serious when:

  • New lightheadedness occurs or you feel as if you may pass out.
  • Lightheadedness or fainting occurs when you change position, such as rising from sitting to standing.

Serious injuries or deep cuts over the neck, chest, or abdomen may cause internal bleeding. Watch for signs of shock.

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerWilliam H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerH. Michael O'Connor, MD - Emergency Medicine
Last RevisedApril 22, 2013

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: April 22, 2013
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.