School Nurses Emergency Highlight - Bleeding

School Nurses, teachers, staff and principals must be familiar with the school’s First Aid procedures relating to bleeding students.


  1. Apply firm pressure to student’s wound with clean, padded dressing, in order to stop or slow down blood flow.
  2. Cover wound with sterile dressing and apply firm bandage to secure. Elevate injury above heart. Check for pulse below bandage to ensure it’s not too tight.
  3. Call 000 if bleeding is severe. Keep pressure on wound. Reassure student while waiting for ambulance.


Frequently Asked Questions

What can I use to put pressure on the wound? If a sterile, padded dressing is unavailable, use either your or the student’s hand, a t-shirt or towel - anything to apply firm pressure to stop or slow down the flow of blood.

What if the bleeding soaks through the item I’ve used? Do not remove it, just add more dressings and maintain firm pressure. Call 000 as soon as possible.

Should I apply a tourniquet to a wound that is bleeding severely? No. You may cause potential harm by improper application.

What if the student looks pale and feels cold and dizzy? This means their body is going into shock. Call 000 immediately.

Should I worry about infection or blood-borne contaminants? It is best to avoid direct contact with another person’s blood. Use medical gloves, a plastic bag, or get them to use their own hand to put pressure on the wound.

Should I wash the wound? For minor cuts and grazes, you can wash the wound with saline or clean water to remove any dirt. Don’t wash a wound that is bleeding heavily. Putting a heavily bleeding wound under a tap will wash away all the clotting agents and make it bleed more.

What should I do if there is an embedded object in the wound? Do not remove it as it is helping plug the hole and stop the blood flow. Simply build up dressings around the around the object to stabilise it. Call 000 immediately.

How do I treat nosebleeds? Pinch the soft part of the nose just below the bony ridge and ask the student to lean forward and breathe through their mouth. Pinching the nose helps the blood to clot.

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