How to Stop Bleeding in Survival Situations (Step by Step)

Often, we can find ourselves in situations to which we need to adapt carefully.

Emergency situations can be life-threatening, and although we try our best to avoid any sort of emergency by taking utmost care of anything, it becomes a challenge to handle if something happens suddenly. 

Bleeding is one such incident that can occur due to many things.

In such emergency cases, it becomes crucial for at least one person around the victim to have knowledge of the item and take care of the situation. 

When you find yourself in such a situation where someone is bleeding profusely, you need to follow specific steps. 

Before anything else, it is important to keep in mind the following points.

  1. The person who is bleeding should be calmed down. Until you reassure the victim, you cannot help the person hyperventilating by that time. So to provide them with confidence that they can fight through it is essential. 
  1. Do not panic. If you are the only one of the remaining people in a survival situation who can help the victim, you should not panic at any cost. It delays the process and also makes the victim anxious, which is again detrimental to them. However, to stop bleeding, you don’t need to have expert survival skills.
  1. Make sure many people don’t surround the person who is bleeding. It is essential for the person to breathe and stays wide awake when they have been hurt. Gatherings around the patient will block the air and the oxygen, which will, in turn, make them restless and difficult to handle. It will also delay treatment. 
  1. Many people can faint or feel extremely uncomfortable at the sight of blood. If you are one of them, keep away from treating the victim because your actions will instead make the patient anxious. If there is someone in the group who has such an affliction, they must be sent away. The more time they spend near the incident or insight of the blood, the more chances of them falling sick. It will do nothing but increase the burden of unwell people in the middle of an emergency. 
  1. Always guarantee the best quality equipment and materials to treat the cut from which the person is bleeding. Although it becomes difficult to ensure this in emergencies, one must always strive to get the best treatment. This only increases the chance of survival of an individual later on in the treatment. Also, if possible, you must use gloves during the treatment.
  1. Remember, in a survival situation, the main aim is to get past the danger phase and make it a point to save the person’s life. Thus, in such cases, one needs to act fast and immediately to be of any help. If you are someone who has been through panic attacks, anxiety attacks, and trauma and never faced such a situation, you might consider assisting the one who has a clear idea about what needs to be done. 

Methods to Control Severe Bleeding

Whether it’s severe bleeding or not, it can be controlled. 

Many people died before the ambulance arrived. So, it’s crucial to stop bleeding before any medical facility can be provided.

We will see the three techniques you can apply to the wounds to stop further blood loss.

Direct Pressure

A direct pressure applied to the area of the wound allows your body to recover faster.

Sometimes, pressure dressings are also called Israeli dressings. So, don’t get confused as both are the same.

Firstly, you need to control the bleeding wound because it’s crucial for the blood to clot; otherwise, the healing process won’t start.

Once the bleeding stops, you can start with the procedure of direct pressure.

  • Apply pressure on the wound directly. If direct pressure is not enough, try to wrap the wound with gauze.
  • Place the gauze over the wound and pack it, but don’t pull it tightly as it is applied to hold the blood flow on the injury only.

I’ve seen some cases where the gauze soaks all the blood. At that time, you’ve to apply another layer of gauze.

You’ve to keep in mind not to remove the earlier gauze because clotting agents are essential to control the bleeding. 


The tourniquet should be the last method on your list as it’s pretty dangerous to use, even lead to death.

A tourniquet has the potential to restrict the blood flow to the arm or leg; however, it can damage the entire arm or leg if not applied properly. 

Applying the tourniquet to prevent bleeding during the first aid training indoors.

So, it should be chosen if you have no other option to save a life.

Use a tourniquet on the limb and tighten it as much as possible to stop the bleeding.

It’s essential to write down the time somewhere about when the tourniquets were applied so that you can tell the doctors once they reach the hospital.

No doctor or hospital recommends using a tourniquet at the site.

Steps to Stop the Bleeding

Now that you have the basic ideas about what you should do and what you should not in such a situation.

We will carry on with the steps that you need to follow to protect someone who is bleeding in a survival situation.

Step 1: Control the Bleeding

The first step is to assess the situation. Once you understand that someone is bleeding and in an emergency, you need to control the bleeding.

There are many ways to do that, but it depends on the kind of wound. It also depends on the area of the body that has been wounded. 

If the cut is deep and there is no way you can control it with mere pieces of cloth, you should look for a string tied around the area to stop the circulation and prevent the blood.  

However, you can follow the above methods, such as direct pressure, pressure points, tourniquet, etc., to control severe bleeding.

Step 2: Cleaning the wound

After you are confident that you have stopped the bleeding, you have to move on to the next step. In this step, you will require to clean the wound.

clean and provides first-aid at wound on leg

The bleeding can be made worse if an infection is to occur. 

At this point, your sole aim should be to keep any germ away from the wound. When a cut occurs, the area which is bleeding is exposed to all sorts of foreign particles. 

These can lead to severe and fatal infections such as Septicemia.

To avoid such degradation of the wound, you should first remove any item of clothing that has come in contact with the blood. 

After that, you need to clean the area with the cleanest piece of cloth that you can find.

It will be best to use some hot water to do that because that will also disinfect the area and reduce the risk of infections further. 

Step 3: Close the wound

If someone is bleeding profusely, it generally indicates that the wound is deep and long.

In such a case, stopping the bleeding and cleaning the injury will not suffice. Instead, you have to make sure to close the wound. 

The main question now is, how to do that?

It is not a simple task, but it is not as complicated as you might think.

Depending on the area and the type of wound, you can use sutures, glues, staples and close the wound properly so that no area is open to infections. 

Proper self-help for injuries or bruises in the legs. Wound care bandage, control bleeding.

This step might be excruciating for the person in question. But you have to keep your motive straight and do it anyway.

Make sure to make the victim comfortable and confident during this step, or else things can go the other way. 

Step 4: Protecting the wound

Once you have followed all the three previous steps, it is your turn to move on to the next step, which is to secure the wound primarily to survive the person who is hurt.

This step is crucial till any professional help arrives. 

Although working with bandages and gauzes needs a little bit of practice, any person can use these for the primary level.

Please do not panic and hold the wounded part up and tie a bandage around it. Secure it with clips or any other sort of instrument you can lay your eyes upon. 

This step is also crucial to ensure that the patient won’t have to go through much pain afterward, and it will also help save the valuable blood that will flow out of the wound and is not protected. 

Dressing wounds require patience and keen eyes. Make sure you be the caregiver, is calm and quiet.

This step will also make the person concerned feel lighter and help them reach the psychological point in which they can be optimistic about the future. 


Now that you know what to do if you land up in such a situation, we hope you will act accordingly and with utmost immediacy. 

It would be best to remember that blood loss in external wounds could be highly traumatic and can lead to death within minutes.

Your purpose is not only to take care of the wound but also the person’s mental stability at the given point in time. 

Do not shy away from asking people for help. You should also be confident about the whole situation and be actively in charge of it.

We are sure that this article has provided you with all the necessary information that you will need to face such a life-threatening situation.

Do you carry any medical supplies to stop the severe bleeding? Tell us in the comment section below.

Article by:

Eric Birch

Eric Birch is a survival specialist trained in the U.S. military's Survival, Evasion, Resistance, and Escape (SERE) program. When he’s not ferociously learning new survival tactics, he enjoys the great outdoors, and/or cheering on one of his favorite sports teams.

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