Minor Scalp Wounds

Minor Head Wound

Minor Head Wound

Head wounds tend to bleed more than other parts of the body as the scalp is rich with blood vessels. Even a minor cut to the head often results in heavy bleeding, and although this amount of bleeding may be alarming, many times the injury is only superficial and the bleeding will stop with first aid treatment. However if you believe the injury is serious, the wound doesn’t stop bleeding or the person shows signs of internal head injury immediately contact the emergency services, ring 999/112.

Treating minor scalp wounds

  • Wash your hands well with soap and water (if available).
  • Put on latex gloves.
  • Have the person lie down.
  • If the person has hair, use your fingers to part the hair away from the cut until you can see the whole wound.
  • Clean out debris, and irrigate the head wound with water.
  • Press firmly on the wound with gauze, or a clean cloth. If there is an object in the wound apply pressure around the object, not directly over it.
  • Apply steady pressure for a full 15 minutes, no peeking. If blood soaks through the cloth, apply another one without lifting the first.

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.
Watch for signs of shock, which is a life-threatening situation that requires emergency care.

Signs of shock (most of which will be present) include:

  • Passing out (losing consciousness).
  • Feeling very dizzy or light-headed, like you may pass out.
  • Feeling very weak or having trouble standing up.
  • Being less alert. They may suddenly be unable to respond to questions, or they may be confused, restless, or fearful.

When emergency treatment is necessary

If a cut from a head injury is deep enough to have penetrated the skull, emergency treatment is needed. Call 999 immediately.  Do not apply pressure if:

  • The skull is deformed. Signs of deformity may include sunken areas, visible bone fragments, or exposed brain.
  • There is also an injury to the eye.
  • Any blood or clear fluid is draining from the nose or ears.

The advice provided is no substitute for proper first aid training.   For more information on attending a first aid courses please call us on 0151 207 0081.

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