Maybe you were preparing food and the knife slipped. Suddenly, you are bleeding, a lot. What can you do?
Start by cleaning the wound with some alcohol to prevent infection
We like to stop the bleeding as soon as possible. Here are some suggestions
- Use a band aid – A band-aid may be enough to cover the wound and keep it clean. This can give the finger a chance to clot. If the band-aid isn’t enough, make a tourniquet.
- Make a tourniquet – The idea is to reduce or cut off circulation to the wound so it has a chance to clot. We can tightly tie a piece of cloth or rag around the finger, below the wound. We can also use a folded up paper towel and a rubber band wrapped over itself a few times to create the same effect. For example, if the wound is on the 1st knuckle we would tie the tourniquet and reduce the circulation about half an inch or so below the knuckle around the finger itself.
If the bleeding doesn’t stop after 5-15 minutes you may need stitches
- Keep the finger above your heart – If our finger is above our heart there will be less blood pressure and less blood coming out of the wound. This gives the wound a chance to clot. This can be helpful in addition to a tourniquet or a band aid.
- Splint the finger – Did you cut a flexible part of your finger such as the knuckle. Perhaps movement is breaking open the clot and the finger begins to bleed again. It may help to immobilize the finer. We can create a splint using a Popsicle stick and medical tape, large band-aid, or anything that can attach the stick to the finger.
- Eat more leafy greens – Leafy greens contain vitamin K which assists in blood clotting. Once we have the bleeding contained it can be beneficial to eat a leafy green salad with spinach or kale, both are rich in vitamin K. If our diet is rich in leafy greens and vitamin K are wounds are more likely to clot sooner.
Note: I am not a doctor. This is not medical advice.
I have studied anatomy and physiology in school for years. I am CPR certified. I even worked in a hospital for a few months as an x-ray tech.