Natalie's first aid story: How first aid was used to save someone who was bleeding


Natalie was at a radio station when she attended a small party in the office. She heard a child crying and looked around and saw that a child around five years old was sitting on the floor and her foot was bleeding.

Natalie's first aid story

Natalie applied pressure to the wound with a t-shirt then applied a bandage whilst reassuring the child and mother.

“I was listening to some musicians playing and I went to get myself a drink. I looked around the office and I heard a child crying,” Natalie said.

Natalie knew that something was wrong.

“I saw that a child around five years old was sitting on the floor. Her foot was bleeding and pale in colour and her mother was trying to stop the bleeding with paper tissues.

There were around six people gathered round, who were staring at what was happening.”

Natalie asked someone to get the first aid kit, whilst she reassured the mother and child.

“After the musicians had finished playing, the child was walking around without shoes on and had accidentally stepped on some broken glass. Her foot was bleeding heavily, as her mother had removed the piece of glass from the wound. I looked to see if there were any other pieces of glass remaining in the wound, but I could not see anything,” Natalie said.

“I applied pressure to the wound with a t-shirt and her mother passed me a bandage from the first aid kit. The child was understandably upset, and I tried to entertain and reassure her when applying the bandage. As the child began to feel much better, I asked her mother to book a taxi to go to the accident and emergency department, to get the cut checked out properly,” Natalie added.

If the person seems pale, cold or is deteriorating, it could mean that they are starting to go into shock, and you should call 999.

When asked how Natalie knew that she had to help, she said, “I knew that I needed to assist, as a first aider, I had the skills and confidence to help”, Natalie said.

“I would recommend first aid training as the skills you learn can save lives,” she added.

First aid tip: If someone is bleeding heavily, you should:

1. Put pressure on the wound with whatever is available to stop or slow down the flow of blood.

You are acting as a “plug” to stop the blood escaping. The pressure you apply will help the blood clot and stop the bleeding.

2. Call 999 as soon as possible.

If you can’t call 999, get someone else to do it.

3. Keep pressure on the wound until help arrives.

On our first aid training courses, learners are supplied with training bandages to support their learning of how to help if someone has a heavy bleed.

Learners are encouraged to enact this and might use a spare piece of clothing or tea towel, to practice in pairs or small groups. The most suitable way to maintain the pressure on a heavy bleed is to apply a bandage and the trainer may encourage learners to have a go at putting on a training bandage around another learner's arm.

This learner-led approach is known to help with recalling the main points in a real emergency, and the trainer will use coaching skills to help learners improve their technique so that the bandage is applied correctly and effectively: hygienically utilised and secured so that it is neither too loose nor too tight.

This activity could naturally flow into learning about medical shock - which can often happen due to severe blood loss - where the casualty would need to be placed in a lying down position, with their legs raised on a chair in the training room.

This practical approach helps learners to envisage how they would manage such a situation, once they are away from the classroom environment.