Category Archives: External Bleeding

The Danger of a Miscarriage

Miscarriage is the most common pregnancy loss. It is the loss of pregnancy within the first 20 weeks of gestation, with majority occurring within the first 13 weeks. In cases of miscarriages, there is a spontaneous end to the pregnancy at a stage where the embryo or the fetus is not yet capable of surviving outside the womb. Pregnancy normally terminates at 40 weeks plus or minus two weeks, wherein the fetus has already fully developed the critical organs needed for survival.

Approximately 10% to 15% of all recognized pregnancies end in miscarriage, with 40% of these miscarriages occurring even before the woman becomes conscious of her pregnancy. Majority of miscarriages occur during the first trimester of pregnancy. It should also be noted that pregnancies of women aged 35 and above are already considered high risk.

Miscarriage is also called spontaneous abortion.

Miscarriage is the loss of baby
Miscarriage is the loss of baby within the first 20 weeks of gestation

Risk Factors of Miscarriage

Although one cannot prevent a miscarriage from occurring, there are several known factors that can increase the likelihood of suffering from a miscarriage. These include:

  • Age
  • Previous miscarriage
  • Smoking – affects both the mother’s and baby’s health
    • May also increase chances of stillbirth
  • Caffeine – may be connected to increased rate but not enough evidence to support
  • Alcohol
  • Use of illegal drugs
  • Obesity
  • Hypothyroidism and other hormone problems
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome
  • Infections during pregnancy, such as rubella
  • In-vitro Fertilization (IVF) – which explains the increased need to plant several embryos in the womb

Causes of Miscarriage

In most cases, the case of miscarriage remains unknown. The following are the known causes of miscarriage in a woman:

  • Chromosomal abnormality in the fetus (lacking or additional number of chromosomes) – most common cause of miscarriage in the first trimester
    • The risk for chromosomal abnormality in a fetus increases as the mother’s age increases
  • Problems with the cervix or uterus – most common cause of miscarriage in the second trimester
  • Blighted ovum (pregnancy sac with no fetus)
  • Poor maternal health condition (severe malnutrition, etc.)

Signs and Symptoms of Miscarriage

The signs and symptoms of miscarriage are often noticeable. The most common ones include:

  • Vaginal spotting
  • Bleeding from the vagina that progresses from light to heavy
  • Tissue with clot like material passing from the vagina
  • Severe abdominal pain or menstrual like cramps
  • Back pain
  • Fever
  • Weakness

First Aid Management for Miscarriage

The primary goal of administering first aid on a woman suffering from a miscarriage is to ensure to health to the woman. Recommended steps for miscarriage management include:

  • Assist the woman to a resting position that is most comfortable to her.
  • Immediately call for emergency medical assistance.
  • Observe the woman for any change in condition.
  • Watch out for dry lips and moisten it.
  • Do not give any food or fluids.
  • If anything comes out from the vagina, keep out of sight of the woman. Give it to the medics or doctor for further study.

As previously mentioned, it is important to know that in most cases, a miscarriage cannot be prevented. The most important part of life after a miscarriage is to show continued support for the woman. There are plenty of emotional groups available that can help provide support to the grieving mother and father. Counseling is also another option.

To learn how to manage pregnancy problems, enroll in First Aid Courses and CPR Training. Miscarriage, the loss of pregnancy within the first 20 weeks of gestation, is the most common type of pregnancy loss. A miscarriage is also called spontaneous abortion.

External Bleeding: How You Can Help

First Aid Kits at Saskatoon First Aid
Having a first aid kit can definitely help with any major or minor bleeding emergencies.

Many people are afraid to help someone who is bleeding heavily. Some are simply afraid of blood while many have no knowledge about the first aid for external bleeding. While it is reassuring to know that many adults actually donate blood and lose a pint of blood with no serious effects, prolonged bleeding and severe loss of blood can lead to shock, which is a dangerous medical condition. You can help prevent shock and its complications by providing immediate first aid. To learn the skills to manage victims of external bleeding enrol into emergency first aid.

First Aid Treatment for External Bleeding

First aid treatment for external bleeding can be summarized as Look, Apply and Elevate.

  • LOOK

Check the affected site to assess the severity of the injury/wound. Check if there is any foreign body or debris that has lodged in the wound.

  • APPLY

Apply direct pressure over the wound or injured site. Place a piece of clean cloth or sterile dressing over the wound (or whatever clean sheet is available), and then apply direct pressure. If the victim is conscious and is able, encourage him to press on the wound. If the victim is unconscious or not capable, you can provide direct pressure.

Direct pressure over the wound encourages the blood to clot and prevent further bleeding and loss of blood. Ideally, the sterile dressing or clean cloth should be held firmly in place using bandage (triangular bandage or non-adhesive bandage). You can make use of improvised bandage from whatever you have handy, such as a tie, cloth, scarf and so on.

  • ELEVATE

Elevate the injured site. If the wound is located in the arms or legs, raise the affected area above the level of the heart. Gravity pulls the blood reducing blood flow to the wound and loss of blood.

If the victim has lost a significant amount of blood, he is most likely to experience shock. Be ready to provide appropriate first aid for shock. Never leave the victim alone and keep him warm. Provide reassurance continuously.

Personal Safety and Protection

In all first aid treatments, protecting yourself from any potential danger is of primary importance. As much as possible, avoid direct contact with body fluids, including blood. This does not only ensure your personal safety but also that of the victim. Here are some ways on how you can protect yourself while providing first aid for external bleeding:

  • Use gloves (if available). First aid kits would always have gloves in its stock. Gloves come in many different materials and sizes.
  • Ask the victim to apply direct pressure to injury if he is able.
  • Use dressings, bandages, or any improvised materials (shirt, cloth, or handkerchief) to protect your hand from the wound.
  • If you have wounds or injuries in your hands, keep it covered with dressing, plasters or bandage.
  • If your skin has been exposed to blood, wash it off well with hot water and soap. Use bleach and water solution to remove spills of vomit or blood.

If you are concerned about possible infection, you can consult your healthcare provider. It is important to note that the chances of cross-infection while providing first aid on a bleeding victim is very low.

Related Video on External Bleeding